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Part of ifes

David Montgomery

David Montgomery

Based in: Co. Down
Position: Director of Christian Unions Ireland 

Monty has been Director of CUI since 2013. He studied for his BA in English with Music at Stirling University and received his MDiv from Regent College, Vancouver, where he specialised in Old Testament. He has also received his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary, St.Louis for a thesis on bi–vocational church planting in Ireland.

Monty also served as a Presbyterian Minister in three churches in Belfast and County Wicklow. He has spoken internationally, published a book on worship, written articles on Wisdom Literature, forgiveness, reconciliation, childlessness, hymnology and a Christian approach to sport and has helped organise the Irish Preachers’ Conference for several years. He also teaches Preaching at the Irish Bible Institute in Dublin.

Monty is married to Gwen, a professional de–clutterer, and when he is not grappling with the cryptic crossword from the London Times, he enjoys cycling around Co. Down, is a passionate Manchester City fan and devours crime fiction.

Why Monty loves working with CUI: 

 “I can’t think of a more rewarding job. It is an amazing privilege to be able to encourage, teach and help with the spiritual development of the next generation of leaders. I love every aspect of it: from first meeting them as apprehensive freshers at pre–term through toothier maturing as wise young graduates or witnessing their first tentative steps into full–time service, perhaps through the Relay programme.”

Personal CU/Student Highlight:

“I vividly remember taking a day off in the Scottish moors the week before I became CU President at Stirling and God reassuring me through his words to Moses in Exodus 23: “See, I am sending my angel ahead of you to guard you along the way” Those were two very formative years in my own spiritual development and leadership and God proved faithful even in the midst of my failures and weaknesses.”

While Monty is based in Co. Down he frequently travels throughout the island visiting the various regions, as well as connecting with the wider IFES World family in Europe and further afield.

Jo Chipperfield

Jo Chipperfield

Region: Leinster – Dublin
Position: PA to Director

Jo is a very creative person and she loves music, drama, writing, dancing, composing and art. Jo studied at The University of Wales and graduated in 2010 with a music degree and then went on to work in the performing arts industry in England, doing an internship with a theatre company and eventually working as a singer on a cruise ship. In 2013, Jo moved back to Dublin and attended Bible College at the Irish Bible Institute, and it was there that her passion grew to see people come to know God.

Why Jo loves working with CUI: 

“Student ministry is an area that I think is really important and I hoped that I would get to be a part of it in some way after finishing my studies. University was a very formative time in my life but it was also an amazing time of opportunities and training and a place where I made lifelong friends who I know I will always be very close to. I love coming alongside people and being a part of their individual journeys and my heart is to see young people come to know Jesus. So, I started working for CUI only a few weeks after I graduated from IBI, which was an absolute answer to prayer. I love my job here and all the wonderful people I get to work with.”

Jo works part–time in the CUI Dublin Office.

Sally Patty

Sally Patty

Region: Northern Ireland – Belfast
Position: Head of Office

Sally is a graduate of UU Jordanstown and later worked there in Business/IT research before leaving to join the UCCF Ireland team as Administrator. She has served in this role first full–time and now part–time for 20+ yrs, but as no two weeks are ever the same it continues to throw up new areas of learning.

She is married to Steve and they have 2 children – Esther and Joshua, and they are part of the church family at Holywood Baptist Church. As a family, when not found in one of the many local coffee shops or parks, they enjoy swimming, exploring new places and even occasionally camping.

Why Sally loves working with CUI:

“University was the time in my life where I grew most – matured as a person and as a Christian, CU and IFES were central to this. I love seeing students grasp what the Gospel means for them and the impact it can have on their lives, studies and future. I especially love the Worldwide nature of the ministry. This affords our students the chance to be exposed to other IFES movements, whether through attending conferences, going on summer teams or spending a year or more serving another Student movement. I’ve seen firsthand the impact that has had on those individual students and those with whom they come into contact.

It is a privilege and a blessing to see God at work in students’ lives in Ireland and around the world.”

Sally works part–time in the CUI Belfast Office.

Peter Kenny

Peter Kenny

Region: Leinster – Dublin
Position: Leinster Team Leader & CU Staff Worker 

Peter is from Co.Tipperary originally and enjoying life in Dublin for the past couple of years. He is blessed to be married to Méabh and have a baby son, Fionn, who keeps them busy but brings so much happiness! Peter enjoys learning about new stuff and understanding stuff that he already knows about a bit better: coffee, cooking, technology, photography and the like.

Why Peter loves working with CUI: 

“I love working with CUI because my student days were times of such change for me. The Christian Union and, in particular, my Staff Worker had a huge impact on my faith. As a result, I really wanted to be involved in student ministry and that is still part of what motivates me. It’s so exciting to see God tangibly at work in the lives of students. Sometimes there can be deep change in the midst of just one Bible study or prayer meeting. Other times it’s a slower, more consistent transformation over their years in third–level. Either way, it’s great to see students become more like Christ as they grow in the fruit of the Spirit and share the good news of Jesus with their friends.”

