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A brief biography

The call

Following a career in technical journalism and running my own copywriting consultancy, I received a call to ordained church leadership and preaching ministry in the 1980s. I received this call in my local parish church where I had become a Christian. However my opportunity to test the call was at Walton-on-Thames Baptist Church where I had opportunities to preach, lead services and develop pastoral skills and sensitivities. Following ministerial recognition by London Baptist Association, in 1992 I entered Spurgeon’s College on a four-year track to accredited ministry with the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

Pastorates

I have served in large and small churches in towns, villages and city centre and a breadth of social contexts. I served Bookham Baptist Church in Surrey from 1993 to 1996 as an assistant minister in training, then two consecutive pastorates in the Reading/Wokingham area of Berkshire (Shinfield Baptist Church and Sindlesham Baptist Church), then a move to Speen Church in Buckinghamshire, finishing in December 2014. From Nov 2005 to September 2016 I was Minister Team Leader of Hereford Baptist Church. During all of this time I have had friendship with church leaders and churches of other streams and denominations.

Family

I am husband to Alison (married 36 years) who has worked as a vicar’s PA and team administrator. We have three children, Rebecca (a paedatrician doctor in Southampton), Rachel, working in fashion design in London, and Robert, a strategy consultant with Oliver Wyman, also based mainly in London.

Values and experience

Here are some of my most important values, out of which have grown areas of particular experience. This is also I am passionate about, in no particular order:

Worship – knowing and loving Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Empowered to love in ministry and mission by the Holy Spirit.

Preaching and teaching and evangelism linked with the use of online media

Community which looks ‘outside the walls’

Small groups (and courses) for growing people (‘disciple formation’) and for enabling mission

Relating, loving, and encouraging (modelling John 13:34-35). “If the Son shall set you free…” – helping people find freedom from emotional and spiritual hindrances. The link between emotional/spiritual freedom and how we relate.

The kingdom of God – God’s rule, God’s way – and the bigger picture of one church and many congregations and expressions. My theology could be described a Bible-centred and Holy Spirit led, but with a breadth of perspective. Respect for all that is is good in different denominations and streams.

Three distinctives

Equipping: I have a particular passion and gifting for equipping others for ministry (Eph 4:12) – mentoring, coaching, encouraging people to find their gifts and use them. The preaching task for me is about enabling, not just teaching. I have found that this brings the most fruit (most people love to be encouraged and equipped to go further in their Christian lives), and also, strangely, on occasions the sharpest opposition!

Relating: On a one-to-one basis, I can relate to pretty much anyone – I talk to the shy and listen to the vociferous, those balancing demanding workplace situations with family and church and those who are marginalised or shy. Alison and I work particularly well as a pastoral team and have been much appreciated by people who needed friendship and support.

Following: The thing I really value is my time and intimacy with God. Everything else comes from that. Good leadership starts with being a good follower.

Fun

I like walking, cycling, running, getting out in the country and mountains, and spending time with friends. I like music and sometimes play in a band. I am a writer; working with words and creative ways to communicate them is an interest and a relaxation.

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