I moved to the North East in 1989 as a director of a well-known North East business, Berghaus. My three children although not born in the area spent their formative years here and two of them still live in the area along with my four grandchildren. I became part of the St. Agnes church community seven years ago, moving to the area to care for my elderly father who sadly passed away in 2014. I have now retired from ‘paid’ work, however I am involved in volunteer activities with the Church – as ‘banker’ counting and paying in the collections, National Trust – as a bus driver, English Heritage – cataloguing Roman artefacts in Corbridge, and as Chair of Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureaux. All of this along with my hobby of making 4 and 7 mm scale railway models. I offer my time, talents and experience to the PPC seeking to help others.
Parish Pastoral Council
Lindsay Burkinshaw (OLL)
I have been part of Our Lady of Lourdes’ parish all of my life (give or take a few years in London, Chester and Australia!). I am a mother of 3, Imogen (8), Isaac (6) and Alex (3) who attend St Joseph’s RC Primary, Highfield, where I am also a Foundation Governor. I have been part of the parish council for a number of years and the Forward Together in Hope team and I try to get involved in all aspects of parish life including reading at Sunday Mass. I work full team as Team Leader/Teacher for the Behaviour Intervention Team within Durham County Council. I love my job but I love the school holidays more!! I love the community spirit within the parishes and hope that we continue to grow through the new parish partnerships.
Tot Charlton (St Agnes')
I have lived in Ryton for over 30 years and our three sons all attended St Agnes’ Primary School where I was a governor for 3 years, now followed by son Fred Wyrley-Birch. I am a reader at St Agnes. I work as a part time book keeper and volunteer for Holy Cross Ryton and the Order of Malta. I have raised funds for various charities, teach bridge occasionally and love to knit.
Bob Goldie (St Joseph's)
I have been a member of St. Joseph’s parish for over 10 years. I’m married to Rose, the secretariat for all three parishes, and have two grown-up children. In 2015 our daughter, Suzanne was married at Our Lady of Lourdes, Chopwell. I am the chairperson for the combined finance group, as well as the gift aid representative for St. Joseph’s. Over our adult lives both Rose and I have been active in the church, involved in parish councils, children’s first Holy Communion programmes, as catechists and special ministers. I retired a few years ago, following 30 years working in finance, which certainly helps in running the finance group !
Lesley Gregory (St Joseph's)
Bev Hallam (OLL)
I moved into Chopwell from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire in June 2015 on my retirement from secondary school leadership in challenging schools in Bradford and Leeds. We wanted to be closer to family and were soon welcomed into the warm community of Our Lady of Lourdes. I’m a Special Minister of Communion, a Lay Leader of Liturgy and represent OLL on the Partnership Development Group. I’m a member of an Anglo Saxon group and also volunteer for the National Trust at Cherryburn. Being an oblate of the Benedictine Stanbrook Abbey in North Yorkshire is a major part of my spiritual life and commitment.
Margaret Jackson (OLL)
I have been part of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Chopwell for more than 20 years, where I feel that my faith flourishes in the warm and friendly atmosphere of this community. I have been on the Parish Council for 2 years and I am a member of the Forward Together in Hope facilitating group. I I feel privileged to be a Reader and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion within the parish. As I very much value the community spirit which is alive between the 3 parishes I support and enjoy joint social and fund raising events. Also, I usually join a choir which is formed from members of the three parishes to help to lead the singing at the Easter Vigil. I live in Rowlands Gill with my husband John and I work part time as a Special Needs Teacher at St Joseph's Catholic Junior School, Birtley.
Susan Kirkland (St Joseph's)
I've been a parishioner for approximately 35 years, and from time to time, have assisted with fund raising events. I did help in the parish school one day a week when my daughter, Louise attended there. As a big believer in community, I've always supported and help in organising social events. Being on the PPC has been of interest and given me an insight to things which, as a parishioner, take for granted, the things that 'get done'!! When my grandson was at St. Joseph's school, I quite often again, helped where I could in any fund raising events. This is made easier now that I have retired.
Geoff Laidler (St Agnes')
I grew up in St Joseph's Highfield Parish, but am now a member of St Agnes' Parish. I am married to Adrienne and have two sons, Patrick (10) and Cameron (7). I have been involved in active ministry since the age of 11, when I started to play the organ at St Joseph's. I still play the organ at St Agnes' and am a member of our music group. I am the webmaster for this website and also have the honour to be Headteacher at St Agnes' Primary School. I currently represent the primary schools of the Ovingham Partnership on our new Parish Partnership Development Group.
Mike Nott (St Agnes')
Fr John James and Deacon Derek Gallagher.