The Parish Team

Fr. Neil Kelley – Rector

Fr. Neil has been Rector of St Laurence’s since October 2017 having moved from the Parish of Bushey (Herts). Before Bushey, Fr Neil served the Liverpool Diocese for fifteen years as a Parish Priest, Diocesan Advisor on Liturgy & Worship and member of the Diocesan Church Growth Team.

Fr. Neil is passionate about people engaging with Christ through inclusive worship and daily discipleship. When he’s off duty, he can be found playing the piano (his professional hobby), enjoying time with friends, and walking his black Labrador, Poppy.

Fr. Neil is Area Dean of Chorley and Chaplain to the Mayor of Chorley.

01257 266037 / 07980 872203     


Joan Hayward – Licensed Lay Minister

Joan is a Licensed Lay Minister (formerly known as Reader) at St Laurence’s Chorley. Readers are people called by God, trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work; in plain speaking to be useful in sharing the message of Jesus and work of the church with everybody.

Joan is the Operations Manager for our Taste Cafe, spends time with family and enjoys various ways of relaxing.

07500 776195                            

Phil Hall – Authorised Lay Minister

Phil Hall has been a member of St. Laurence Church for over 30 years having previously been heavily involved in his church in Bolton. Phil served a total of seven years as churchwarden and is currently part of the pastoral visiting team.

Phil has three children and eight grandchildren, ages ranging from 22 years old down to the youngest at nine months old. Other than family, Phil is passionate about football and cricket and is a season ticket holder with Chorley Football Club and a member of Chorley Cricket Club. Phil also enjoys brewing his own wine and cider.

01257 415602

Tony Checker – Authorised Lay Minister

Tony was a commercial electrician and is now an area sales engineer, based in Liverpool. Tony first came to St. Laurence’s in 2011 and in his time here has been a bellringer, Alpha Course leader, PCC member, Altar server, and Eucharistic Minister. Earlier this year Tony became training as an ALM

Tony has two two adult children and in his spare time enjoys woodworking, chess, guitars (music with loud guitars), curry & beer.

01257 231360                                        

Ruth Fowler – Parish Administrator

Ruth loves working with people and has a background working in administrative roles within the primary care and health and social care setting. She has previously worked for four years as an office manager for a GP surgery and for two years as a clinical administrator at Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Things that make Ruth happy include; a good cup of Yorkshire Tea (other brands are available ?), Grey’s Anatomy, music and theatre, family and friends, singing, board-games and cheese!

Ruth lives with her husband Tom and their baby girl Lydia who is almost one and Bella- the mischievous collie x spaniel.

01257 231360                          

Nicola Pilkington – Safeguarding Officer

Nicola has worked in education for over thirteen years and is due to start her first headship in Penwortham in January. Throughout her teaching career, Nicola has worked at four church schools and been the safeguarding lead for the past eight years. It has always been a passion of Nicola’s to share examples from the Bible with her pupils and discuss how Jesus, as our ultimate role model, can help help pupils make good choices.

Nicola lives with her husband Andy and her beautiful, two year old daughter Beatrice, who keeps them both very busy with her ‘good ideas’.

07736 312859                                   

Alan Winstanley – Director of Music

Alan first began learning the organ at Wigan Parish Church with David Cutter and while in the sixth form at the Deanery High School he was a member of the British Youth Choir. He furthered his studies at London College of Music with Gordon Phillips. He was appointed organist at St Peter’s Notting Hill Gate and after graduating undertook a PGCE at King Alfred’s College, Winchester.  In September 1982 he took up his first teaching post at UpHolland High School. In August of that year Alan was appointed Organist at St. Laurence’s. In 1986 he became Head of Music at Ormskirk Grammar School and in 1996 was promoted to be in charge of the Arts Faculty. The school merged in 2001 with Cross Hall High School to form Ormskirk School.

After 28 years at the school Alan took early retirement in July 2014.  Alan was Conductor of the St Nicholas Singers and for the last thirteen years has been Conductor of the Chorley Choral Society. Alan is a senior examiner for AQA Examination Board for A level music.

01257 241995                                         

Rachel Gilkes  CAP Debt Centre Manager

and Kitchen Manager

Rachel Gilkes joined St Laurence’s in May 2022 as the ‘Christians Against Poverty’ (CAP) Debt Centre Manager, and also as Kitchen Manager. Rachel’s career has been within the social enterprise and charity sector, and most recently has been providing training & education in hospitality for people with multiple and complex needs, such as mental health issues, homelessness, offending and substance misuse. 

Rachel is on the PCC at St George’s Church, Chorley and sings in the choir. In her spare time she is learning the cornet with Chorley Silver Band, along with her three sons who play cornet, tenor horn and drums! 

07541 077716


Justin Stretch – Digital Content Manager

Justin was appointed as Digital Content Manager in the Summer of 2020. He is passionate about worship and creating online content that brings glory to God. 

As well as being Digital Content Manager, Justin also sings and plays keyboard for the Worship Band.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing and recording worship songs, stroking his cat, blubell, flying his drone and cooking.

07566 218703                                        

Wardens Team

Bernard Oakley and Darren Nicholson (Churchwardens)

Michelle Wareham and Elle Greenough (Deputy Churchwardens)

Rob Kelly and David Thistlethwaite (Emeritus Wardens)

all the wardens can be contacted through the Parish Office, 01257 231360

Assisting Clergy

Canon Ken Barrett and The Rev. Martin Wray

Fr. Ken and Rev. Martin can be contacted through the Parish Office, 01257 231360

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