What we do 

DSCN7431jpg TAKEN AUG 7 2017

stuart steps down 

Stuart Adlington has now stepped down from the ministry team as Perpetual Deacon. Thank you to Stuart for his help and support over the last few years and for the invaluable service he has offered to our Team Parish.

And, if that sounds like a eulogy, it’s not! Stuart is still very involved in the life of St James’ Church, Burton Lazars, and our other churches. 

Below he explains what has happened in his life so far...


"I was born (not found) in Amersham, Bucks, in May 1943. I entered the world with a drama, having to be baptised ‘in periculo mortis’ as I had a blocked stomach. I survived that and a bomb wound in my neck. After that, nothing was routine again.

Anyway, I still managed to grow up to be a ‘fine young man’ -  from 5 to 10 years old in Kenya, from 11 to 13 years old in various places in England and from 13 to 19 years old in a boarding school in Surrey while my parents went off to Malaya with the army. That’s army life for a family – you never have a home base. In fact, my official documents when I was a student recorded me as having  ‘no permanent residence in UK’.

I trained as a teacher at St Mary’s College, Twickenham, taking a BSc in Zoology and Botany at the same time as my teaching certificate.

While frequenting the pubs of Twickenham, I came across a most attractive girl who became my wife – and, to my surprise, still is. Louise is the loving, caring foundation of our marriage. I am more restless as I shall explain.

My teaching career started near Tottenham’s football ground in a Secondary Modern school where I set up a biology department and started an O-Level course for the pupils. Not everybody had to stay until sixteen at that time (1967).

But Africa called and so I dragged my toddler son, Tim, and my pregnant wife off to Northern Nigeria while the Biafran war was coming to an end. Teaching in the very hot, dry climate of Northern Nigeria suited me but it was not so comfortable for Louise. She had to travel 300 miles south to Kaduna to a suitable hospital to give birth – which she did rather quickly, I believe. I was not there as I had to stay in Sokoto town with little Tim. I think it was two days before I had news of our daughter, Jane’s, birth.

In 1973 we came back from Nigeria and I started to look for a teaching job. While looking, I spent a few wet weeks picking cabbages for supermarkets. I have had various teaching jobs in various places – Southbourne, Bromsgrove, South Birmingham, Stockport, Oldham – and I ended up as a deputy head in a couple of schools for the last 21 years of my career.

During that time, our third child, Peter, was born (1984). He is some 16 years younger than his sister and brother and – yes – he was a great surprise – but a pleasant surprise!

I retired in 2002, the same year in which I was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church. My training took four years, involving an MA in Pastoral Theology. As a deacon, I assisted the priest at Mass, baptised, married and buried people but more importantly, I walked beside the parishioners in supporting them, leading Bible groups, preparing children for their First Communion, visiting the sick. All the things that any minister does.

Unfortunately, my parish priest was forced to retire with ill health and I found myself having to run the parish. We had a priest from India who celebrated Mass for us and was available for confessions. It was a very busy five years but I had a good team who could help and advise me – especially when it came to leaking roofs and the like!

stuart and louise adlington

It's a piece of cake for Stuart and Louise Adlington.

After five years, it was obvious that the role was taking up too much of my time. For someone who had retired, Louise saw less of me than before I retired.

So, we moved to Melton Mowbray. We didn’t intend to, but we stopped off for a pork pie (as you do) and found the people to be friendly and the houses relatively cheap. We had to move out of our house in Stockport very quickly and were lucky enough to find a place in Burton Lazars.

Thus we arrived in Melton, not knowing anybody and with our children 100 miles north and south of us. Leicestershire is very flat compared to the Peak District where we spent a lot of our leisure time! I found walking in the area a bit boring and so took up cycling.

Louise and I found other things to do in order to get to know people (singing, guitars, ukes, bridge, photography, art, chickens, quilting, beading etc). We have been made very welcome here – and special thanks go to our neighbours who made us welcome from the start. 

Louise and I agreed that I must not do quite so much as I had been doing in Stockport as a deacon. I was accepted as a deacon in the parish of Melton but after about a year, I found myself looking sideways at the Anglican Church. It took a long time for me to decide to move across and I have to thank Revd Sharon Constable for her help and guidance and also Revd Kevin Ashby while I deliberated over, what was, a difficult decision.

After many months, I did move and was accepted by Bishop Christopher as a permanent deacon in the Anglican Church and started worshipping at St James' church, Burton Lazars. Everybody I have met has been very helpful and welcoming to myself and to Louise and we are grateful for that.

We have had a few difficult years with illness at times but so far I think we can say it has been a good move – both from Stockport (Marple to be exact) and into the Anglican Church here in Melton.

How would I compare the Catholic and the Anglican experience – no comment! There are pros and cons in each case as far as I am concerned.

Will we stay here for the foreseeable future? Who knows! I am a restless person and do not mind moving around – but Louise may prefer to stay here now. And I shall be perfectly happy with that."

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