Paul has been the vicar of St Faith’s since March 2014.
Paul grew up in Ashby-de-la-Zouch (in Leicestershire), and has lived in Southampton, Bristol, Lancaster and Oxfordshire. Paul studied chemistry at Southampton University, and chemistry and ecology at Bristol University, where his research involved using chemistry to understand what some insects that live in soil eat.
Paul felt God call him into Christian ministry when he was 15, but only left his job as a scientist to train for ministry when he was 34. (You could ask him sometime why it took him so long…!) He was a curate (trainee vicar) in Thame in Oxfordshire, before coming to St Faith’s.
Paul is a big science fiction fan, and has learnt to play the guitar in the last few years, although he doesn’t plan in public yet…. He is married to Becca and they have two boys. The whole family is enjoying living by the sea!
You can contact Paul here.
Rev Dr Mary Kells
Mary was born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone and grew up during the Troubles. She moved to Scotland to study Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Having completed this, she moved to London. Here, she continued with Social Anthropology and did her Ph.D. research in a subject close to her heart, young professional Irish migrants in London. The title of her thesis was, “Ethnicity and Individuality: Irish Migrants in London, 1980s-90s”.
At the same time, Mary embarked on a career in the voluntary sector, in mental health and advocacy, culminating in the role of Director of Kensington & Chelsea Advocacy Alliance, which she helped establish. During this time, she met Alastair, and they married at the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Palmers Green, where Alastair was, by this time, curate. Mary and Alastair now have one son, Aidan. Life married to Alastair has been full of surprises, not least when he joined the Royal Navy as a Chaplain, but Mary has risen to the challenge of being a Navy Wife (the hardest job in the Navy).
Mary first felt a calling to the priesthood when she was at L.S.E. doing her Ph.D., but deferred it to finish the Ph.D., then felt strongly called into mental health, into marriage and motherhood. She even had a stint as a Garden Designer, setting up her own business and then, in 2013, the call returned with some force and she finally gave in. This led to two years study at Ripon College Cuddesdon, 6 months of curacy at St Matthew’s, Bridgemary and St Thomas the Apostle, Elson, before a move to St Faith’s in January 2018.
Bristol born and a Birmingham Conservatoire Graduate, Richard Dewland works as a Freelance musician in Hampshire. An organist, pianist, flautist, singer, conductor and composer his professional engagements are broad and varied; Head of music at Boundary Oak prep school, organ tutor at St. John’s college, Organist and Music Director at St. Faith’s Lee-on-Solent, MD for Lee Choral society, formerly official pianist to the Portsmouth Military Wives’ choir, private tutor, organ recitalist and published composer of Liturgical music. To find out more about Richard’s work in the area, including his monthly “Singers’ Voice Clinic”, please visit www.newliturgicalmusic.co.uk, or find him on Youtube.
Rita was born in Altrincham, Chesire but was brought up in North Staffordshire. In 1972, she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service and, after postings in Chatham, Plymouth, Malta and Portsmouth, she joined HMS Daedalus and fell in love with Lee-on-the-Solent… and the man who would become her husband! Rita left the WRNS in 1984 to start a family and subsequently had four sons. Whilst the children were pre-school age, she studied with the Open University and did some voluntary work, including supporting naval organisations and charities. Rita’s husband, Andrew, retired from the Royal Navy in 2004, having completed 30 year’s service.
Before retiring at the end of 2014, Rita was a special needs officer for Hampshire Country Council, overseeing the statutory assessment process and provision of support for children with special educational needs. She now helps out with the Rainbow Toddler group and the pre-school group at the Sundays@11 service at St Faith’s.
Although the Christian faith and church were part of Rita’s childhood, it was not until her mid-twenties that she fully committed her life to Christ. The Naval Christian Fellowship (NCF) has been very influential in her Christian journey and the fellowship text remains a key principle in her life: Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3: 5&6).
Cliff was born in Hambledon in 1946 with an elder brother and sister to parents who were committed to the church of St Peter & St Paul. His father served on the PCC for many years, and his mother was an active member of the Mothers’ Union in the village. His grandfather was the churchwarden at St Peter & St Paul for many years. Cliff became involved with the church as a young teenager, becoming a server at the 8 o’clock communion which he continued to do after he married Joan in 1967.
As a teenager at one time he felt a calling to the ministry, but joined the MOD police in 1966 instead, and remained with them until his retirement in 2006. Joan and Cliff moved to lee-on-the-Solent in 1969 and two years later took up sailing. Their son came along in 1970 and a daughter in 1974, both were brought up with sailing, which they both enjoy to this day.
