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headshot reverend alison hardy she is wearing glasses a red top and very big smile

The Rev’d Alison Hardy | Priest in Charge

Alison is from Bolton in Lancashire and after a good northern grammar school education, studied Oriental Studies (Arabic) at St Anne’s College, Oxford. She fancied becoming a spy but actually went on to become an accountant in Local Government. Alison became a Christian at the age of 27, discerned a clear call to priesthood, spent a life changing three years in formation on the Northern Ordination Course and was ordained in Manchester Cathedral in 1995 at the age of 34. As much of a whirlwind as it sounds! She spent the next 23 years in parish ministry in urban and suburban parishes in the Manchester Diocese, loving every minute and maintaining an interest in clergy formation and spiritual direction.

In 2018 Alison moved to Newcastle Diocese as Area Dean of Alnwick and Priest in Charge of the Embleton Benefice. In November 2021 the four Aln and Coastal parishes were added to her charge making for a very exciting life indeed.

Alison likes terrible telly, generous faith, detective fiction, food, and her pets, currently three cats, three dogs and an elderly guinea pig. She firmly believes that we are all as daft as each other and all loved by God just as we are.

Contact Alison

The Vicarage, Embleton, NE66 3UW

01665 571314 or 07503 942011

reverend barrie cooper standing in front of choir stalls wearing glasses and white and green priestly garb

The Rev’d Barrie Cooper | Assistant Priest

Before becoming a priest, Barrie studied geology and mineralogy at Oxford University.

He went on to teach geography in Cheshire for 4 years before studying for the priesthood and was ordained priest in 1986. Barrie’s ministry has taken him to parishes in London and Manchester.

For most of his ministry, Barrie has been a Prison Chaplain working with both young offenders and latterly with adults in Durham. He has also worked as a hospital chaplain and after taking a break was the chaplain at Durham School where he also taught RE and Theology.

Following this, Barrie worked for 4 years for a charity called Common Purpose.

Barrie was then offered the position of Assistant Priest for Coastland Churches and is part of the clergy team here.

He is married to Helen and they live by the sea in Amble. Barrie says “The Coastland Churches have been a blessing on many levels to Helen and I. My motto in life is; God loves you more than you can ever know! No strings attached!”

Contact Barrie

4 Island View, Amble, NE65 0SE
01665 711925

reverend nathanael hayler pictured smiling in front of a church wearing a green wax jacket and checked scarf

The Rev’d Nathanael Hayler | Assistant Curate

Having grown up in South Wales and the later on in central Cambridge, Northumberland is a new adventure for Nathanael. After falling in love with the North East while studying Theology in Durham, Nathanael moved further North across the Tyne to continue discerning how and where God was calling him.

“When I left Newcastle to begin ordination training, I made a promise to myself and to God that I would return to this beautiful region to serve and continue pursuing my vocation.” So having spent two years training at Westcott House in Cambridge, and studying for an MA, Nathanael is delighted to return North and begin his ordained life and ministry here.

Nathanael was ordained at the beginning of July 2022 as a Deacon and as a Priest in 2023. He will be serving his curacy with the 9 churches that make up the Coastland Churches. He says, ‘it is a real delight to be serving with these wonderful church communities and exploring new ways of doing and being church in this place.’

In his spare time, Nathanael enjoys exploring the beaches and local countryside with his Miniature Schnauzer Poppy, rummaging through antique shops, and experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. He has a keen interest in Anglo-Saxon church, hagiography on the Celtic saints, and social history. He enjoys learning about local and historical crafts, trades, and traditions.

Contact Nathanael

The Vicarage, Lesbury, NE66 3AU

07305 242974 or