Parish Council Members


Father Jim

I was born in Wigan in 1947 and I went to Junior Seminary (Thistleton Lodge & Underley Hall) at the tender age of eleven years old. On finishing my “O” and “A” levels I was sent to Upholland College to study for the priesthood. On the 28th May 1972, I was ordained to the priesthood at St Cuthbert’s, Blackpool by Bishop Foley. My first appointment as curate was St Benedict’s, Mirehouse, Whitehaven and I was there for four years. From there I was moved to St Augustine’s Preston and there I served for two years before I moved to the Forces.

September 1978 I joined the Royal Navy as a chaplain and did my initial two months acclimatisation at the Royal College of Dartmouth. Over the following twelve years, I served the RN and the Royal Marines at sea and at various places such as Portsmouth, Plymouth, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, the Arctic, The Far and the Middle East, and Scotland. While I was stationed in HMS Faslane I met up with the Neo-Catechumenate in Glasgow and this “Way of Conversion” has slowly transformed me and saved my priesthood. In September 1990 I was released from the Forces early so that I could go as an itinerant priest to serve with the Neo-Catechumenate in the USA; and over that year I worked with a couple, and their family, in New Orleans, New York, Washington DC and Boston.

On my return to the Diocese, I served as an assistant priest for a year in Blessed Sacrament, Preston, and then for twelve years at St Patrick’s Barrow Island, Barrow in Furness. I have been here at St Bede’s for over thirteen years and I arrived here in July 2004. Since being here I have been appointed chaplain to the Cumberland Infirmary. Recently (July 2017) the two parishes of St Bede’s and St Edmund’s have been merged into a new parish of “The Cumbrian Martyrs’.


Mr. Chris Sawyers

Born in Carlisle, attended St Bede’s primary school, and Newman School secondary. I am a director of a local family building firm, which I have been involved in since leaving education. I have 2 children-Amelia and Luke, my interests include motor cars, rugby & spending as much of my free time as possible with my family. I have a strong belief in my faith in God, which I believe will allow me to overcome any ‘Life’ obstacles that may be thrown in front of me.


Deacon Frank Bell

Born in Carlisle and educated at Carlisle Grammar School and Bede College Durham. Served in the RAF in Malaya (mentioned in Despatches!) married Jean in 1958 – we have six children, fourteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren (two of our grandchildren are adopted from China). I was a teacher for twenty-eight years including two years in Australia and took early retirement to train for the Deaconate, I was ordained Deacon in 1994. Since then I have served in St Augustines and Warwick Bridge before coming to St Edmund’s thirteen years ago. My lifelong hobby is football. I am a qualified referee and have completed a FA coaching course, I played five-a-side until I was 73yrs old and have supported Carlisle United for 74 years.


David Armstrong

I have lived in Carlisle all my life I attended Saint Bede’s and Newman schools. I have had various jobs including store work van driver also a carer in a care home which was a good experience for me. I have three children also five granddaughters which I’m close to and proud of them all. I like various types of music and a big interest in my beloved Manchester United. St Bede’s has always been my local church. However, I only came back to church through the Neo-Catechumen way nine years ago which has been very important to me in my journey to faith.


Christine Jones

I was born in Carlisle and attended St Bede’s and Newman schools in the city. On leaving Newman my choice of career took me to Salford to train as a nurse. After several years living and working in Manchester, I returned to Carlisle and have lived here since. I have worked within the nursing profession all my working life. Family and friends keep me busy but when time allows I enjoy walking in the Lake District and elsewhere.


Mr.Ged Feeney

Born into a large and happy family in Fleetwood. After college and university in Liverpool, I took up a teaching post in Carlisle and taught mathematics for 28 years locally. Spent 8 years as a software consultant for a national company before retiring. I am married with two grown-up children and managed to fit in 30 years active service in mountain rescue.


Mr.John Joseph Rumney

I was born in Annan and went to St Columbus RC Primary school and then St Joseph’s College in Dumfries. I started work at Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station in Annan where I qualified as an accountant. After coming to live in Carlisle in 1974 I held various accountancy positions in Carlisle until I retired in 2002. My wife Grace and I have a son and daughter, two grandsons and a granddaughter. My hobby is outdoor bowling and a member of the indoor bowling club. My time spent in Cumbrian Martyrs Parish is very important to me.


Mr. Kevin Hilton

After Pat and I retired, we moved into St Bede’s parish. Fr Jim approached me and asked me to join St Bede’s parish council, knowing that I had spent a lifetime in construction management, to look after the church buildings, along with becoming the parishes Health and Safety Representative, this was to enable Fr Jim to comply with a 'new must do directive’ from The diocese, that all parishes had to now proactively fully comply with all current Health and Safety regulations. In addition to this work, I am the parishes 'Dementia Enabler’ charged with progressing the 'Churches Together in Cumbria’ initiative to make our Churches Dementia friendly.