Personal CU/Student Highlight: 

“I still remember the first time I went to one of the big CUI (or IFES Ireland, as it was then) conferences. I walked into the hall (late, I should add!) and was met with a wave of singing as students of my own age were singing God’s praises. I had never experienced anything like it before and it really affected me to see so many of my peers who were willing to sing at the top of their voices to praise God.”

As well as leading the team in Leinster, Peter works with the CUs in UCD and DCU.

Louise Hacking

Louise Hacking

Region: Leinster – Maynooth
Position: CU Staff Worker

Louise is from Ballyclare and studied Music at Ulster University’s Magee Campus. She enjoys listening to music, playing the guitar, chatting over coffee, and she loves penguins and gadgets.

Why Louise loves working with CUI: 

“I love having opportunities to chat with students about their faith and journey with God. I count it a privilege to walk alongside students as they discover more of who they are in Christ and to be able

to encourage them to seek the Lord with all of their heart, soul, strength and mind as they navigate the joys and struggles of university life”

Personal CU/Student highlight: 

“For me, CU was a chance to meet with other believers and worship God on campus through bible study, prayer, praise and outreach. It was a formative time in my journey with God and I am thankful for the opportunities I had to lead people in worship and grow and be stretched as I stepped out and trusted God.”

Louise works with the CUs in MU, TCD and DIT.

Lorna Moore

Lorna Moore

Region: Northern Ireland – Portstewart
Position: CU Staff Worker

Lorna studied English Literature and History at Edinburgh University, and Teaching English as a Secondary Language at Queen’s University. She loves to drink tea, bake, read, chat and receive post!

Why Lorna loves working with CUI: 

“My job means encouraging, supporting, and equipping students in their relationship with God and I love watching lives being transformed by the love God has for them. The openness and friendliness of students never ceases to amaze me, and I am filled with admiration as they continually seek to grow in their knowledge of God, and be a witness to those they interact with, and making God known and glorified on their campus.”

Personal CU/Student Highlight: 

“I loved my Small Group at university– it was great being able to join with fellow students and study the Word of God. It was a time for fellowship, encouragement and real blessing in a diverse group, as we learned and struggled together, while adapting to university life.”

Lorna works with the CUs in LYIT, UUM and UUC.

Amy Cunningham

Amy Cunningham

Region: Northern Ireland – Belfast
Position: CU Staff Worker

Amy studied English with Linguistics in Queen’s University Belfast. Since then she has worked in a chaplaincy and worked as an English teacher in the Basque region of Spain. She enjoys the finer things in life; Gilmore Girls, Laser Tag, Japanese prank videos, Peking chicken, water fights and Grumpy Cat. You can usually find her in some café looking ‘artsy’, reading Harry Potter in Spanish and enjoying a strange fruit tea.

Why Amy loves working with CUI: 

“For me, university was a time where God taught me so much about Himself and His mission, and so I’m really excited about how much students can transform and grow while they are at university. I absolutely love this work because of the potential students have at university to share the gospel with many different people – you’ll probably never meet so many people from different cultures and backgrounds ever again!”

Personal Highlight:

“A highlight of my time in the Christian Union was giving tea and coffee to anyone who walked past in South Belfast outside the university. It was a great way to ask people to question their worldview and consider Jesus. I made friends with some people I chatted to on the street, listened to people’s stories and opened my Bible with others.”

Amy works with the CUs in UUJ, QUB, Stran and BMC.

Jonny McClune

Jonny McClune

Region: Northern Ireland – Belfast
Position: CU Staff Worker

Jonny is from Belfast and studied Architecture at Queen’s. After working for a year he completed a PGCE and taught in secondary education for 4 years. Jonny loves playing sport both competitively and recreationally and in particular, rugby. He enjoys playing and listening to music, watching movies, coffee and naps.

Why Jonny loves working with students/CUI: 

“I love having the opportunity to work with and journey with students because it is such an interesting and stimulating time in their lives. It’s a joy to help and guide them as they make decisions and both develop their ability as leaders and grow in their faith.”

Personal CU/student highlight: 

“As a student I tried as many new opportunities as I could, social, sporting and faith–based. I met so many different people from all sorts of backgrounds and made some lifelong friends. My favourite and most memorable were those in Christian leadership, both the times of study and focused development and those of increased responsibility where I had the opportunity to speak and develop my gifts.”

Jonny works with the CUs in QUB, UUJ and UUB.

