Related to this section ...

New Vicar For Island Parish

A new “biker” vicar has been appointed to an island parish in Cumbria.

Rev Andy Batchelor was officially licensed as the new vicar of Walney Island near Barrow-in-Furness, last night.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, officiated at the service which took place at the island’s church, St Mary the Virgin.

Andy, 53, said: “The thing which attracted me to this parish was the sense of community that there is here and the feeling that the church is at the heart of that.

“I’d like to build on that in the future and forge new links within the community as well as build on those which are already established.”

Andy, who’s originally from the Midlands, is married to Julie, a licensed Reader for the Diocese of Carlisle.

They have two daughters Abigail and Zoe, who are both students

Before coming to ordination, Andy worked in IT and managed a Customer Support team of Fujitsu. He was also an active member of the Trades Union movement.

After ordination in 2009, the family moved to the Ulverston area.

Andy is also a keen motorcyclist, although he admits he’s now a fair weather biker.

He added: “As a family we’re delighted to be here at Walney Island. It’s a beautiful area and one that we’re looking forward to exploring even more.”

His appointment follows a 15 month period of interregnum for the parish as the Diocese looked to appoint a new vicar.


Rev Gary Cregeen, Rural Dean of Barrow, said: “We’re delighted that Andy has been brought to the parish.

“He’s a man of integrity and with a pastoral heart. He’s a faithful preacher and Bible teacher and is someone I know who will engage with people right across the community.”



For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at or the Ven Richard Pratt on 01900 66190.




  • Diocesan Director of Education announces retirement Posted Tuesday 10 September ...