Mandy Howes

I was born in Carlisle and attended Brook Street Primary school then St Aidan’s High school. Once leaving school I completed my General Nurse Training and worked as a qualified nurse on the Elderly Care Wards at the Cumberland Infirmary for four years. I moved to Newcastle in 1986, completed my Sick Children’s Nurse Diploma and worked at the Newcastle General Hospital for ten years specializing in Children’s Cancer.

I moved back to Carlisle in 1996 and completed my Public Health Nurse Degree and Teacher training for Further education and have worked as both a public health nurse and teacher for nurses over the last twenty years. I have had the opportunity to compare practice in nursing with other countries and have visited New Zealand, Sweden, Holland, and Russia which I found very interesting.

I have a Daughter Emily aged 23 years old who lives in Sheffield and has just achieved her Masters of Art in filmmaking and I am very proud of her. I have two cats and I like going to pop concerts and live music events and like traveling.

I converted to the Catholic faith fifteen years ago which is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I joined the Neo catechumen way four years ago and this changed my life completely. My faith is very important to me and I feel blessed for the life I have.

I have recently taken semi-retirement and working part-time as a Public health nurse and I am a governor at Brook Street School and recently joined the Samaritans as a volunteer.


Barry Johnston

Born on the 28th May 1947 and Baptised as Michael Barry Johnston on 1st June 1947. Attended St Bedes School Carlisle, followed by St Patrick’s School Carlisle, left school to be an apprentice electrician, spent most of my working life at the Nestle Dalston factory, until I took early retirement at the age of 55. I have lived in the St Bedes Parish all my life.


Neil Boothman

I was born in Carlisle but grew up in Wigton attending St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary School which gave me a valued early grounding in the faith although I’m actually a convert to Catholicism joining the church in 2008 at Our Lady’s and St. Joseph’s with much help from the late Fr. Greg and my wife, Magda.

We have one daughter, Victoria, who you can occasionally spot serving on the altar here at St. Bede’s.

Occupation wise, I’ve worked in various fields and spent a little time overseas but for the past eight years I’ve worked in eCommerce for a local sporting goods company.


Janice Jackson

I was born in Carlisle in 1954 and attended St. Bedes school followed by St. Gabriel’s Convent School. I then went on to Newman School when the two schools were amalgamated.

Having obtained my A.L.C.M in music at the age of 16 I then went on to study music and finally teach part time. I started working as. Distribution Manager for Bentham Press In 1982 and went on to run my own distribution company. I was then appointed Direct Marketing Manager by Cumbrian Newspapers where I worked for 25 years before having to retire 4 years ago due to ill health. 

I then decided to increase my singing and piano teaching and now have 35 students. I enjoy this immensely and only wish I had done it earlier. I was also a member of Carlisle Musical Society for almost 50 years and played many leading roles. I became Musical Director in 1979 and decided to relinquish this role last year.

I have been organist at St. Bedes Church for 50 years. The original organist, Peter Evans, died on Christmas Eve 1969 and I was the only person in the choir who could play the piano which is a far cry from the organ. I had to try and play all the carols that night and practised each one during mass with the sound off so I could make sure it was going to be ok when I played it live!

I was extremely honoured to receive the Benemerenti medal a couple of years ago and can honestly say this was one of the best moments of my life. I hope, with Gods help, to be able to continue to play the organ at St. Bedes for many years to come.


Mr. Allen Langford

I was born in Carlisle and was part of St Edmund’s parish for many years serving on the altar for much of it. I went to St Bede’s primary school and then onto Newman School, from where I studied business at Carlisle college and then after a bit of studying abroad I went onto the University of Northumbria, again studying business.

Having worked in sales and retail management most of my career, I took the plunge a couple of years ago and now run my own company. Having 3 children – Allan, Logan, and Paisley – (who keep my wife Becky and I very busy!) means that family time is very precious to me.

My faith has been renewed and strengthened since Fr Jim introduced me to the Neocatechumenal Way, and slowly over the last couple of years, there has been the beginnings of my path to conversion.


Mr. Tom Kelly

I am Tom Kelly, 78 years old; married to Barbara for nearly 49 years. We have two grown-up children, Stephen and Judith and two grandsons, Alessandro and Marcus. My hobbies are gardening, reading, and computing. I try to keep myself fit by going to the gym, swimming, cycling and walking, and enjoying life generally, which I put down to my faith in God and my Catholic upbringing.

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