The work of the Priory is enabled by a dedicated staff team of highly committed and very talented individuals. In addition to those listed below, a number of other volunteers and associates support the work of the Priory in various capacities, such as by helping in the library, providing complementary therapies, offering spiritual accompaniment and delivering courses and workshops.
Nicholas Buxton, Director
Nicholas came to St Antony’s in 2018 with a brief to further develop the Priory as a centre for the study of spirituality. Before this he was Priest in Charge of the church of St John the Baptist in Newcastle city centre, where he also founded the Newcastle Meditation Centre and Just Meditation. Nicholas has a PhD in Buddhist philosophy and is the author of a number of books about contemplative spirituality and meditation, including Tantalus and the Pelican, The Wilderness Within and Just Meditation.
Laurence Pinkney, Administrator
Laurence joined the Priory team in 2020 and has responsibility for all day-to-day administration, including finance and room bookings. In a previous life Laurence had a career in the military followed by ten years in the Civil Service. The office is open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm. For all enquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Ruth Grant, Programme Co-ordinator
Ruth is our longest standing member of staff, having worked at the Priory since 2010. In this time she has helped deliver a large number and wide variety of courses and events. Currently her principal activities include offering spiritual accompaniment and delivering training and supervision for spiritual directors. Ruth is also an experienced Ignatian prayer guide, and is passionate about environmental issues, having originally trained as an ecologist.
Michael O'Halloran, Programme Co-ordinator
Michael, our newest member of staff, joined the team in 2021, with a primary focus on the development of our Spiritual Accompaniment Course. Michael has many years’ experience of working in Retreat Centres having being the Director of the Kairos Spirituality Centre and more recently a Community Member at Minsteracres Retreat Centre. Michael’s training and practice of spiritual accompaniment is within the Ignatian tradition and he is also training to be a Psychosynthesis Therapist.
Scholastica Jacob, Librarian & Archivist
Scholastica is our librarian and archivist, and has been responsible for re-cataloguing the entire library from scratch. Formerly a member of Stanbrook Abbey, and before that a lawyer specialising in charity law, Scholastica has recently completed a PhD in church history at the University of Durham, and is currently working on the SSM archives.
Sheila Shearer, Housekeeper
Sheila is our housekeeper, with responsibility for all domestic matters, including cleaning, laundry, and keeping the place looking its best at all times. In a very varied career, Sheila has previously worked as an industrial draughtswoman, taxi driver, bookie, and interior decorator – amongst other roles. She is also an experienced sheepdog trainer and a talented watercolourist.
Gavin Harper, Gardener & Maintenance
Gavin works two and a half days a week at the Priory tending the gardens and doing other odd jobs as required. Alongside working at the Priory, Gavin also has his own gardening business, and has previously worked in IT and in the building trade. The gardens here are quite a lot to manage on just a couple of days a week, so if anyone would like to help from time to time, please do get in touch!