Our Rector, Rev Gisela Raines, has recently retired and so we are waiting for her replacement. Currently we have Rev Bob Smith with us part-time as an Assistant Priest, but he also retires very soon. We will have priests from nearby churches taking our services for the next few months. We are a friendly bunch, and still have lots going on in our church and church hall, so if you are new please make yourself known by contacting a church warden or chatting to people after services. 


Rev Bob Smith, OLM Assistant Priest

I first attended St Pauls in the Sunday School when I was 6 and lived in Withington all my early life. Though my family I have always had a connection with St Pauls, but I came into ministry late in life after a career working in the Social Services department of Manchester City Council.

In 2008, I was licensed as an Ordained Local Minister (OLM) which means I had paid employment alongside my ministry role which focused on the elderly within the parish.

Both in ministry and work I served the local community and the City I was brought up in, and that fact is always a source of great strength, joy and continued vocation for me. I am married to Anne, and we have a grown up daughter.

I took early retirement from the council in 2011 after 36 years service and moved straight into a chaplain’s role in a Withington Nursing Home, as well as continuing at St Pauls in ministry. Unfortunately, due to illness leading to a disability in 2015, I had to retire from the nursing home, and we moved out of the area to an adapted bungalow.

However, I still continue with my ministry at St Pauls, and try to be there as much as I can, as because of the people, its inclusivity, and being at the centre of the community , it continues to be a great privilege and honour to be part of the team.



Esther Platt 


Picture of Elizabeth the church warden.

Elizabeth Rigby


What is a churchwarden?

The role of churchwarden dates back well over 500 years. It is concerned with the upkeep of   the church buildings and the churchyard, and with the maintenance of good order within them.

In practice this can mean anything from drawing up rotas for the making of tea or the mowing of grass to checking the wiring, keeping official records or, more seriously, ensuring that public worship proceeds undisturbed and the church grounds are kept as a place of peace for all members of the community.

Nowadays we act in most cases on behalf of the Parochial Church Council (PCC), but nevertheless it is our duty to be the Bishop’s officers ‘on site’. To help us we have a number of deputy wardens who look after particular areas such as finance, building repairs, choir leadership, front-of-house services during worship, etc.

Under the leadership of the Rector, together with the Treasurer, the Verger and the Secretary of the PCC, we form a kind of ‘senior management team’. Like all good modern management we try to remain in constant touch with the action at the ‘grassroots’, facilitating the work of the ministry team on the one hand and the members of the congregation on the other. We all look to serve one another and join together to pursue the church’s mission.

Many people don’t realise that churchwardens are responsible to the whole parish, in other words the whole local community. And St Paul’s seeks to be an inclusive organisation. So whether you are a regular worshipper, an enquirer, a casual visitor, a supporter, a user of our amenities such as the Hall… whatever the level of your personal commitment, we hope you will not be shy of approaching us and communicating your ideas where appropriate. We can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can rely on a friendly response!

Our contact details are here