Peter Grier

Peter Grier

Region: Munster & Connacht – Cork
Position: Munster & Connacht Team Leader & CU Staff Worker

Peter grew up in Belfast in a Christian home, he enjoyed the rich heritage of Bible teaching that NI has to offer, as well as the joy of being a Christian Bookshop manager’s son. Leaving to study maths and philosophy at the University of Nottingham, before doing “Relay” there (and some hockey coaching), he realised that he missed Irish culture and the coastline of Ireland more than he thought! Now 4 years in Cork, he can be found hanging out in coffee shops, playing any sport that’s going (though particularly hockey) and pondering about a theology of travel. As well as going from north to south, he has been growing in his appreciation of eastern culture and worldview and you’ll often see him with Arab friends, eating tagines, learning Arabic and playing 5–a–side soccer.

Why Peter loves working with CUI: 

“The “times they are a–changing” (as Mr Dylan would say) and I think it’s a fascinating time not only to be in Ireland, but to be at the heart of that change in the student world, where university lectures will impact what the country will move on to believe, and the students will become next generation’s leaders of the country and of the Church. As the country seems to be making its theme tune “losing my religion”, it’s incredible to be able to equip and inspire such passionate, young believers as they seek to change their campus, society and the world by proclaiming the good news of Jesus, and seeing many coming to know Him across the land. What a joy!”

Personal CU/Student Highlight: 

“CU was transformational in my life, as I learnt how to apply my rich theological upbringing to real life. Having never met such a diversity of people before, it was amazing to be able to meet up and study the Bible with people from the Secular Society, LGBT society, Islamic society, some of my hockey team, housemates and course–mates, and see them respond to Jesus in different ways. But my highlight was definitely our “nine20” small–groups, in areas where every student lived (whether in halls or off campus), that gave every one of 33,000 students a chance to meet Christians and to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ during their time at university – what an incredible legacy to have over 3 years as a CU!”

Peter is the Munster & Connacht Team leader and works with the CUs in UCC, CIT, ITTra, WIT, and ITC.

Helen Blakey

Helen Blakey

Region: Munster & Connacht – Galway
Position: CU Staff Worker

Helen graduated from St Andrews University in 2011 with a degree in French and Spanish. After uni, she did the Relay programme in Stirling and spent a year working as a youth worker in Bangor before moving to Australia for several years. She is married to Joel and is now living in Galway. Helen loves spending time with people, visiting new places and drinking coffee.

Why Helen loves working with CUI: 

“I love working with students because they have amazing potential to shape their areas of study and work for the Gospel. I believe that many people make decisions as students that will impact the rest of their lives and therefore it is important to point them to Christ as they navigate the joys and struggles of student life.”

Personal CU/Student Highlight: 

“A highlight of my time as a student in CU was going to Forum Scotland (a day of evangelism training for all the CUs in Scotland). The main speaker talked on Acts 17 and reminded us that God is in every part of life and that people are searching for Him whether they realise it or not. It was a great challenge and encouragement that we were not to limit God or believe that certain people were beyond the reach of the Gospel.”

Helen works with the CUs in NUIG, ITS, UL, LIT and AIT.

Neus Kell

Neus Kell

Region: Dublin

Position: CU Staff Worker

Neus is from Blessington, Co. Wicklow, and studied French and Spanish at Trinity College Dublin. After a year of Relay and a year in France, she taught English as a Foreign Language in Dublin for a few years. She loves to play music and do Irish dancing.

Why Neus loves working with CUI: 

“I love working with students and getting to see them grow in their relationship with God and develop as leaders in their time at university. It’s so encouraging as I hear stories and see students reaching out to their friends on campus with the gospel. I remember going to a seminar on evangelism with Lindsay Brown at CUIAC one year and realising what a huge potential the CU had to reach all the students on campus with the gospel. I have been convinced of it ever since and feel privileged to play a part in that now.”

Personal Highlight:

“I loved getting to be involved in international student ministry in Trinity and then also through DIO and international cafés in the city, as well as meeting students from other CU movements by going to France and Spain. It was amazing to get to know and share the gospel with students from so many different backgrounds and countries and just showed me really what it really meant to serve God by reaching out to others.”

Neus works with the CUs in UCD and TCD.

Isabel Quinlan

Isabel Quinlan

Region: Waterford and Carlow 

Position: Associate Staff Worker

Why Isabel loves working with CUI: 

“I love working with CUI because I know how much of an impact Christian Unions can make on students in their college years and way beyond! When I was a student, being in CU helped shape me in so many ways, from my view of church to the importance of lifelong mission. I also made friends for life in my CU!
These days I love meeting students from loads of different backgrounds and being part of a community that on the outside might seem unlikely but is united through the gospel. I get to see real love in action when students work together, with all their differences to be mini mission teams in their colleges.”

Personal CU/Student Highlight: 

“This semester so far I’ve been blown away by God’s Spirit already at work in students that we’ve come into contact with. One student recently approached an outreach stall in IT Carlow and told us he’s been feeling disillusioned by traditional religion, so he’s been reading scripture for himself and can feel himself being ‘changed by the grace of Christ’. I’ve been reminded that God himself is doing mission on campus, and that we’re following in his footsteps!”