About Us

Meet our team of chaplains

Our team of chaplains are people of faith who have a heart for others in Bolton Town Centre.

Keith Armstrong is our coordinating chaplain which is a paid, part-time role funded by grants from different church denominations and trust funds. Keith is based at the Hub on Bold St in Bolton on Mondays and Tuesdays and he splits his time visiting staff in 2 areas of the town centre, attending meetings or events and working in the office.

We also have 7 volunteer chaplains who come into town on a regular basis, typically for two to three hours a week. They each have our their own area of the town where they can visit regularly and build relationships with the people who work there. Very often, conversations in shops, offices and stores may be nothing more than passing the time of day with staff — but it is these constant and repeated  contacts that build trust in the chaplain so that, when people do go through difficulties or have concerns and worries, they have someone who they can talk to, who will get alongside them and help share their burdens.

Keith Armstrong

I have been the co-ordinating chaplain at the Bolton Town Centre Chaplaincy since October 2014 and previously worked as a primary school teacher for over 22 years. I was born in Bolton and have lived here most of my life- with my wife, Sue, and our children Emily and Danny. I attend the Bridge Church in Bolton where I have led a life group and a stewarding team, and helped at the Jobs Club, ‘Storehouse’ foodbank and the community cafe. I enjoy playing badminton, organising church walks, kayaking and watching Bolton Wanderers! In my role as chaplain I serve the retail sector in parts of Newport Street, the food stalls and outside stalls of Bolton Market, the one-stop shop in Bolton Town Hall and Bolton library.

Susan Holme

I am a Methodist local preacher and elder at Christ Church, Little Lever nr Bolton. I also have other roles within the church such as Wedding Registrar and steward in charge of funerals. I am also the Interfaith Officer for the Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District. I am retired, married and have 2 children both of which have left home now. In my spare time I enjoy reading, fishing and going to the gym!  In my role as a chaplain in the town centre I serve the retail sector in parts of Newport Street, Deansgate, Corporation Street and Market Street.

Sylvia Fairhurst

I am an ex Local Government Officer and Computer Operations Manager. I live in Bolton with my husband, Geoff and our daughter, Rebekah. In my church life I have held numerous roles including being a Sunday School leader for over 30 years at Bolton Methodist Mission, Victoria Hall where earlier generations of my family have attended since its opening in 1900! I am currently a Circuit Steward and Worship Leader at church and I am also on the management of STEPS, a charity supporting people with mental health problems. I have been a volunteer town centre chaplain in Bolton since 2009 and have a particular ministry within the Market Place shopping centre.

Rebekah Fairhurst

I graduated form the University of Manchester in 2011 with a degree in Religions and Theology (Bible studies). I then went on to undertake a Masters Degree in Library and Information Management. I have recently started work at Middlebrook Business Park. I am currently training to be a Local Preacher and I am an active member of Bolton Methodist Mission, Victoria Hall. My interests include reading, family history research and playing computer games! I also belong to a drama group and have taken part in ‘Passion for Bolton’ productions both on and off stage. As a chaplain I serve the Market Place shopping centre.

Jean Tofalos

I began my role as retail chaplain to shops and businesses on Deansgate in Jan 2017. I work at the Isaiah 55 Christian Bookshop in the town centre and attend the Bridge Church in the Haulgh. I worked for many years at Bolton Parish Church.

David Payne

I began volunteering as a Town Centre Chaplain in Autumn 2020 and cover the many shops and businesses in Crompton Place Shopping Centre and in St Andrew’s Court. I have been a member of the Salvation Army for many years during which time I have had experience in many different roles.

Susan Greenhalgh

Susan began volunteering as a Town Centre Chaplain in 2017 and supports the many staff who work at churches and Christian Organisations across the town centre. She attends Bolton Parish Church and has been involved in many town centre initiatives for many years including stewarding at the Passion for Bolton events. Before joining the team Susan worked as a volunteer at Bolton Hospital.

Darren Holland

Darren is the Town Centre Missioner for Bolton Methodist Mission at Victoria Hall and joined the chaplaincy team in Summer 2021. He is part of the town centre Churches Together group and the Passion for Bolton town-wide church unity team of church leaders. In his chaplaincy role he covers the shops and businesses on Knowsley St and in the Market Place shopping centre.

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