Fr. Chris Matthews
When I was ordained deacon in 2006 my Gran asked me what she should call me now? I replied that Chris was fine, however my Gran continued to call me ‘our Christopher’, the only one who ever did unless I was in trouble! I was born in Victoria Central Hospital in Mill Lane, Wallasey on the 18th of March 1978. I am the eldest of two sons born to Margaret and Peter Matthews. My younger brother is David.
I started my ‘working’ life with the Diocese almost twenty years ago as part of the re-launched Diocesan Youth Service based at Saint Joseph’s Youth Centre, so I have come almost full circle. As well as my time with the Youth Service I also worked for the Catholic Children’s Society, firstly at 111 Shrewsbury Road and then at Saint Paul’s on the Beechwood.
In October 2001 I went to Saint Cuthbert’s Seminary, Ushaw College, in Durham to begin training for the priesthood and I was ordained, by Bishop Brian Noble, on the 26 May 2007 in Saint Alban’s Church in Liscard where I had been baptised and made my First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. (I was Confirmed in Saint Joseph’s in Seacombe).
After ordination I was appointed to The Cathedral in Shrewsbury for two years, but stayed for seven! During my time at the Cathedral I was also appointed Diocesan Master of Liturgical Ceremonies and MC to the Bishop - a role I still fulfil today. In September 2014 I was appointed Parish Priest of The Sacred Heart & Saint Peter’s in Baguley and a member of the Team Ministry that cares for the Church in Wythenshawe. At the beginning of Lent this year I also became Parish priest for the neighbouring combined parishes of Saints Hilda & Aidan.
Alongside my parish responsibilities I also take the lead on youth ministry in the Diocese, support those catechists working with RCIA candidates and dabble in the area of the Heritage, Art and Architecture Committee!
Apart from the Lord Jesus, my two great passions are Star Wars and theatre, oh and the odd G&T!!! I am not a sports fan at all; that said my only experience of watching a live professional football match was at Tranmere Rovers!! My Dad and brother are reds!
I have enjoyed my time in all my previous parishes and been very happy, but being a proud Wirralian I am delighted to be back ‘home’ and look forward to getting to know the parishes of Saint Joseph and Saint Michael & All Angels.
Rev. Gerard Boyle
Hello, I'm Gerard Boyle and I am married to Margaret. We have three teenage sons, Andrew, Peter and Jonathan I was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Brian Noble on 2nd July 2002 in Shrewsbury Cathedral. Prior to my ordination I worked as a Sales Manager for a multi-national company in Bromborough. I am working as full-time Chaplain at St John Plessington Catholic College in Bebington. My role as Chaplain and working here in the parish is very rewarding and I hope it enables me to fulfill the commitment I made at ordination. "Receive the book of the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.''
Fr. Lonappan Arangassery
Fr Lonappan Arangassery, the present Chaplain to the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the diocese of Shrewsbury, was born on1 July 1955 at Ponnore, in Trichur in central Kerala as the eighth of nine children of Mr Lonakutty Arangassery and Rosa Neelamkavil. He has written nine books related to Liturgy, Sacraments, Oriental Churches, and Church History and more than 50 scholarly articles in various international theological journals. He was the Managing editor of the mission Quarterly Santhome Mission from its beginning in 1993 to 1998; Managing Editor of Ephrem’s Theological Journal from 2000- 2004 and 2008-2011; Editor of the liturgy section of the theological journal Christian Orient from 1990
to 2001. He has presented papers on liturgy in the international conferences of Societas Liturgica at Santa Clara University, California and Eindhoven, Holland and has given a series of lectures on Oriental Theology and Eastern Liturgy in the Jesuit Theological seminary in Albania. He has also served as Director of Social Work in the diocese of Kalyan from 1991 to 1993 President of Marthoma Yogam, Rome from 2005-2006. He is member of the Central Liturgical Committee of the Syro-Malabar Church since 1993. Apart from the official appointments, he was instrumental in organising the Syro-Malabar Communities in Surat and Silvasa in the North-West of India. Now he is with us as he is appointed Chaplain of Syro-Malabar Catholics in the diocese
of Shrewsbury by the decree of Bishop Mark Davies dated 8 December 2014.
Rev. Leslie Arch
My name is Les Arch and I was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Brian Noble on 7th July 2007 in Shrewsbury Cathedral. I am married to Mary and we have three grown up children, David, Philip and Helen. I have been involved in St. Joseph's parish life for some twenty years, and it was Fr. Terry Boylan who suggested to me that I might consider becoming a deacon. Since 2012 I have been the hospital chaplain for Wirral (Clatterbridge and Arrowe Park).
Sr. Catherine Bibby FCJ
I am a sister of the Society of the Faithful Companions of Jesus. I spent many happy years teaching in Leeds, Brussels, Middlesbrough and Jersey, Channel Islands before coming to the Wirral in 1981 to teach at Upton, where I taught Maths and R.E. and later became School Chaplain. After retiring from school in 2008 I joined the team here at St. Josephs, as well as being on the Chaplaincy team at St. John's Hospice and feels privileged to be in both these ministries.