Tweeting vicar shares the love: Hackney Wick’s #everhopeful Rev Sue Makin on reaching out on social media

PUBLISHED: 17:47 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:47 25 July 2017

Rev Sue Makin with Rev Canon John Oates, founder of the 59 Club, at the 125th anniversary of St Mary of Eton

Rev Sue Makin with Rev Canon John Oates, founder of the 59 Club, at the 125th anniversary of St Mary of Eton

sue makin

It’s just as likely that you know Rev Sue Makin from social media as from St Mary of Eton in Hackney Wick. She tells Emma Bartholomew how the church can be an ‘unshockable’ listening ear

Using angel, devil and prayer hand emojis, and hashtags like #everhopeful and #nevergiveup, Sue Makin is trying to inspire a new generation.

Sue isn’t some lifestyle blogger or famous-for-five-minutes Instagram star. She’s a vicar, who hopes the funny tweets and Facebook posts will encourage people in to her church. That, and the freshly baked lemon drizzle cake.

“Boring tweets aren’t the answer – no one will read them,” she said. “I’m just trying to connect with people where they are, and helping people realise we are there.”

She became incumbent of St Mary of Eton in Eastway, Hackney Wick, three months ago – just in time to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

“It’s important people realise we could be quite helpful at various points of their lives,” she said. “But I think they don’t come in sometimes because of the image that’s given, or they think they are going to be judged.”

She added: “We aren’t necessarily like the public or the media portray us – sometimes it’s a bit stereotyped, in a Vicar of Dibley kind of way, which falls short of the actual reality. If you’re looking for a good image, watch Broken – it’s excellently realistic.”

So in what way could the church come in useful?

“We are a listening ear, and we can be quite unshockable,” she vowed. “Most priests have heard most things once or twice in their ministry – holding confidences is something we do.

“Sometimes we advocate for people and always we pray for people. There’s a lot going on. It’s a holistic kind of approach.”

Rev Makin has been part of the church community since she left her job as a teacher in Woking 29 years ago. Initially she joined the Society of St Margaret religious community, becoming a parish sister at St Anne’s, Hoxton.

“I felt called, and I just answered that calling,” she said.

In 2013 she became a deacon, and the next year a priest.

Initially reluctant to take part in this interview, she explained: “It’s not about me – it’s about God. I don’t particularly like being in the spotlight. It’s not my style.”

Links are being renewed with Eton College, which founded her church, and a “mission barge” moored at the Olympic Park nearby is the result of a collaboration with St Paul and St Mark at Old Ford to make up for the fact there is no worship space there.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories


Clapton assistant manager Wayne Seal is looking forward to facing his former club Ilford this weekend.

It is a huge relief that the seven-year-old boy hit by a car outside St John the Baptist Primary School wasn’t more badly hurt.

Hackney Council has unveiled what are thought to be the UK’s first public speed monitors for cyclists in an attempt to slow them down in London Fields.


A rapist who preyed on two lone women making their way home after a night out in Leicester Square has today been locked up for 10 years.

The fate of Haggerston Baths will be decided on Monday after a consultation found most people would rather see it turned into shops than a hotel.


A documentary maker and design apprentice at the town hall says he wants to be a role model for young black men in Hackney.

The 36-year-old is hoping the team can build on their last two results, but knows Macauley Bonne will be a big miss at Plainmoor


England’s women saw their Hockey World League Final gold-medal hopes shattered by a late New Zealand winner in their semi-final on Friday.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists