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Reverend Mark Oakley to leave actor’s church

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One of Theatreland’s most popular figures, Reverend Mark Oakley, rector of the actor’s church, St Paul’s in Covent Garden, will hold his final service at the church on May 22.

Oakley, Deputy Priest in Ordinary to the Queen, has been rector of the famous church for six years. A familiar face at many actors’ memorial services, he is also a successful author and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2.

In June he is is going to Copenhagen where he will be both chaplain of St Alban’s Church in the city and archdeacon for Northern Europe, responsible for dozens of Anglican churches in Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

“I will really miss Covent Garden and Theatreland,” Oakley said. “Not only will I be leaving a job I love but also a country where I have been all my life. It will be strange not having a place in London to call home and I will miss things like the theatre, which I love to go to.

“But Copenhagen has just got a new opera house built so it will be a bit like the Royal Opera House.”

Mousetrap actress Virginia Courtney told The Stage: “Mark is part of London’s acting community. He is very well loved and respected by the profession and will be much missed. He will be a hard act to follow but we all wish him well.”