The new Director of the St Barnabas Society, Fr Paul Martin, was born in Barry, South Wales, and grew up in Newport. He was educated at Newport High School and graduated in Theology at St David’s University College, Lampeter. He moved on to study at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, before being ordained in 1981. After two curacies in the Diocese of Monmouth (Monmouth and Bassaleg) he was appointed as Vocations Secretary of the Additional Curates Society. He served in that capacity for four years before returning to the Diocese of Monmouth as Vicar of St Teilo’s, Alway, in Newport. He then joined the Royal Navy as a chaplain serving at HM Naval Base, Devonport, and the Clyde Submarine Base, at Faslane, in Scotland. It was while on retreat on the famous Hebridean island of Iona that he made the decision to become a Catholic.
Fr Paul was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at Belmont Abbey, near Hereford, in 1994. After a period of discernment he was accepted to train for the Priesthood at Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield. He was ordained as a Priest in St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, by Archbishop Maurice Couve De Murville on 10th July 1998. He served first as Catholic chaplain at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, and later as Parish Priest of Corpus Christi, Ashmore Park. He then moved to Stoke on Trent to become Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart, Tunstall, and from there to be Parish Priest of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester. During his time there the John Paul II Centre was built and formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2011. From Bicester he went to be Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Anne, Caversham, and oversaw the restoration of the beautiful shrine of Our Lady of Caversham which is located within the church. He was appointed as Director of the St Barnabas Society in April 2017 and took up his new appointment on 1st October. He is honoured to have been chosen for this important role and is looking forward to developing the unique mission of the Society throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Please remember him and the work of the Society in your prayers.