Mackem / Disciple / Husband of 1 / Dad of 2 / Old Oak / MA / Blogger / Columnist / Pelegrino / Live Music Promoter / Gig Attendee / Book Reader / Theatre Lover / Beleaguered life-long supporter of SAFC / Saracens fan since 1994 / Team Rector @ emmanuel-church.info / Trusting in Psalm 37:3-4.
Expect random thoughts on a variety of subjects including Faith, Music, Sport and anything else which I may want to wax lyrical about. Enjoy!
A FEW PERSONAL DETAILS For those who might be interested!
I’m originally from Silksworth, Sunderland, the son of a miner and a proud Mackem – I still support the only team that matters in the North East. I’m disappointed that we didn’t manage to avoid successive relegations but I’m feeling optimistic under a (yet another) new manager and owner! I’ve been married to Paula, who is a specialist health visitor, since 1986, and we have two children, Benjamin and Annabel.
My spiritual roots are in the Independent Methodist Church. When I left school I left church and, after a time of trying to find my place in the world, I joined a house church which became an established church called Calvary Fellowship – I was a founder member.
Prior to ordination, I worked for ten years in sales and management in the Timber and Building Trade followed by several years in the Prison Service (HMP Durham, HMP Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Liverpool).
As I moved around the country, from Sunderland to West London and then the Wirral, I found myself worshipping in a number of dfferent churches before responding to a ‘call’ to ministry in the Church of England in the early 1990’s when I began to consider Prison Chaplaincy as an option rather than remaining in Uniform or becoming a Governor. This was quite unexpected as I found myself moving from ‘Chapel’ to ‘Church’ – but I’ve not looked back. My ‘sending’ church was Saint Mary’s in Upton, Wirral.
From 1993 I spent four years training for ordination both on the Aston Training Scheme and then at Oak Hill Theological College, North London (and playing for the Saracens Rugby Club whilst I was there – for the veterans/seconds I hasten to add!). I was ordained in 1997 and served my curacy at Saint Chad’s in Handforth, Cheshire (Chester Diocese). I moved ‘darn sarf’ to become Vicar in Chadwell Heath, East London (Chelmsford Diocese) in April 2001 and served for seven enjoyable years.
I was asked by the then Bishop to apply for the post of Team Rector in Billericay (also Chelmsford Diocese) and I was appointed June 2008. Billericay is best known for ‘Gavin and Stacey’ and will be familiar to some of you through Ian Dury and the Blockhead’s song ‘Billericay Dickie’ – it’s not a complementary song about Essex folk.
As you might expect in my role, I have ‘fingers in a number of pies!’ I have founded a Christian pre-school, been involved in setting up a Credit Union and I serve as a Trustee for a number of Christian charities, including Schools Ministry Billericay. I set up the Billericay Community Garden and I founded Billericay Street Pastors.
I’ve always enjoyed being a ‘lifelong learner’ (making up for wasted time at school and lost opportunities) and graduated with an MA in Missional Leadership in July 2013.
I relax through listening to music (I appreciate many genres, though I have a soft spot for rock and blues) and particularly enjoy live music and organise regular local gigs in my garden, house and church. Highlights have to be Beth Neilsen Chapman and Ricky Ross (Deacon Blue) The Lake Poets, Lauren Housley, to name but a few.
I enjoy watching most sports (even attending Super Bowl XLIX – it’s a long story) try to watch SAFC when I can (usually away games) and find a spot of gardening extremely therapeutic.
I love to spend time on holiday with my family – somewhere nice and warm and sunny!
For those of you who are interested, this is a recent mugshot – though I’m not really that grey!