About our vicar

Father Barrie was born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire.  After a very happy education at Bradford Grammar School, he moved to Birmingham, to read French and Music at The University of Birmingham.  Following this he trained as a teacher at Goldsmiths’ College, London and began his teaching career in Halesowen and then Milton Keynes. 

From the age of 14, Fr Barrie was a chorister, organist, choirmaster and Sunday School teacher at a range of churches in Bradford, West Bromwich (Holy Trinity and then All Saints) and Fenny Stratford (Milton Keynes), and it was from St Martin’s Fenny Stratford that he went forward to train for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, where he was Senior Student and President of the Common Room.  He served 3 years as a curate in the parish of St Michael Tilehurst, Reading, after which he returned to the Midlands and to teaching in 1998, as Head of Languages at Stockland Green School, then as Deputy Headteacher at Kingsbury School, North Warwickshire.  He spent 6 months as a 'Trainee Principal' with the Department for Education, based at Hillcrest School, Netherton, Dudley and subsequently became Headteacher first at Granville School, Swadlincote and finally at Cannock Chase High School.  From 1998 Barrie was also honorary Assistant Priest at St Michael’s, Handsworth, where he supported four incumbents and oversaw three interregna, as well as keeping up with his organ playing too.

In his spare time, Barrie enjoys music (especially opera and piano duets), theatre, gardening, cooking, travel, going to the gym and surfing (in Cornwall).  He is also Assistant Diocesan Director of Education, for which he spends up to 2 days a week visting, supporting and advising schools, headteachers and clergy; he is also secretary of the Birmingham Changing Attitude Group and a Director of the Birmingham Diocesan Academies Trust, of which he is Vice Chair.  He was made an Honorary Canon of Birmingham cathedral in November 2019, in recognition of his dedicated ministry in the Diocese of Birmingham over the last 20 years.