Rev Ian Baxter
Ian was appointed Lead Chaplain in 2019. Originally from Edinburgh Ian studied Theology at Birmingham and London. Ian and Gill moved to Great Eccleston where he was the pastor at the Free Methodist Church. Ian was then accredited as a Baptist minister and started work as a chaplain at the Trust in 2006 (from 2008 this included working as chaplain at Trinity Hospice). Ian and Gill now live in Wesham and have three children.
Father Andrew Dawson
Fr Andrew is a Christian Minister from the Catholic tradition, and serves the churches of Christ the King and St Kentigern as Parish Priest. He is a part time member of the chaplaincy team with a particular mandate to care for Catholic patients and staff, and their families. Even when Fr Andrew is not on site, either he, or one of the other local Catholic priests, provide on-call cover, so that a Catholic priest is always available. Prior to hospital chaplaincy, Father Andrew was a school chaplain, and supported adults with a learning disability in a residential setting.
Rev Clive Lord
Clive is an Anglican and trained at St Stephen’s House Oxford before being made Deacon in June 1996 at Blackburn Cathedral and priested at St Peter’s Darwen, in 1997. His first curacy was at St Leonard, Penwortham before moving to Blackpool in December 1998. Clive joined the department as a sessional chaplain in 2001 and continued this role whilst serving as vicar at St Mary’s, Squires Gate. In 2006, Clive became a full time member of the chaplaincy team. He also visits Clifton Hospital on a weekly basis supporting patients alongside daily duties at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Rev Paul Berry
Chaplain (Trinity Hospice)
Paul trained for ordained ministry in the Church of England after 20 years in industry. Paul has served as a vicar in Bolton, Horwich and North London for a total of 24 years. He now works part-time as chaplain and spiritual care coordinator at Trinity Hospice; a role which he really enjoys and one which, he says, has returned him to the heart of pastoral ministry. Originally from Manchester, he has two married daughters and two young granddaughters who keep him busy. With his wife Kay, Paul enjoys time out at National Trust gardens, photography, music, films and good coffee. He has been known to enjoy the odd craft beer.
Rev Helen Houston
Helen is a Church of England minister, ordained in 1995. She joined the chaplaincy and spiritual care department in 2019 having spent 7.5 years working in school chaplaincy. Helen looks after the Women and Children’s area of the hospital and is also chaplain to Brian House Children’s Hospice. She is married and has three children and a cat. Originally from the south of England, Helen enjoys meeting people, walking by the sea and eating chocolate. Her favourite bible story is Jesus’ ‘Parable of the Lost Son’ which illustrates God’s generous love. Helen sees it as an enormous privilege to be a healthcare chaplain.
Rev Jim Williams
Jim is a local United Reformed Church minister and Chaplain at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. He was ordained in 2015 and serves the 11 United Reformed churches along the Fylde coast. Before ordination, Jim had built a career in the avionics software industry. Jim lives in Poulton with his wife, Zoe, and two grown-up children, Hannah and Henry. Jim met Zoe when the two of them were working in an orphanage in Romania in the late 80s and said: “God was there too - even though, at the time, it felt like we were in hell”.
Imam Ashfaq Rafiq Patel
Ashfaq was born in Preston and moved to Blackpool in 2002 to serve the local Mosque. He joined the hospital’s chaplaincy team at the same time making him the longest serving member of the department. Ashfaq can normally be found in the hospital on a Thursday morning but is also available on-call, and cares for our Muslim patients and their relatives as well as staff at the hospital. Ashfaq says it brings him “joy to the heart” to be able to offer comfort and support to those in need and distress. He is married and has three daughters.
Martin is new to the team for 2021 and will be with us for six months working a day a week. Martin is ordained with the Free Methodist Church. He is currently in his second year of training at St.Mellitus College which he juggles with his job in nursing. Martin has been a registered nurse for 30 years, but, after a fruitful and fulfilling career, is looking forward to what God has in store for him next. He is happily married to Tracey, a physiotherapist in the NHS, and they have two teenage children, Daisy and Tom.