Parish Pastoral Council


Meet the Team

I’m Steven Parkinson and I grew up in Oldham.  I attended school in Manchester and after University, I worked as a teacher of history and politics at St Aidan’s Church of England High School, in Harrogate. 

I studied for Ordination at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw and at the University of Durham and was ordained in 2000.

I have served in parish ministry, as a University Chaplain and as private secretary to the Bishop of Salford, before moving to Whitefield in 2017.  Leisure time is spent with my family and friends and I enjoy reading and films.

I’m Benjamin Imafidon and I have been a member of St. Bernadette’s parish since 1984.

I am Sean Thorpe. I’m 55 and have lived in the parish pretty much since we moved here in 1970.  I am married to Katherine and live with our two grown up children and our dog Floki. 

I do mostly voluntary work now, and have also trained as a Hypnotherapist to provide emotional support to anyone who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by something in their life.

Many people will recognise me from reading, being a Eucharistic Minister, and supporting the parents whose children are on the Sacramental Programme.

My main ambition is to help us become a more Welcoming Parish to all people, but particularly those who do not regularly attend Mass.

In 2017 I had a liver transplant, which has given me a renewed appreciation of life’s endless possibilities.

My favourite things are going to watch United with my Dad and son, walking in the country with Katherine and Floki, and listening to Bob Dylan which I am encouraged to do on my own!!!

I am Rachael Scully.  I’m 42 and have lived in the parish all my life. I am married and have two girls, Charlotte and Jessica and our cat Jasmine.  I work in a primary school near the centre of Bury as a HLTA – I mainly work in Year 6 but I have worked in all year groups.

I have done a few things in the parish – I help write the newsletter and I have set up the Church website – my pet project.

My main focus is to help us become a more Welcoming Parish to all people and help people access the different activities we have going on.

I’m interested in technology, cross stitching and spending time with my family

Hello, I am Laura Doyle and I have been a primary school teacher since 2006.  I am currently working in a Salford Catholic school.  Outside of work I enjoy catching up with my family and friends with a long walk to a country pub, a trip to the theatre or catch up over coffee.

I have been a member of the parish since 2017. I really enjoy coming to St Bernadette’s, meeting new people and making new friendships.

I have been encouraged to take a more active part in the parish so I have recently become a reader at Saturday evening Mass and a member of the Parish Team.

I am looking forward to finding different ways to enable St Michael’s and St Bernadette’s to further develop as a missionary parish. 

My name is Elizabeth Sheader and I have been a member of this parish for over 40 years.  My Parents were some of first parishioners to attend St Bernadette’s Church and all five of my siblings were baptised in the church.  I am proud to be part of this parish community.

I have lived in Whitefield most of my life.  I was educated through our local schools and colleges which gave me a strong foundation for my current employment as a Scientist (Physiologist) and Academic who teaches at the University of Manchester.

I’m an enthusiastic singer in the St Bernadette’s 6pm choir with my Mum, Dad and brother and I’m also a member of the Friend’s Choir.  I love being able to provide a service to our local community.

I became part of the Parish team to contribute more to our parish community and to give back to the people who helped me to get to where I am.

In my spare time, I enjoy singing, socialising, visiting family and travelling.  One of my ambitions is to set foot in every country in the world.  I’ve been to about 1/3 so far, so I still a few more trips to plan….

Hi I am Julie Greene, commonly known as Jules. I was delighted to have been invited to join the Parish Pastoral Team this year and look forward to helping our Parish thrive. I have lived locally for most of my life and in Whitefield for the past 25 years, with my husband Kevan and our 2 cats, Kaya and Yaya- yes Yaya was named after the Manchester City hero as we are both big MCFC fans!

My childhood was spent in the OLOG parish and my parents ensured a good Catholic upbringing and education for the three of us (I have a brother and sister who are both local too). However, I did not actively practise my Faith for many years but reached out and was strongly re-connected having suffered 2 close family bereavements in 2013. I have found great comfort and joy in our Parish and very much hope that in being a part of the Parish Team I can help others reconnect and enjoy being a part of our close knit and caring community. .

I am Jane Reynolds and grew up in the parish of St. Michael’s, attending St. Michael’s primary and later St. Joseph’s High School.  I have four children and my younger two now attend St. Bernadette’s, whilst the older two are at St. Monica’s.

After university, I spent a number of years travelling, living in Hong Kong and travelling extensively around the Asia and I came to the conclusion that there are many beautiful places in the world, but none like Whitefield.

I work for a manufacturing company based in Rochdale.  We make ink for a variety of industries and most notably, we produce the orange ink used to colour the cones on the motorways of the North West (it’s ‘Superdry Orange’ in case you’re wondering about the shade).

I serve as the Secretary of the Parish Pastoral Team and have been involved with the team since its inception.  I am constantly amazed at the array of wonderfully talented and dedicated people who dwell amongst us and who work quietly behind the scenes to keep our parish community alive.

