There are four areas of leadership within Christ Church Thornton:

  • Church Leader – Leading the worship, ministry, mission and pastoral care of the Church
  • Church Management Team – Managing the day to day functioning of staff, activities and buildings
  • Church Leadership (Standing) Team – Delivering the strategic and financial decisions to achieve the overall vision
  • Parochial Church Council (Trustees) Team – Providing vision, financial oversight and meeting legal and financial obligations

Church Leader

The Church Leader (aka vicar/minister/pastor/incumbent) is Rev’d Damian Platt. He holds the overall responsibility for the leadership, pastoral care and teaching of Christ Church.

Damian is part of the Church Management Team, Church Leadership Team, Church Ministry Team, Church Pastoral Team and the Parochial Church Council. Damian lives and works on the campus of Christ Church at the Vicarage, which is situated at the rear of the Church building and the Hall building.

Damian came to Christ Church in October 2015. He is married to Lauren, and together they have two children, Harry and Ruby. Damian was ordained as Deacon in 2012 and as Priest in 2013. Before coming to serve as Vicar of Christ Church Thornton, Damian served his Curacy at Bispham at All Hallows, from 2012 to 2015. Before that he trained at Oak Hill Theological College in North London, from 2009 to 2012. Before that Damian was the Youth Pastor at St. Thomas’ Church Blackpool, from 2000 to 2009. Before that Damian was young!

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Church Management Team

The Church Management Team see to the day-to-day care of the buildings, fabric, administration and functions of Christ Church.

  • Martin Ormond (Parish Manager)
  • Judith Murphy (Churchwarden)
  • John Hearnshaw (Churchwarden)
  • Damian Platt (Vicar)

Church Leadership Team

The Church Leadership Team deliver the strategic and financial decisions to achieve the overall vision.

  • Damian Platt (Vicar)
  • Judith Murphy (Churchwarden)
  • John Hearnshaw (Churchwarden)
  • Sally Johnson (PCC Secretary)
  • Angie Walsh (Treasurer)
  • Malcolm Beard

Parochial Church Council

The Church Leader, Church Management Team and Church Leadership Team, consult together with the Parochial Church Council on matters of general concern and importance to the parish. The first function of the Parochial Church Council (often known as the ‘PCC’) is co-operation with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. The PCC at Christ Church focus on the ‘big picture’ of the life and direction of the Church, prayerfully seeking God’s strategic direction in all matters. A summary of the duties, functions and responsibilities of PCCs can be accessed here.

PCCs are governed by two legislative Measures:

Here is a list of the current members of the Parochial Church Council:

Ex-officio

  • Damian Platt* (Vicar / Chairman)
  • Judith Murphy* (Churchwarden / Vice-Chair)
  • John Hearnshaw* (Churchwarden)

Deanery Synod (3 places due to Electoral Roll being between 101 and 200)

  • Ann Hearnshaw (term ending APCM 2020)
  • Sally Johnson* (term ending APCM 2020)
  • Vacancy (term ending APCM 2020)

Elected Parochial Representatives of the Laity (12 places due to Electoral Roll being between 100 and 199)

  • Emily Hilton (term ending APCM 2020)
  • Robert Wareing (term ending APCM 2021)
  • Elizabeth Young (term ending APCM 2021)
  • Carol Hull (term ending APCM 2021)
  • Malcolm Beard* (term ending 2022)
  • Lilian Abbott (term ending APCM 2022)
  • David Taylor (term ending APCM 2022)
  • Angie Walsh* (term ending APCM 2022)

We currently have one vacancy for a two-year term and three vacancies for a one-year term.

Co-opted (up to 2)

  • Donna Jerome (term ending APCM 2020)

*Denotes members of the Standing Committee

You are welcome to contact any of the above members of the Parochial Church Council.

In addition, there are many Church Officers carrying out important ecclesiastical, legal and financial duties.

  • Churchwarden – Judith Murphy
  • Churchwarden – John Hearnshaw
  • PCC Officer (Secretary) – Sally Johnson
  • Finance Officer (Treasurer) – Angie Walsh
  • Electoral Roll Officer – Denise Taylor
  • Vision Champion Officer – Emily Hilton
  • Health and Safety Officer – Robert Wareing
  • Parish Safeguarding Officer – Vacant
  • Data Protection Officer – Sally Johnson

Serving the church family and parish through worship services, pastoral care, activities, administration, hospitality, finance and maintenance are five teams of people:

Church Operations Team

The Parish of Christ Church is greatly assisted by a dedicated team of paid and voluntary roles. Each day, volunteers give so much of their time and talents to the ministry and mission of the Church. Specific and specialist roles are fulfilled by our committed staff team:

Martin Ormond – Parish Manager (part-time)

Martin is on secondment to assist Christ Church, and specifically, Damian, with the management of the Church Staff Team, strategy, budget, grant applications, payment of Parish Share and the administration and oversight of Faculty applications and major works identified on the Quinquennial. Martin is usually at Christ Church in the morning and early afternoon on a Tuesday and Wednesday and a Friday morning.

