Our Vicar,Chris Nelson 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, he is 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. 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 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.
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I came to Penwortham in April 1974 with my wife and we have remained in Penwortham ever since. Since our arrival, we have been regular church attenders at St Mary’s
with both our children being baptized as babies in 1976 and 1977. Both have subsequently flown the nest.
I have been on the PCC since the 1980’s and a churchwarden since 1997. I am a Foundation Governor at both of our Church Primary Schools in the Parish namely Cop Lane and Howick – the latter being the Chair of Governors for some 10 years. My wife Maureen has been actively involved in our Young People's Mnistry for over 30 years.
Mr John Kay
John is a litigation solicitor, practicing in Burnley. As well as his newly acquired duties as churchwarden at St Mary’s, he has been a member of the PCC for many years and is a Foundation Governor at Howick Church of England Primary School. He is also a trustee/ director of Integrate (Preston & Chorley) Ltd, a local charity assisting adults with learning difficulties achieve the best possible quality of life living in the community. He is married to Patricia & they have a son Iain. John is a keen follower of many sports, but particularly football & cricket. He is a lifelong supporter of Preston North End and thus a born again (and again and again…!!!) optimist”