I am Clare Barnes. I’m 34 and have lived in the parish since early 2016.  I’m married to Paul, who sadly died in December 2017.  In January, I changed jobs and now work as a TA at St Bernadette’s where my two young daughters go to school.

When we first moved to the parish, we were encouraged to join in the coffee and biscuits after Mass (Biscuit Club as it’s known in our house) and to become involved in the parish family group, where we have made some lovely friends (and my Mum has reignited old friendships).  We wouldn’t have done either of these without the encouragement of others and I feel compelled to ‘pay it forward.’  Similarly, I would like to provide more for the youth of our parish as both Paul and I were fortunate to be part of a thriving youth group in our home parish as teenagers – friendships, experiences and lots of fun that helped to mould us as adults, teachers and parents.

I am Angela Still, I’m 71 and have lived in the Parish since I was married in 1970 and both my children went to St Michael’s and St Monica’s schools.

I am married to John and we live in Unsworth.  My son is married to a lady from the USA and lives in Huddersfield and my daughter is married to a French man and they live in Lyon, France.  We have five grandchildren aged between nine and sixteen.

I am now retired, apart from three days’ work per month collecting prices to be used for the monthly Retail Price Index. My working life was in Market Research where I managed the team of Interviewers in the North West for National Opinion Polls until I retired at age 60.  After this, I interviewed people in their own homes on various interesting Social Research topics as British Social Attitudes, Health, Housing etc.

Most people will recognise me from reading at St Bernadette’s or selling raffle tickets for the various fundraising events at St Michael’s Hall.  I am one of the very small team who work together to keep St Michael’s Hall as an active part of the community. I look after the diary and take the bookings etc.

My ambition as part of the Parish Team is to make the parish a community of all age groups, open to any ideas and suggestions.

I enjoy working in my garden, I am not an expert, I have a shady garden and still expect just about everything to grow and look like it did in the Garden Centre!  We have a regular Sunday night gathering with friends at the pub to review the world and our ageing health!

I am Andrea Reid and I have lived and worked in the Parish for 37 years.  I am married and have three grown up children and five gorgeous grandchildren.  I’ve had a very varied career but I am now back working in the childcare sector.  Many people may remember me from my days working at St. Michael’s school and from attending mass at St. Michael’s church.  In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family and friends. I enjoy going out for meals and travelling.

My main aim of being part of the Parish Team is to ensure that the community have the information they need and are supported in the personal faith journey.


My name is Claire Coleman and I have lived in the parish for nearly 25 years.  I am married to Anthony and we have a golden retriever called Sam who is eleven in June.  I am currently working for the Oldham Council Lifelong Learning Service as a Business Support Officer dealing with adult learners.

I am both a Minister of the Word and Minister of the Eucharist; roles that I feel privileged to hold.  I am an avid reader and also like going to the theatre and eating fancy food!  I regularly run 5K as this helps me to keep fit in both mind and body.  My favourite way to relax is to walk our dog Sam with my husband

I would like to feel that I can be a supportive member of the parish helping existing parishioners with any queries and being a smiling and welcoming face to new parishioners.

I am Gillian Howarth and I have lived in the parish since 2008.  I was born in Scotland and have lived in Kent, Yorkshire, Bogotá and Mumbai before settling here.  I am married to Tim (who grew up on Sunnybank) and we have 2 children who are both at St Monica’s. I am a civil servant and in my spare time I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.

I have been a reader at St Bernadette’s for a few years which I really enjoy doing.  I hope that as part of the Parish Team I can help the parish thrive and connect with new members.


The Council is a consultative group that collaborates with our priests in planning the spiritual and pastoral needs of our parish.

It will support parishioners and other parish groups and increase awareness and application of Christian values in our community.

The Foundation Document sets out the primary mission of the Parish Pastoral Council; that is, to collaborate in planning the spiritual and pastoral needs of the parish. It also details the structure of the Council, how it will operate and the roles within the Council. The Parish Priest is President and is a member of the Council, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Council are members of the laity who are elected by the whole Council.

The Foundation Document also outlines procedures covering the selection of new members to the Council. When appropriate, advance notice of the need to find new members will be published in the parish newsletter and a document similar to this example of the Nomination Form will be made available to parishioners.

The Call, The Journey and the Mission We have had an invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales to Reflect on the Gift of Marriage and Family Life. These 3 documents will help us prepare a response in March 2015. There is a 1-page letter from Cardinal Nichols. A 5-page document outlining the 6 topics that we are asked to reflect on and a 3-page response sheet which parishioners may prefer to fill in and return to PPC members. Any responses will be treated as anonymous.

A TIME TO LISTEN is a Pastoral Council initiative which gives all our parishioners an opportunity to influence the developing future of our parish. It will be based on conversations between parishioners and two members of the Council. To find out more please see this LISTENING document . To get involved print out the second page of the document which contains the form. Return the completed form to a member of the Council or put it in the Suggestions Box in the porch.