John Watts, though born in central London, was raised in Croydon and ordained in the parish of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Addiscombe, in 1972.
His first two curacies were at Whitstable and Camberwell.
In 1978, he was appointed to St. John's Seminary, Wonersh where he taught for the next thirteen years, with a two-year secondment to the Pontifical University of Maynooth to study Moral Theology.
In 1991 he was appointed Parish Priest to Holy Innocents’, Orpington.
The following year he became the Director of the Permanent Diaconate Programme for the Diocese.
This is a post he held until June 2004.
In November 2004 Archbishop MacDonald appointed him Dean of the Bromley Deanery.
He also served on the Chapter of Canons, as Canon Penitentiary; he was the Chairman of the Council of Priests and an Advocate of the Southwark Tribunal.
John Watts was Parish Priest at Holy Innocents’ from 1991 to 2008.