[I] was born just a couple of miles away from our church of St Oswalds and St Edmund Arrowsmith at a small town called Bryn, half way betwween Ashton and Wigan. My family was strongly catholic with my father (also Jim) orginally from the Irish pilgrimage town of Knock and Mother Mary, also of Irish descent.
Needless to say, along with my two sisters, Julia and Angela, and brother, Dominick, I had a strong Catholic upbringing. We always prayed together as a family, especially the rosary which we said every night without exception.
As soon as I was old enough, I became an alter server at our church, – the parish of Our Ladys Immaculate at Bryn, a role I continued with until I left school some ten years later. My connections with the church remained however. Me and dad always did the collection on a Sunday, and I helped with the red box missionary collections.
One of the more scary roles was to sleep in the house when the Priest was on holiday.I was convinced it was haunted and I rarely got a nights sleep. On one occasion I heard noises coming from the kitchen. So, with candlestick in hand I ventured downstairs with a pounding heart only to find the housekeeper had put the washing maching on an overnight wash!
My Education took in Our Ladys Primary School before attending St Edmund Arrowsmith High from 1974-79. Subsequently I went to St John Rigby College from 1979 – 81 befor entering the exciting world of work in 1981.
All of my working life has been spent in the food industry. I worked at a small local retailer for 3 years from school, before my career in sales began with United Biscuits in 1984, prior to a move to my current employer, Brake Bros in 1996
I met my lovely wife to be, Barbara, in 1986, who I married in 1988 when we subsequently moved to our current home in Ashton.
Children soon followed with daughters Catherine and Alison born in 1990 and 1991. both were educated locally at St Oswalds and St Edmund Arrowsmith prior to gaining degrees at Lancaster University.
Always regulars at Church, Barbara and myself began to assist with the marriage preparation course, and became Eucharistic Ministers. We also assist with the “With you aways” sacramental preparation course.