I’m married to Kathy, who you may know as the Methodist Circuit Superintendent. We have two grown up children, a married daughter who lives nearby in Radcliffe and a son who lives in London. We have a 19 month old granddaughter who we look after every Friday and my daughter is expecting again quite soon.
My parents were Church of England and when I was a young child we went to David Watson’s church in York. But then we moved to Cheltenham and my parents couldn’t find a church they liked so we stopped going! Then, at university in Leeds I met Kathy, who coaxed me into the Methodist Church. I realise now that for several years I wasn’t really a Christian despite going to church most Sundays. But then I read a book by David Watson (I picked it up because I recognised the name) that led me to properly put my faith in Jesus, which transformed my life. But my faith was a bit dry and powerless until I was filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time at an Easter People conference.
My interests outside of church are hillwalking and bird watching. I go running in the winter to keep fit and to relax. I also like cars and driving and have a little open topped sports car (my retirement present to myself). On a nice day I enjoy a drive through the Dales or Wales with the roof off to go for a walk up a hill – and if two or three days of good weather coincide with some spare time I’ll pack my very little tent in my very little car and go camping in the Lake District or Scotland.
I studied Mechanical Engineering at Leeds and after graduating I designed industrial gas turbines, specialising in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics. But after a couple of years I decided it would be more interesting to write the computer programs that we used and I became the company’s first ‘Technical Programmer’, hence embarking on an increasingly dull career in IT. I ended up working for Hewlett-Packard as an IT Services consultant. I was increasingly working away from home, which was getting tedious, so I accepted an offer of redundancy and took early retirement. That was 5 years ago.
I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to do to keep me busy when I retired but was reassured when I heard God tell me that “doors will open and it will be obvious at the time”. And doors certainly opened very soon! I started volunteering at The Message Trust in the Partnerships team, which was great fun and a privilege to be involved in what they do. Then the Eden Bus manager (at that time) asked me to be a trustee and treasurer for a new charity that he had founded, called Embassy, which now provides beds for homeless people and helps them into work, a home and a relationship with Jesus. I also took on quite a few extra jobs in both my previous church (Bolton Road) and in the Methodist District, as well as offering more preaching appointments. And I sort of got into the hairdressing business, but I’ll tell you about that over a coffee some time if you really want to know.
So what brought me to Christ Church? I had no intention whatsoever of getting a job but then at a Message Trust prayer day I felt very clearly that God was telling me to apply. So that’s what I did. The biggest open door yet!
Incidentally, I left The Message just before Christmas but I’ll continue to go to Advance groups and prayer days. I’m still helping to run Embassy as the de facto HR and Finance manager.