The Revd Erica Wilding tells us about a recent lively midweek event at St Leonard’s, Heston.

Mindful of Bishop Emma’s Vision for churches in the Kensington Area to have ‘serious fun’, as the new vicar of St Leonard’s Church I was more than keen to take up her challenge.

St Leonards Heston Johnny Cash

I was therefore delighted when the Revd David Maclure (vicar of St John’s with St Mary’s, Isleworth) agreed to come to Heston to entertain us with songs from Johnny Cash, the American singer/song writer, interspersed with information about the singer’s colourful life. He performed during the regular light lunch that is shared after our midweek communion service.

The fact that St Leonard is the patron saint of prisoners and his feast was celebrated on the 6th November, meant that Johnny Cash was highly pertinent, in that it was his custom to visit and entertain US prisoners with his singing. Indeed, as David told us, Johnny’s singing of San Quentin, at the state prison of the same name, was so popular with the inmates that the authorities limited him to singing it only twice, since they feared that a third rendition might incite a riot!

David entertained us with some of Cash’s most well-known songs – Ring of Fire, A Boy named Sue, Folsom Prison Blues and The Man in Black. Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time and it certainly brought fun and colour to what would otherwise have been a rather grey and dreary November afternoon.

With David’s agreement the money collected has been donated to Own Merit CIC, a social enterprise that provides resettlement support to prison leavers which was established by Darryn Frost QGM and Steve Gallant QGM in memory of Jack Merit and Saskia Reeves, the two Cambridge University students murdered in the terror attack at Fishmongers Hall in 2019. Johnny Cash would surely have approved of the aims of this charity.

For more information about the Revd David Maclure singing Johnny Cash please visit – and be in touch with him on there if you’d like him to play for a midweek event at your church.