Dave TomlinsonI’m Dave Tomlinson. I’m married to Pat, and we have three grown up children, three grandchildren – and a gorgeous blonde dog called Woody. I’m a writer, a speaker, a passionate seeker after truth and wisdom, and an avid explorer of theology, spirituality and life in general. And I’m the vicar of St Luke’s church in Holloway, north London.

Whenever we get the chance, Pat and I love nothing more than spending time at our remote, ramshackle cottage in Yorkshire, which has no electricity and is situated about a mile from the nearest road. After daytime walks around the valley with the dog and a meal at a local pub, we generally end up sitting by a roaring log fire, sipping glasses of port and watching DVDs on my laptop (recharged each day in the car).

For many years, I was a leading figure in the House Church movement, travelling extensively around the UK and abroad, preaching and teaching. I also led a team of fifteen people that planted and gave regular input to some fifty churches. There were many things about that part of my life that I enjoyed, but in many ways I was a round peg in a square hole where the spirituality and theology of the charismatic house churches were concerned. So we departed that world in 1989, not knowing where we were going or what exactly we were looking for – but being sure that we had to try to find it.

Surrounded by disillusioned Christians and church misfits, in 1990, Pat and I set up Holy Joes, a group that met in a south London pub that provided a forum for people who find regular church unappealing. Alongside doing that, I studied for a Masters Degree in Biblical Interpretation, and wrote The Post-Evangelical.

After several conversations with the Bishop of London, I decided to pursue ordination in the Church of England – a rather bizarre-looking step, but the best move I ever made.

Now, I am the vicar of St Luke’s, a glorious mishmash community of north London urbanites, sharing friendship, and groping after God. It’s the best job in the world!

If you’d like to get in contact email me.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann Clarke November 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Dear Dave
I was so pleased to come across your website through Google as I was ‘surfing’ to try to make contact with people interested in the Enneagram. I see that I have just missed you the last of your Enneagram workshops but hope to go to the Moot meeting this Wednesday.

My search for through the enneagram link is an effort to spread the word about a pioneer in the development of the enneagram, Dr Claudio Naranjo, who will make his first and perhaps only (he is becoming more frail with age) visit to the UK this December. Reading of your life and thinking I felt you might be interested to read about him .
The website is http://www.naranjoinstitute.org.uk where there are details of his talk and workshop. Please contact me if you would like to know more or to receive a flier by email.

I was sorry to read on the page of St Lukes that you have been ill and send goood wishes.

Ann Clarke

Dave November 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Hey Ann,
Thanks for telling me about Claudio’s visit. What an opportunity. I will definitely be there with some friends. And actually, due to my illness, I rescheduled the Enneagram workshops at Moot, so I still have one to run. We are still trying to finalise the date, but it will be in January or February. We will also be holding an Enneagram workshop with panels at St Luke’s early in the new year. Would you like me to add your name to the email address about such events?

I’m recovering nicely at present. Just about to begin cardio rehabilitation, and slowly getting involved with church services again.

Nice to hear from you, and thanks again for the news about Claudio’s visit. Maybe meet you there?


Lorraine Bone September 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Dear Mr Tomlinson

I heard your interview with Aled Jones on Radio 2 this morning and thought you were really inspiring. I have always believed that to be a Christian is all about treating people with kindness and understanding and you don’t have to go to Church every Sunday to put Christianity into practice. I was particularly inspired by your story about the lady who approached you to speak about her brutal marriage and said she felt inspired by “a voice” to leave him.

In 2010 I lost my elderly Stepfather after a five month battle against a severe stroke, my elderly Mother had to move house to a smaller property, within three months she was widowed and had to sell their marital home (she is thankfully now settled and happy) and in June this year my Father in Law passed away after a year’s battle with cancer. During this time of heartbreak, I felt so upset and low, but I felt a sensation of love and comfort which I can’t explain. I don’t go to church but I feel that someone or something has helped me to come through this heartbreak. I care for my Mum and am always there for her. I am fortunate to have a supportive Husband as well. As regards being a good Christian, I care for my friends and family and I would help a stranger in the street. I have pets and love and care for them too.

I live in a village and would love to visit our Church, but feel that maybe only “regulars” are welcome. Although our Vicar does open the Church regularly for visitors.

Your interview really inspired me and gave me the confidence to say I am a good Christian, but I don’t go to Church every week. I will definitely be buying your book and look forward to reading it.

Kind Regards,


Jamie Edwards January 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hi Dave, I have just finished your latest book and I must say I found it absolutely brilliantt, completely accessable and choka-block full of genuine grace. I’m currently doing my dissertation on love centred evangelism (as opposed to salvation turn or burn based evangelism) and I was wondering if you know of any contempories that are engaged in relevant ways of passing on hope. Jamie

Bruce Kent January 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Dear Rev. Tomlinson,

I am writing to you as a trustee of FFLAG which is a charity dedicated to supporting parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual daughters and sons.

We are celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the weekend of the 20th and 21st April in Birmingham. Our patrons will be giving keynote addresses on the Saturday morning and in the afternoon we plan to have a number of workshops on such subjects as: 1) Trans issues, 2) homophobic bullying 3) faith issues 4) Parenting 5) homelessness, 6) youth issues.

Might you be available to lead for us the workshop on “faith issues”? It would be early/mid afternoon. So much has improved for our LGBT loved ones in this country in recent years and yet there is still a long way to go in this area. It would be wonderful if you could but I am mindful that we have not given you much notice.

We are looking for someone with experience of the wider issues of religion and LGBT difficulties, who could perhaps share some of their personal testimony and also lead a discussion on the way ahead for us. We would, of course, cover expenses and make an appropriate donation.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,


Louise Drage February 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Hi Dave. I’ve become disenchanted at my local church for a while now. I’ve been attending there for about 13 years. During this time, I retrained, after my psychology degree to become a psychodynamic counsellor and supervisor. I set up a voluntary counselling service at a local women and children’s refuge and counselled survivors of domestic abuse for 3 years. I now have my own private practice. During this time, I have had a bit of a spiritual explosion, including a profound experience which happened to me, not in church, but during a counselling session as a trainee. It blew me away. I’m so very aware and humbled by God’s presence now in my work and feel blessed to be the channel for the wonderful things that happen in my therapeutic space. I’ve only just started reading your book, ‘How to be a Bad Christian’, but cannot express how, in a few pages you have managed to clarify so much for me about my faith. It’s a complete relief! I definitely am one. And I’ve just looked at your wonderful church website and listened to your talk about ‘Restoring Compassion’ on 27th January. If I lived nearby, I’d be there in a flash! Unfortunately, I don’t! Thank you so much Dave. I will carry on reading and carry on listening to your talks. Just needed to express my appreciation. God Bless you in your life and ministry. Best wishes, Louise

Louise Drage October 2, 2014 at 9:10 am

Hello. I’m still in appreciation of your wonderful book, however, could I ask that the comments that I posted on your website on February 8th 2013 be removed now please, as some of the details are not now accurate. Many thanks.

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