Brenda Rowland is the Church Verger; she helps set up for the Sunday Communion service and also clears away after the service. She also meets and greets people at the door, and guides them to the pews.
She also officiates at Weddings and Funerals.
At Weddings she greets the Bride at the door, helps to calm the nerves, and gives words of encouragement.
She is also a member of the Flower Ladies Team, so could have helped to create the display for your wedding.
Funerals she will greet the family and mourners handing out order of service sheets and then clear up after everyone has left.
I am one of the newly appointed Church Wardens and feel very privileged to be able to serve St. Matthew's in this capacity having been linked with the Church for many years. I was also a member of the teaching profession for over thirty years.
In my spare time, I like reading and gardening. I also enjoy short break holidays in this country and abroad. I am looking forward to serving the many people who are connected to our Church and hope we have an enjoyable and rewarding experience together.
Like Nick, my fellow new Churchwarden, I have been a parishioner at St. Matthew's for many years. My parents brought me as a baby for baptism, I still have the cards my parents received on each of the first five anniversaries. One of my earliest memories would be attending Sunday School which was held in the school on Woodland Lane. Aged ten I graduated to become a "junior Church goer" as stated in the Holy Communion Service Booklet given to me by Cannon Shields to mark the event. Almost nine years later I received my second Holy Communion Service Booklet this time signed by Bill Snelson on the occasion of my Confirmation here at St. Matthew's.
More recently I have helped with Junior Church for over twenty five years, though not continuously. I remember the Meeting Room being built and am excited about our wonderful church building being further utilised by the local community by our new Community Meeting Space.
I enjoy swimming, for me it's a great way to relax and switch off. For almost ten years I was fortunate to be involved with the Settle & Carlisle railway, I still enjoy traveling on the line and seeing steam trains.
I feel it an honour to be invited to be Churchwarden and look forward to serving St. Matthew's in this role. Thank you, John and Fred, for your expert guidance and support towards Nick and I.
John is a long standing member of St. Matthew's Church, having held many and varied positions in the Church. From some thirty years ago raising money for the then new Boiler that heats the Church today. Being in at the beginning of the Pastoral Ministry team, to organizing the Bonfire displays that used to raise money for the Church, which are no longer allowed for insurance reason.
He is an active member of the PCC and has just stepped down from being a Churchwarden after a long valuable service to St Matthew's. He did this so that he could concentrate on Managing the finances of St Matthew's which is no mean feat. He is still a member of the Fabric and Maintenance committee, a body that looks after the state of the Church buildings internal and external.
Director of Music
Aljosa joined us in 2004 and had a big influence on the music played and sung at St. Matthew's. He has expanded the repertoire of our Choir, as well as introducing new bands and choirs to our Church. So that they may enjoy the outstanding acoustics that our building offers.
As an accomplished young conductor and vocal coach, Aljosa Skorja (usually known as Josh when in England), is rapidly establishing a reputation as an exciting choral and orchestra director.
Winer of the 2015 London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition, Josh studied musicology and choral conducting at the University in Ljubljana, graduating with a thesis on Gregorian chant. He continued his studies in orchestral conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he gained an entrance award for two years running.
Josh has recently been working with Paul Nadler, initially as a student at a masterclass in New York (working on operas by Mozart and Donizetti, and symphonic music by Debussy), and later as assistant conductor.
Having worked with orchestras like the Manchester Camerata, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the Slovene Philharmonic, Josh’s future engagements include Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Pontefract Choral Society, a return to RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra for a series of family concerts, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneaswith St. Matthew’s Orchestra in Leeds, and Carmina Burana with Halifax Chamber Choir.
Josh is the founder of The Péti Consort, a Leeds-based chamber choir of some of the North of England’s finest choral singers, and St. Matthew’s Orchestra, established to give recent music graduates the opportunity to undertake professional engagements, before entering the competitive music market.
Josh’s main music interests include opera and historically informed performance practice; outside music he is a keen coffee aficionado (battling a Starbucks addiction…) and occasionally enjoys a tipple of Islay’s finest whiskey.
Principally I am a member of St. Matthew's congregation but you'll see from my attire that I also volunteer as the Group Scout Leader overseeing the activities of the 7th North Leeds Beaver, Cub & Scout sections, and the team of volunteers (adult helpers and leaders) delivering this enterprise.
As members of the Scout Group we attend and contribute to the monthly "Gather Together" services where we can proudly wear our uniforms & present our flags as well as participating in worship.
As a youngster I attended a Scout Troop in my home town of Morecambe, moving up to Venture Scouts before leaving for university here in Leeds as an eighteen year old. After a gap of twenty years, I returned to Scouting, this time as a novice Cub Scout Leader in 1997 (it was a steep learning curve as I had never been a Cub!) before switching role to my current position about ten years ago.
I still help at weekly Cub Pack meetings and occasional trips/camps as they remain such good fun!
There has been a Scout Group based here at St. Matthew's church in Chapel Allerton since 8th July 1918, so 2018 is a very special centenary year for us all to celebrate this achievement.
Child Protection Officer
I have been worshiping at St Matthew's church since moving to the area in 2011. I was married in the church and the youngest of my two daughters was baptized here too.
My daughters and I are regularly attend on Sundays and as such I have a personal interest in ensuring the environment is safe for all children and vulnerable adults who spend time here. I was therefore pleased to be asked to take on the role as the church's Safeguarding Officer which links in well with my professional life as a child protection social worker.
Over time I have had a few roles linked to the church. Currently I am on the 'welcomer's' rota for Sunday morning services, I support a range of activities relating to the building and grounds of the church and since 2015 I have been a Foundation Governor at St Matthew's primary school.
Fabric and Maintenance
Fred has been a long standing member of St. Matthew' church, and as such held the post of Churchwarden for over twenty years. He stepped down in 2017, and has inherited the role of Fabric and maintenance officer. So when thing's go wrong with the building he is called upon to find a solution to remedy the problem. His wife Brenda is also the verger at St. Matthew's which makes Fred the deputy assistant verger whether he likes it or not...