Salford priest

A Salford priest has received a special recognition award for more than 20 years of service with the police.

Fr Barry Lomax, previously based at Salford Cathedral, has served as a chaplain for the police for the past 23 years, providing a listening ear and support for force officers.

Deputy Chief Constable of GMP, Terry Woods, said ‘Fr B’ is “one of the most well-known chaplains” that they have.

Chief Constable Woods added: “He’s always there to see how you are and offer a completely impartial listening ear.”

Salford priest
Image credit: Diocese of Salford

Fr Barry became a volunteer chaplain with Greater Manchester Police in the summer of 2001 and was appointed to serve Q District Oldham.

Fr Barry explained: “Sadly, a few months prior PC Alison Armitage had been killed March 5 whilst making an arrest. Some years later, PC Nichola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone were also killed on duty and I remember well, like so many others, that terribly sad day.

“These tragedies – as you can imagine – had a devastating effect on the division, the whole of GMP and the community, but it highlighted the ministry chaplaincy could offer, remembering at that time chaplaincy was the original wellbeing before there was wellbeing.”

Fr Barry Lomax was awarded the Long Service Certificate on March 26 in a celebration event last month.

Last year, Fr Barry embarked on a full-time position with the force in order to head up and grow the chaplaincy service at GMP.

Fr Barry’s aim is to “bring chaplaincy back to where it once was” as he claims the number of chaplains has drastically decreased since the start of his service. Fr Barry aims to bring chaplaincy back into the force by recruiting ministers from different faiths in the community.

Fr Barry meets new recruits at the GMP training school, Sedgley Park. He meets and greets new officers in their first week and attends their attestation on day two.

Reflecting on his chaplaincy journey, Fr Barry said: “Being part of GMP as their Lead Chaplain has allowed me the privilege of being part of the lives of our officers and staff too.

“The recent award I have received from the Chief Constable, my Long Service Certificate, to some may be just a piece of paper in a frame, but for me, my family, friends and colleagues, it’s a proud moment in my continued journey with GMP.

“It has been and remains to this day, a privilege for me to serve those who serve us.”

To find out more about Fr Barry Lomax, the Force Lead Chaplain for GMP, click here.

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