Monsignor Canon John O’Toole has pastoral responsibility for the Area of Kent, with oversight of seven deaneries

John O’Toole was born in Dublin on 1 February 1950 and brought up in Chatham, Kent, from the age of 8, the fourth of six children.

He went to school at St Joseph’s College, Mark Cross, St John Fisher, Chatham, and Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, Rochester. He then went on to study History at King’s College, London before going to study for the priesthood at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh.  Following a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at St Mary’s, Strawberry Hill, he was Head of RE at Richard Challoner School, New Malden, and ordained a priest at St Michael’s, Chatham on 1 November 1978.

He spent three years as an assistant priest at St Saviour’s Lewisham (1978-1981) before being appointed to the (then) Diocesan Catechetical Centre at Tooting Bec as the RE Adviser for Secondary Schools (1982-1987).  He was an assistant priest at St John Fisher, Merton (1987-1990) before becoming Parish Priest of St Paul’s Ecumenical Parish, Thamesmead (1990-1996).   He worked as a member of the Catholic Missionary Society, leading parish and school missions nationally, (1996-1999) and was then appointed as PP of St Andrew’s, Thornton Heath (1999-2004).  In 2004 he became Director of the (then) Christian Education Centre (2004-2011) at Tooting Bec before becoming Dean of St George’s Cathedral, Southwark (2011-2015).  He then worked for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales as the RC National Ecumenical Officer and Secretary of the Department of Dialogue and Unity (2015-2020) before being appointed to his present role as the Episcopal Vicar for Kent (2020 to the present).

As the Episcopal Vicar for Kent Mgr Canon John has pastoral responsibility, on behalf of Archbishop John, for the Deaneries of Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Gravesend, Maidstone, Thanet and Tunbridge Wells.

He announced his intention to retire from active ministry on 8th April 2022.

Contact Monsignor Canon John O'Toole

59 Burgate

Mobile: 07702 726998                                                                                                          Email:



Mrs Gill Reeves

Tel: 01732 845 486 (West Malling Office)                                                                            Email:

Office Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm

The Kent Area of Southwark comprises the deaneries of

  • Canterbury
  • Chatham
  • Dover
  • Gravesend
  • Maidstone
  • Thanet
  • Tunbridge Wells

View Kent Deanery Contact Details

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