Mike Stanley, Founder of Fisherman (UK) Music
For almost 20 years, Mike Stanley was part of the musical partnership with Joanne Boyce, known as CJM Music and, latterly, Boyce and Stanley. Their music evolved through youth work in the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, to liturgy and music in schools, inset for teachers, and retreat work. Then, with a national profile, they became more widely known through concerts, their musical presentation of the Stations of the Cross “Born for This“, and appearances on BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday and BBC1 TV’s Songs of Praise. This interaction between life and faith resulted in an abundance of songs written by Mike and Jo.
Mike was also well known on Irish & folk music circuits both in Birmingham and further afield. He played with the well-known band Drowsy Maggie for many years and then formed his own Irish band Shenanigans, which played in venues nationally and even the Rose of Tralee festival in Ireland.
Among the highlights of his musical life, Mike played and sang at World Youth Day, led by Pope John Paul II, in Rome in the Jubilee Year 2000. The same year he and Jo Boyce animated a gathering of 10,000 school children in BBC 1 Songs of Praise at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
In September 2010, he wrote, prepared and led tens of thousand of pilgrims in a live broadcast of BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship on the occasion of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, by Pope Benedict XVI at Cofton Park in Birmingham.
Mike was diagnosed with bowel cancer on Christmas Day, 2010 and sadly passed away in June 2013.
Following his diagnosis with cancer Mike’s song writing became prolific and more poignant. His focus became certain and every day precious. He continued to write, compose and record these songs through some very difficult times and his faith and strength were an inspiration that stemmed from his love of liturgy and reading the Scriptures.
Mike would want people to feel inspiration and comfort from his music.
He felt touched by God’s Grace throughout his life and used that gift to uplift, inspire and help people in their spiritual growth.