Who's Who

 

 Rev'd John Harries

John became the vicar of our Benefice on 11th May 2015 at an Induction Service taken by Bishop Libby Lane.

 

John was born and raised in SE London and after leaving school went to Bristol University to study Chemical Physics.  After his degree he obtained a Ph.D. in ‘Crystal related arthropathies’, ie gout, osteoarthritis etc. in conjunction with the Bristol Royal Infirmary.  He was encouraged to carry out an experiment at a relatively new facility at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.  He became hooked and started post-doctoral work at Manchester Biophysics department and Daresbury investigating bone formation.  Two years later he moved permanently to Daresbury investigating muscle structure and function.  He says that at that stage it was, without doubt, the high point of his scientific career and life. He loved everything about his work and had met and married his wife, Judith.  In the next few years Becky and Millie were born.

But John says that the Lord was working in his heart and gradually directing him away from science towards a ministry within the church. He cannot say when or even how it began, or how it was that he could be so fulfilled in the work he was doing and yet walk away from it to undertake something for which he felt totally inadequate and unprepared.  Yet by God’s grace that is exactly what he did.  He handed in his notice at work and moved to Wycliffe College in Oxford to begin training for ordained ministry in the C of E.  He was then 35. Whilst in Oxford, his third daughter Abi was born.

He began his first curacy at St. George’s, Hyde and four years later, on completion of his curacy, moved to St John’s Church, Higher Walton, Warrington to take up the post of Priest-in-charge.  He feels God must have a sense of humour returning him to a parish not 2 miles from the laboratory where he had been working before being.  He was at St John for nearly 15 years.

 

On seeing the vacancy for our Benefice, John felt he was being called to serve God here and became the vicar of our Benefice on 11th May 2015 at an Induction Service taken by Bishop Libby Lane.


John has also been the part-time chaplain at St Thomas Boteler C of E High School.  He has also recently published a book entitled Beyond Suffering: Encountering Christ in the Book of Job.

   
 Steph Morris

Steph will be our new curate starting on 1st July 2019.

I live in Congleton with my husband Paul and my two daughters, Becky and Katie.

I have been training for non-stipendiary ministry at all Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry.  Training at All Saints is a bit like training with the Open University; you remain in your home parish and you attend training sessions on weekday evenings and residential weekends.  During the course I have completed a Durham diploma in mission and ministry and during my curacy I hope to convert this into a degree.  The training is parish-based.

A main focus will be to develop the links with the schools at Bosley, Wincle and Sutton.  I have always had a sense that God is calling me to work with our schools, their pupils,staff and governors.  As part of my training, I worked as an Open the Book coordinator and trained with Walk Through the Bible as an OT Mini presenter and I am always interested in finding ways that the church and school can work together and support each other through the good times and the tough times.

One area of ministry which interests me is how the church uses social media to reach out to those who are not able to regularly attend Sunday worship and I hope to explore this further whilst I am with you.

I am member of the Diocesan Environment Forum which works with the Department for Social Responsibility to increase awareness of the environmental issues facing us all, and how churches can make small changes which can make a big difference.  Caring for the environment is something I am very passionate about and as the fifth mark of mission we should all be caring for our planet.  I hope that whilst I am with you we can develop ways to make our parishes and our lives more sustainable for the future.  I think changes to the environment and especially our climate are felt most keenly by those who have the strongest connection to the land.

I am very much looking forward to rural ministry. I am familiar with this area of work, as before starting ministerial training I attended Barthomley church near Crewe and then moved to the parish of St Mary's Asbury with St John's Smallwood.