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When Guild member George Pitcher was made deacon in St Paul's Cathedral on June 25, he became the third worshipper from St Bride's in recent times to be admitted to the priesthood, his predecessors being the Rev Wallace Boulton (invested 1972) and the Rev Jane Banister (2002). A much respected journalist - he was voted National Newspaper Industrial Journalist of the Year in 1991 - George joined the Guild in 1998, and in between intensive studies for the new life to which he has been called, he can be seen assisting the Rector, Canon David Meara, at many services of St Bride's.
As Industrial Editor of The Observer, his articles on the privatisation programme for the water and electricity utilities were widely read and admired. Says George: "This wasn't just an exciting time to have been leading industrial coverage on a left-of-centre broadsheet, it also provided a priceless insight into politico-industrial processes at the very top. So it was fairly natural, when Pitcher turned gamekeeper, as it were, that my earliest advisory roles were for privatised utilities - British Gas during its first monopolies reference, PowerGen during the coal review and United Utilities at its metamorphosis as a multi-utility."
George is married to Mobbs, who is half Italian, from Piedmont, and they have four children: daughter Eddi (19), Tom (17), Fred (14) and Charlie who is nine. They live in Dulwich and can reach St Bride's by car in about 20 minutes.
He was made deacon along with 30 others in the London Diocese - in other words ordained into the diaconate of the Church of England. This is the age-old ceremony in which the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, lays his hands on the candidates. George is now curate at St Bride's and 'all being well' (as George puts it) he will become Priest after a year has elapsed. "This means I'm allowed to preside over the sacramental actions of the Eucharist, blessing and absolving - the magic bits!" he adds.