About Me


I am Vicar of the parish of St Mary's Marshalswick (near St Albans) having moved from Harpenden in September 2009. St Mary's is a lively and welcoming church in a modern (1950's) building. Our worship is mainly Eucharistic and for those who enjoy labels we sit somewhere between 'central' and 'liberal catholic'. Details of St Mary's' services can be found on the church website.

I am also chaplain (Padre) to 795 Squadron Air Cadets (The ATC). This is a youth organisation funded by the RAF. My Squadron attracts recruits from St Albans, Sandridge, Marshalswick, Harpenden and beyond and I welcome the opportunity this gives me to Minister to teenagers who have no other links to a local church.

I was born in London, Islington at a very young age, just after my twin brother Graham. We entered this world as the children of an Irish Roman Catholic mother and a Scottish Presbyterian father, and so had what many might consider an inter-faith upbringing. One week a Catholic Priest would clip us round the ear for forgetting to bow; the next week a Presbyterian minister would clip us round the ear because we did bow. The comfort of a broad and liberal Anglican church was where I naturally sought refuge as a teenager.

I was confirmed at the age of eighteen and as my faith grew and developed I found myself changing thoughts and opinions on almost everything more than once. Through all those times of seeking, questioning and doubting, the Church of England has been wide enough to be my home a spiritual compass yet never a dictator. I am liberal to the point of embracing those with whom I completely disagree and I pray that the Anglican Church will always remain broad and inclusive. It is what makes us unique.   

My pre ordination career began with a traditional apprenticeship in electronics and I then specialised in Microprocessor design within the defence industry. I have taught electronics and programming to adults in further education and have worked as a social worker among adults with learning difficulties.

Latterly I returned to electronics and in my last post with Fuji Film I was part of a team responsible for quality control across the design, production and service departments. I spent a good deal of my time abroad, mostly in Japan, Europe and North America maintaining product quality worldwide and coordinating the implementation of manufacturing changes to existing products. Travelling so widely on business means that I can now order beer and request a VAT receipt in many different languages; not that useful for a vicar but watch out for travel anecdotes in my sermons.

I enjoy walking my Westie 'Callum' in the countryside and this is my main form of relaxation. I am a keen but unskilled gardener and I particularly enjoy growing my own vegetables.




Gary Russell,
St Mary's, Marshalswick