Debbie Apostolides

Part of our series on meeting the congregation – Debbie Apostolides

I was born in Islington in 1966 to Irish parents and was adopted through a Catholic agency called The Crusade of Rescue (now the Catholic Children’s Society). My birth mother had wanted to keep me but the Catholic church put pressure on her to give me up for adoption. Her local priest in Muswell Hill refused to baptise me.

Luckily I was adopted by loving parents and grew up in West London. My birth mother went on to have three more children. I met up with her about ten years ago. It was nice but surreal. I felt a connection with her but not as a mother- daughter. It was good for us both to be in a position to say that all was well with how things had gone. She had her own children and I had my mum. We are no longer in contact.

My parents were very heavily encouraged to take me to church by the Crusade of Rescue. Because the local Catholic church was some distance from where I lived there was a satellite service at my primary school and as soon as I was old enough I started going on my own. I think I may have been seven or eight. I loved it.
Starting first Holy Communion classes was hugely exciting and I loved all the books I could borrow and the chats I had with the nuns. As a teenager I was an occasional attender.

I made the move to Anglicanism when I was at university. The chaplaincy was so welcoming and homely and as I found out more and more of how the Catholic church had behaved to my birth mother I felt more at home with the Anglican tradition. Whilst I was at university my dad died and the chaplaincy helped me a lot.

When I finished university I moved back to London and lived in Battersea with my soon to be husband Chris. I started attending St Mary’s whilst looking for a church to get married in. I was married at St Mary’s in 1989 by John Clarke. I was 22. I loved the name Apostolides and its connotations!

I love St. Mary’s. I feel it is where I can be myself – however that is. I learn so much about love, God, Jesus and myself all the time. I thank God for it.