Blaen Cwm Penant, near Porthmadog


in North Wales

About Fr. Bob Rainbow

Born: Birmingham, 4/2/1945, of Midlands parents (Dad's family had been Warwickshire farmers who had lost all their land.)  A younger sister and brother.


3 months later we moved to North London, for Dad's work; Pinner, Middlesex, initially, then Radlett, Herts.


In 1964, with Dad successful in business and pining for the countryside, we moved to near Gloucester.


"The Knowle" infants' school, Pinner, 1949-1951;

Radlett Preparatory School, 1951-1956;

St. Columba's Catholic secondary school, St. Albans, 1956-1964.


Student apprenticeship in mechanical engineering with the Dowty Group and HND + endorsements studied at the (then) North Gloucestershire Technical College, Cheltenham + worked as a design engineer at Dowty Mining Equipment Ltd., 1964-1974.


Assistant Keeper at the Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry, 1974-1979.


Studied for the Clifton Diocesan priesthood at Oscott College, Birmingham, 1979-1985.


Assistant priest, Holy Family parish, Swindon, 1985-1989;

Assistant priest, St. John's parish, Bath, 1989-1992;

Parish priest, St. Michael's parish, Shepton Mallet, 1992-1994;

Parish priest, St. Pius X parish, South Bristol, 1994-1997;

Counselling course, St. Anselm's Centre, Margate, 1997-1998;

Youthwork training, Westminster Diocese Youth Retreat Centre, London Colney, 1998-1999;

F/t chaplain, University of the West of England, Bristol, 1999-2005;

Parish priest, St. John Fisher parish, Wellington, Somerset, 2005-2010;

"Active 'semi-retirement'" to perform the ministries at the top of the page, in a new but 'spiritually-thin' area, 2010-to date.

Member of the (international) Jesus Caritas Priests' Fraternity since 1984; currently "Responsible" for the Wrexham Diocese fraternity and editor of its national newsletter, "Be Brothers uk."


Maintaining my little cottage and garden;

Country walking;

Steam railways (active fireman & workshop hand on the Ffestiniog Railway;)

Steam shipping, steam engines of all sorts and industrial archaeology generally.