A hectic, demanding and multi-faceted schedule.
An attentive, wise and engaged counselor.
A lucid, relevant, engaging and humorous writer and speaker.
A dignified, witty, experienced officiant at weddings and all life events.
This is Alan Neale.
Alan graduated from London School of Economics and Oxford University with degrees in Economics, Sociology, Politics and in Theology. He then served as an ordained minister in a cathedral church in busy Plymouth, in a university church in Southampton, in a village church between London and Cambridge where he studied for a Doctorate in Suicide and Faith.
Here came one of the first major crises of Alan’s life – a divorce, then a marriage to Wendy who is now his wife of 28 years.
Needing a break from institutional religion, perhaps never to serve again as an ordained minister, Alan found a new commitment to serve in the Episcopal Church of the USA in 1987. So from the south coast of England he moved with wife, three children and a Labrador to Brookings, South Dakota.
So he served as ordained minister in the university town of Brookings, South Dakota until 1991. Then in 1991 he began to serve at St. Columba’s Chapel, Newport County, Rhode Island. Within a few years the church that was about to close its door enjoyed an almost 180 degree turnaround with finances improving, property being repaired and renovated and with the incredible experience of a vibrant, welcoming and dignified wedding ministry.
Then in 2004 Alan moved to The Church of the Holy Trinity (CHT), Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. In a sense all the previous experiences, though they each were unique and wonderful, were a preparation for the privilege and honor, challenge and demands of this prestigious church on stately Rittenhouse Square. CHT has grown and matured exponentially in financial soundness, use of property, engagement with community, outreach programs and an incredible and wide-ranging diversity of age, race, marital and family status and beliefs. “All are welcome” is now the church’s message, motivation and measure of all that it does and plans to do. And, as in the previous church, the open policy towards weddings has created an dramatic rise in weddings and rekindling of love as well as lives.
May 2015 a new, exciting and demanding journey begins. Alan resigns from full-time church ministry and takes up new projects with a passion – wedding officiant, transition coach and writer/speaker.
Even if contact with Alan leads only to one preliminary conversation, you will not be sorry you spoke with him.