Although Cliff has worshiped at St Faith’s since 1969, he never really got involved with the church here until his retirement in 2006, and in 2012 he became a churchwarden.
Ian has been a Licensed Reader at St Faith’s since March 2007. He’s a ‘baby boomer’, was born in Hitchin and brought up in Letchworth – first Garden City and full of trees! At 11 Ian joined the Covenanters affiliated to the local Baptist church becoming a Christian at 16 by total immersion.
Ian joined the Royal Navy and served 5 years as a health physicist and paramedic on nuclear submarines, including Polaris, during the cold war. For the rest of his naval service he became a radiographer attached to RNH Haslar where he specialised in nuclear medicine.
Ian spent 15 years in the NHS, mostly in Kent where he worked at Medway Maritime Hospital, obtaining his MSc in Nuclear Medicine. In 2000 he was licensed as a Reader to St Margaret’s, Rainham.
Ian is married to Sue; they retired in 2006 and returned to this corner of Hampshire. They have two married sons and 4 delightful grandchildren. Ian loves most sports, but the body only allows him to play golf nowadays. He’s a drummer in the local U3A swing band, a member of Lee Singers and enjoys growing veg on his allotment.
Michael grew up in Folkestone, Kent but in his early teens he moved to Harlow and then onto Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. His first job was with the security printers Thomas De Le Rue. When he was 19 and running the church Youth Club, his vicar suggested that he might consider the ordained ministry and so the seed of his vocation was sown.
Michael studied at the Hostel of the Resurrection in Leeds as well as completing a pre-theological course in Durham. Finally, after three years training at Chichester Theological College he was ordained deacon in September 1969.
Michael had married Jan in 1968, so they went together to his first parish in Leagrave, Luton. Michael was also curate in St Vincent West Indies and in Bishops Stortford before he was made vicar of St Peter’s London Colney in 1980. His wife Jan became his curate before they moved again in 1997 to the parish of Cuffley and Northaw.
Michael retired in 2009 and moved with Jan to Lee-on-the-Solent, where he enjoys walking, bird-watching and cycling along the seashore as well as rediscovering his love of tennis. He plays the clarinet and has also played guitar since he was a teenager.
Michael and Jan have two grown-up sons, Simon and Matthew.
Jan grew up in Bognor Regis and after training at Goldsmith’s College, London, she became a teacher in East Wittering. After her marriage to Michael in 1968she taught part-time in Leagrave until their first son, Simon was born in 1970.
Whilst training to be missionaries at the College of the Ascension, Birmingham, Matthew was born. They spent a short and difficult time in St Vincent, West Indies before moving to Bishop’s Stortford and then to London Colney in Hertfordshire. It was in this parish that Jan felt called to test her vocation to the ministry and she was one of the first women to be ordained priest in 1994. During that time Jan was also teaching Religious Studies at St Alban’s High School for Girls and then was part of the chaplaincy team at MIddlesex University.
When she and Michael moved to Cuffley, Jan spent two years working for Christian Action, Research and Education before teaching Religious Studies again at Queenswood Boarding School for Girls.
Since moving to Lee-on-the-Solent Jan has enjoyed continuing her Christian ministry in the area as well as taking on some supply teaching, including a few months at Bedales School near Petersfield, teaching A level psychology.
Jan, like Michael, has a love for seaside walks, tennis and cycling as well as kayaking along the local coastline. She has always had a passion for music and drama.
Trevor grew up in Haverfordwest but moved to Portsmouth in 1965 to study for a degree in Zoology. He stayed at what is now Portsmouth University doing research and lecturing in Parasitic diseases until he left to become a Church Minister in 1986. In the meantime he had married Lesley in 1968 and they subsequently had 6 daughters.
All of Trevor’s ministry has been in the Portsmouth Diocese beginning with a training Curacy at St Mary’s Alverstoke from 1986 to 89. There followed periods of ministry in Warsash and then Blendworth with Chalton with Idsworth (where he was also Director of non stipendiary Ministry ). In 2003 he became Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight but sadly his first wife Lesley died shortly after. In 2006 he became Archdeacon of Portsdown and before he retired in 2013 also oversaw the vacant Archdeaconry of the Meon for some 12 months.
Trevor moved to Lee on the Solent on retirement having been married to his second wife Lynne at St Faith’s church in 2008. Lynne had been born and brought up in the area so this was returning home for her.
Trevor is delighted to be able to be able to help the Ministry team at St Faith’s as an Associate Priest and having 6 toddler Grandchildren living locally life is good but very busy.