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            The Parish Church of St. Mary,

           Penwortham

Rev’d Chris Nelson,  The Vicarage, Cop Lane, 01772 743143


Chris is a Prestonian born and bred. Born in Preston Royal Infirmary (PRI to those who remember), he also can claim to have first seen the light of day a short distance from his beloved Deepdale, home of Preston North End F.C. the club which he has supported all his life and of which, for the last thirteen years, he has been chaplain.

His early working life was spent at British Aerospace before he left Preston to train for the ministry at St John’s College in Nottingham. He went in 1985, with wife Jacqui and baby Matthew in tow, and at the end of three years left for his first curacy in Blackpool, his family having increased by one daughter, Hannah. Son Jonathan was born in Blackpool at the end of 1988 but the family like to keep this fact secret!

His second curacy was spent in East Lancashire, as was his first incumbency, which was spent at St Oswald’s in Knuzden, Blackburn, where he and his family spent nine years, seeing in the third millennium before leaving for Penwortham at the end of 2000.

The time in Penwortham is proving to be busy. For a number of years Chris was Area Dean as well as Vicar of the parish. It was and is a time of huge challenge for the church and he has to deal with some awkward interregnums with shrinking staff numbers and resources. Fortunately he is blessed with a good and able set of people to support him at Penwortham St Mary’s.

His three offspring are no longer children, the eldest has started a teaching career, the youngest is  a journalist and the middle one is working in the insurance industry.

That being said, as with many old churches, there is, about St Mary’s a sense of enduring timelessness, earned by having been a sacred place for nearly a thousand years. Chris feels truly blessed at the privilege of being its Vicar.