St. Mary's Chaplaincy

Welcome to our new gap year chaplains

Rachel McCarthy Jonathan Lord
Rachel McCarthy

I have recently graduated with a degree in Religious Studies from Lancaster University. I am deeply passionate about social and environmental justice, and in finding ways to cooperate with others in order to make the world a fair place.

I was a committed member of People and Planet society at University, which runs student campaigns on global poverty, human rights and the environment. As part of my degree course, I had the privilege of studying abroad in India. I learned so much through this experience, and came face-to-face with examples of abject poverty, which are an everyday reality for so millions of people today. I am from a small town near Bristol, and my family have had an active involvement in our Parish for many years. In my spare time, I enjoy doing art, listening to music, going to festivals, and seeing friends. I am inspired by my faith, the meaning of Deus Caritas Est, God is Love, and by people who want to make a difference. In the future, I want to work for charity in order to help those who are in need, and to stand in solidarity with those caught in injustice.


Jonathan Lord

Hi, I'm Jonathan Lord and I'm delighted to be one of CAFOD's 'Gappers' this year! I'm 21, from Poulton-le-Fylde, which is just outside Blackpool so I'll be right at home working at St Mary's. I've just completed a degree in Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire which was challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. The skills I've learnt should help me to communicate CAFOD and its amazing work in our diocese. The challenge of 'Step into the Gap' is something which really excites me. Working with CAFOD's local partners overseas and seeing some of the projects that are changing people's lives is a unique opportunity.

There is a great joy in working with young people and their enthusiasm is infectious. My desire is to engage young people at St Mary's, in the local primary schools and parishes with CAFOD and how we are all connected in our world. I've always been inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela: "Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom." I would love to be involved in youth ministry or chaplaincy work in the future where I can be part of a great generation.

Mary Group winners visit Bishop Michael

Mary Group winners visit Bishop Michael
On Tuesday 6th July the winners from May’s Mary Group Project went up to Lancaster. Whilst they were there they had a tour of the Cathedral, met Bishop Michael and enjoyed their lunch in Williamson Park. The Bishop was very impressed with the project and the girls. The project focussed on the role of Our Lady, and the way she inspires women today. Shannon, Molly and Amy had a great day and came back to College enthused by their visit.

Congratulations to the ACTIVATE group

Congratulations to the ACTIVATE group
The ACTIVATE group were rewarded for their outstanding work by winning the Eco Friendly Enterprise trophy. ACTIVATE received the award for their pioneering work in establishing St Mary’s as a Fairtrade college at the Blackpool Hero Enterprise and Business awards. Our magnificent faith and justice group enjoyed a celebratory dinner and glitzy awards ceremony in the Paradise room at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. ACTIVATE have shown great enthusiasm and effort in working towards the Eco Schools Bronze award as well as helping St Mary’s to achieve Fairtrade status. They were deservedly given a Hero trophy for their outstanding achievement. The Chaplaincy team are extremely proud of ACTIVATE.

St. Mary's Riding The Lights

St. Mary's Ride The Lights
St. Mary’s staff and students cycled the Blackpool Illuminations for CAFOD on Tuesday night. Yr 9 student Josh Sheard, new ‘Gaplains’ Rachel McCarthy and Jonathan Lord, and Mrs Lord were part of the 20 strong team of CAFOD volunteers. More than 12,000 cyclists were treated to a sneak preview of the lights before the official “Switch On” this Friday night.

The group is raising money to buy bikes for CAFOD health workers in Nigeria, Mozambique and Rwanda. The bikes will enable carers to provide medical supplies and support to people living in remote places.

If you would like to sponsor the team please visit the Chaplaincy.