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Neil Mackie – Sexton (full time)

Neil is responsible for the upkeep of the Churchyard and grounds of Christ Church. A big part of his role is seeing to the grass cutting and strimming. Neil also assists prepares the burial plots for the internment of ashes. If not in the Churchyard, Neil can be found assisting with the activities in the Community Centre.

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Bob Wooding – Verger/Welcome Assistant (part-time)

‘Banjo Bob’ is helping us try out a new role of ‘Welcomer’ at the activities of the Community Centre. Bob is probably the first person a visitor will meet at the Community Centre Activities taking place in the Hall. Bob’s warm welcome helps visitors feel at ease. Bob continues the welcome throughout the activities, ensuring visitors have a drink and a place to sit. At around 10.00am each morning, Bob brings out his ukulele to lead the singing and action songs at Playhouse baby and toddler group.

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Ellen Robinson – Parish Clerk/Parish Assistant (part time)

Ellen works weekdays, usually from 9am to 2pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 11am on a Friday. You are welcome to see her in person, at the Church Office, which is situated centrally in the corridor between the Church and the Hall. When not in the Office Ellen might be assisting in the Hall or in the Churchyard. You are also welcome to speak to Ellen on the telephone: 01253 855099. Ellen deals with all enquiries to do with baptisms, funerals, weddings, hall bookings, burial plots and general matters.

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Geoff Fairbrother – Organist and Choirmaster (part time)

Geoff has been with Christ Church for almost two decades. Geoff plays the organ at the 10.30am Sung Parish Eucharist and the 6.30pm Choral Evensong, and at other occasional services, special occasions and Festivals. Geoff, assisted by Muriel Chorlton, coordinates the choir practice, meeting on Thursday evenings at 7pm in Church. Geoff rehearses on a Tuesday and Saturday morning in Church – you are welcome to pop in to listen or chat to Geoff.

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Lesley Wooding – Facilities Assistant (part time)

You will see Lesley providing hospitality at Playhouse, the Meadows Coffee Shop and around the Hall, Lounge and other facilities. Lesley helps with catering and hospitality and cleaning. Lesley makes great sandwiches! Come to the Meadows Luncheon Club to experience them.

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Denise Taylor – Finance Assistant (part time)

Denise usually works on a Tuesday morning, settling invoices, recording income and expenditure, reconciling bank statements and anything else linked with bookkeeping.

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Matthew Swarbrick – Churchyard Assistant (Apprentice – part time)

Matthew Swarbrick is undertaking an apprenticeship with Myerscough College. His apprenticeship is in Horticulture. Here at Christ Church, Matthew assists and works alongside the Sexton, Neil, to tend to the Churchyard.

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Church Ministry Team

We have a Church Ministry Team of ordained and lay ministers and assistants worshipping and serving within the Christ Church community:

Reverend Damian Platt (Vicar)

Damian coordinates the ministry of worship, pastoral care and discipleship at Christ Church Thornton.

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Mr Tom Pilkington (Lay Reader)

Tom regularly officiates and preaches at Choral Evensong at 6.30pm on a Sunday evening. Tom also leads worship at two of our extended services at Thornton House. He is part of the Church Pastoral Team, and regularly visits and supports those who are unable to worship at Christ Church due to sickness, bereavement of immobility.

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Mrs Lesley Wooding (Pastoral Assistant)

Lesley offers pastoral support to the housebound who are unable to attend services at Church and those struggling through illness. Lesley often visits parishioners in their home, rest home or hospital. She also takes out home communion on occasions. Lesley also supports those who are new to Church and those exploring the faith, through the Alpha Course, or parenting courses.

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Reverend Paul Clemence (Retired Minister with Permission to Officiate)

For 22 years, Paul was Vicar of Little Thornton St. John until the Easter of 2016. Paul regularly officiates and preaches at worship services, funerals, weddings and christenings. Paul and his wife Mary also lead the ‘Putting Parenting to Bed’ course.

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Reverend Peter Nunn (Retired Minister with Permission to Officiate)

Until recently Peter was Vicar of the Parish of the Risen Lord Preston. Peter regularly officiates and preaches at worship services and funerals. Peter and his wife Jackie lead the Alpha Course.

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Church Pastoral Team

  • Lesley Wooding
  • Tom Pilkington
  • Peter Nunn
  • Margaret Ralph
  • Elizabeth Young
  • Damian Platt (Chair)

Church Finance Team

  • Angie Walsh (Chair)
  • Martin Ormond
  • Denise Taylor

Church Maintenance Team

  • John Hearnshaw (Chair)
  • Martin Ormond
  • Ron Coleman
  • Roy Brown
  • Neil Mackie
  • Ron Jacks
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