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Rev Paul Nicolson who fought poverty and supported workers' rights dies at 87

by Cara Bentley

A north London vicar, loved for the support he gave his community through campaigning and helping those in poverty, has died at the age of 87. 

Rev Nicolson was a well-known Tottenham resident who founded the Zaccheas Trust, a Christian organisation that prevents homelessness and helps people with benefit appeals. He also started Taxpayers Against Poverty. 

Tottenham MP David Lammy tweeted: "Very sad to hear Rev Paul Nicholson has died. A kind compassionate and principled man and true Tottenham stalwart. What a service he did in the fight for social justice and equality."



Nicolson was a keen trade union supporter and fellow member of the Haringey Unite community, Phil Rose, paid tribute to him on Facebook, saying: "The reason that the Reverend Paul was so well known in Tottenham was because of his tireless work and activism on behalf of the poor and vulnerable both in his local community and in London as a whole. Reverend Paul (as he was known) relentlessly took on a role of speaking for those without a voice, reminding us of those forgotten and making sure we knew about those ignored in our society. His passing leaves a massive gap in the advocacy for the rights of the most vulnerable in our society and we shall have to step up to replace this loss."

Rev Nicolson was ordained in to the Church of England in 1967 and in 1982 approved the filming of TV comedy Vicar of Dibley in his parish at the time near High Wycombe. 

He supported the 'Ferrybridge Six' who were dismissed from a closed shop for joining the wrong union in 1976 at Ferry Bridge Power Station and in 1979 he was elected as an independent District Councillor in the North Herts District Council. 

He commissioned research into the minimum wage which was used by UNISON and London Citizens to persuade Ken Livingstone, the then Mayor of London, to introduce the London Living Wage.

He can be seen here protesting with mothers for the living wage and against high rent costs.


His wife died over 20 years ago and he has five children and 12 grandchildren. 


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