Our Clergy


Rev Gisela Raines, Rector

I’ve been Rector of St Paul’s since the end of January 2010.  I started ministry in the Church of England as a Deaconess in 1984 in Southwark Diocese, in the days before women were ordained to the priesthood. My first two posts were job-shares with my husband Bill: a curacy at St Luke’s Charlton, followed by some 4 years as a university chaplain.  We moved from London to Manchester when Bill accepted a post as Rector of Holy Innocents in 1994. I was ordained priest that year, part of the ‘first wave’ of women priests in the Church of England and became Priest-in-Charge of St Christopher in Withington in 1996.  From 2003 to 2009 I was Associate Rector of St Ann’s in Manchester City Centre.  Bill retired from Holy Innocents at the end of 2012. We have two grown-up children.  

One of the questions I am asked most often is: Where are you from? After some 29 years in this country it seems that my Dutch accent has not quite disappeared!

 Gisela has written about her pilgrimage on foot to Santiago: click on the link to find out more.




Rev Bob Smith, OLM

I became a licensed Reader in 2000, and, encouraged by many in the congregation, PCC and the then incumbent, was put forward for selection and started training for ordination.  Ordained in 2008, I am now licensed as an Ordained Local Minister (OLM) which means I have paid employment alongside my ministry role which focuses on the elderly within the parish. I have worked for Manchester City Council for the past 36 years. Having started in Residential Social Care I am now based at the Council Offices in First Street, in the city centre.  Both in ministry and work I serve the local community and the city I was brought up in and that is a source of great strength, joy and continued vocation for me.  I am married to Anne, who is also an active member of St Paul’s and we have one grown up daughter.   I have been a Manchester City supporter for over 50 years. As someone said to, “I suppose that takes just as much faith as being a vicar!”