Keeping It Local – Chris Holleran

Born in the area, Chris Holleran has been an active member of St Mary’s church Widnes since joining the Boys Brigade at age 11.

Born in the area, Chris Holleran has been an active member of St Mary’s church Widnes since joining the Boys Brigade at age 11. Eventually becoming a Boys Brigade Officer himself, Chris credits the leaders for giving him a strong Christian base and a strong faith. This has contributed to his 50 years within the faith. Chris became part of the lay ministry team in the 1980s and then became a Reader after being licensed in 1992. Keen for further development after the South Widnes Team was created and with support from Janice Collier and Jeremy Duff, Chris was interviewed for the newly established role of Local Missional Leader. Now that Chris is in position at St Mary’s it provides a great opportunity for the South Widnes Team to have a lead figure based at each of the three churches.

St Marys Widnes is a church held in good regard by its local community of West Bank. It is a small community made up of some 750 houses close to the Runcorn Widnes Bridge. The parish previously served a bigger area so there are still members of the wider community that are involved in church and parish life. Chris is keen to maintain the spiritual mission of the church in spreading the knowledge of Christ and helping people to the realisation that the way to God is through Jesus Christ. “The challenge is to maintain what we currently do well, continuing to support and develop the Youth organisations of the Boys Brigade and Guides and also to build on what we are already doing. Last year the Alpha course successfully encouraged new people to the faith. This year as well as running the Alpha course, I’m hoping to create a Christian Fellowship group. This will be looking to involve people already within the Christian faith, taking the opportunities of Lent, Pentecost and Advent to explore and deepen faith. When completing my Readers course I studied Healing as a subject. I want to develop this ministry within the parish, finding people who may not yet realise they have a gift, to develop and lead them. I want to encourage more Healing services and activities like parish prayer walks.”

Chris started his new role in July 2014 although his commissioning took place slightly later in December. Chris has felt a call to action by God in his new role to develop ideas he had initially thought about during his time as a Reader. As soon as he became Local Missional Leader Chris has felt the call to step up to the mark and hit the ground running. “Future plans are to develop the church into a community centre whilst remaining a place of worship. It important to develop this multipurpose as a best fit to serve the community of West Bank.”