The Revd Matthew Stafford
My name is The Revd Matthew Stafford and it is an immense privilege to be asked by Dean Harris to be her Chaplain.
I have had connections with Shropshire for the past 20 years which started when the Church Army sent me to Stoke Heath YOI at Market Drayton in 1995; and from the outset I fell in love with Shropshire which was described to me as, ‘Devon without the sea.’
My roots stem from Abingdon in Oxfordshire where I grew up in the village of Radley, attending the local CofE School and actively involved in my local Parish Church of St James the Great.
I attended Fitzharry’s Comprehensive School in Abingdon, that I must confess I endured and on leaving school did several different jobs including managing a Fish and Chip Shop!
In 1994 I trained with the Church Army before being selected for the Ordained Ministry in 1997 and trained for the Priesthood at Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxfordshire, where I was Deaconed at Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford in 1999 and Ordained Priest at All Saint’s High Wycombe in 2000.
I served my Curacy at St Anne and St Peter’s Wycombe Marsh (UPA) in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, before returning to Shropshire in 2002 to be Rector of Holy Trinity Oakengates and Wrockwardine Wood in Telford, where I was Incumbent for 12 and a half years.
I was appointed Team Rector of the Wenlock Group of Parishes in 2015, where recently the Parishes featured in the BCC 2 Series ‘A Vicar’s Life.’
I am passionate about social care reform in the light of supporting family members with dementia and creating better opportunities for people to thrive who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder, as both our children have this spectrum condition.
My family means everything to me, and I am married to Julie who I met at College in Sheffield and we are blessed in having two Sons, Oran (19) who is currently studying for a BA Hons Degree in English Literature at the University Centre Shrewsbury and Conall (16) who is about to begin an apprenticeship in warehouse management with J Upton of Direct Removals in Telford.