Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Former gangster talks to students about choosing the right path

Photo shows: (left to right) Mr Phil Smith (Headteacher) , Libby Tatton, Will Trotman, John Pridmore,
Natalie Brown, Charlotte Allerton-Price, Miss Maria McGinty (Head of RE) and Mr James Beardmore
(teacher of RE)

Students at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School were visited by a former East End gangster
this week, John Pridmore. Now a high profile Christian speaker, John travels internationally talking
about how he changed his life.

John outlined just how grim his past was with long stretches spent in prison and a heavy involvement
in organised crime. After nearly taking another man's life, something incredible happened and John’s
life began to change. He decided to use his experiences to help young people all over the world by
showing them there is another path than the violent one he took.

Students found his talk really inspiring; “His stories were so emotive and made me reflect on personal
experience. He was huge; a bit scary to start with, but you could tell how devoted he is to God”
commented student Charlotte Allerton-Price (14).

“John Pridmore was really inspiring and his stories were really interesting. They also had an impact on
me because they were so personal.” added Natalie Brown (14).

John is now a full time speaker in parishes, schools and prisons around the U.K. and Ireland to tens of
thousands of people each year. He has led retreats, conferences and seminars throughout the U.K.,
Ireland, U.S.A. (New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles,) Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Cayman
Islands, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Mexico, Liberia, Bosnia
Herzegovina and Croatia.