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Thornbury Parish


Mike Keavey, Churchwarden

Mike and wife Rosemary moved to Thornbury in 1980 after Mike took up a post with the C.E.G.B. Research Division at Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories. They have two grown up sons. Following privatisation, Mike pursued an academic career, most recently at the University of Manchester. He retired at the end of 2011, but is still a Visiting Academic and spends

as much time as he is able pursuing those research topics that interest him most.

He last served on the PCC over twenty years ago, when he helped to organise the first ecumenical Lent house groups, together with Away Days and weekend retreats at Prinknash Abbey.

Mike was brought up a Catholic, but lapsed into agnosticism on leaving home. He gradually returned to faith and was received into the Church of England in 1983. The Church of England made him welcome, and he is still very comfortable there. Nevertheless, he acknowledges a great debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church for the first class education and social support that it gave to working class families such as his in the post-war years.

The one thing that never left Mike during his ‘wilderness’ years was his love of traditional church music gained as a boy treble in the church choir. Although many years with the Thornbury Music Ministry gave him a genuine affinity for more charismatic forms of worship, he is still happiest when sitting quietly listening to Palestrina, Verdi or Duruflé.

Mike is very conscious of the fact that it was the combination of a loving extended family, a church that was very socially involved (the church choir’s annual holiday to Torquay was the only holiday that many families could afford), and highly committed teachers, that took him from the inner city streets of northern England to the Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge. If everyone could have such wonderful opportunities, then the Kingdom would, at least in part, be truly here.