As we join with you all in ministry in Bristol, perhaps you might be interested in learning a little more about Christine and me...
...originally from Altrincham in Cheshire, I moved with my widowed mother to St Austell in Cornwall at the age of thirteen, where I was confirmed as a member at ‘Leek Seed’ Methodist Chapel (there’s a fascinating story behind the name) St Blazey Gate. The Tywardreath Section Youth Fellowship, one of whose tasks was to conduct occasional services, was influential in my call to train as a Local Preacher. I read Biochemistry at Birmingham University and worked as a Research Assistant in the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Although a scientist by training, I have had many jobs in my time, from dishwasher to window frame stacker!
Whilst a member at Hinde Street Methodist Church in the West London Mission, I answered the call of God to the Presbyteral Ministry and trained at Hartley Victoria Methodist College with Northern Baptist College, Manchester. As a part of my training, I served as Assistant Free Church Chaplain to HM Prison, Strangeways and Assistant Minister in the Milton Keynes Circuit, whilst living at the Society of the Sacred Mission Priory, Willen. I’ve served in five Circuits: Bolsover & Staveley, St Austell, Callington & Gunnislake (where I was Superintendent Minister), Higham Ferrers & Raunds (now Nene Valley) and Telford. For six years, I was Cornwall Methodist District Ecumenical Officer, and have always felt it very important for Christians of all denominations to work and witness together.
Recent Sabbaticals have included: sharing fellowship with Eastern Orthodox Christians both in the UK and in Cypriot monasteries, during which I wrote a book on icons and Orthodox spirituality; examining the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary as ‘Patroness’ in Spain; and developing a PowerPoint course for Confirmation Preparation – a visual exploration of our Christian Faith which challenges and stimulates our understanding and commitment.
My ministry is always collaborative, emphasising pastoral care, worship and spirituality, encouragement and training - equipping and developing God’s people for worship, mission and service as we explore, learn and reach-out together as a whole Church family – younger and older.
I believe that growth and spiritual development through small all-age open groups, change management and strategic planning, community involvement and outreach, and developing new technology for worship and mission, are key themes for our journey together. In Telford, I headed our Circuit Training & Development Group, through which we’ve trained dozens of Worship Leaders, Stewards and Pastoral Visitors as well as offering Mission Shaped Ministry and Alpha and Disciple courses.
Among my personal interests are: family life, art and design, books, trivia, exotic foods, gardening, pilgrimage and travel.
Christine and I met in 1988 - when I returned to St Austell as a minister in the Town Section – in the romantic setting of a Circuit Finance & General Purposes Committee Meeting! We were married at ‘Leek Seed’ Chapel in 1993, at a service attended by over three hundred family and friends. We have three grown-up children, from Christine’s previous marriage: Charlotte, a Registered General Nurse, who lives in Draycott, Somerset, with her partner, Nigel B; Graham, a Mining Engineer married to Galina, who has lived and worked in Spain, Russia, Venezuela, Argentina, Albania and Mexico – currently working in Torrecillas, Peru; and Hilary, an Interior Designer and photographer, living with her husband Malcolm in Tywardreath, Cornwall... ...and we have four lovely grandchildren: Anton (11) who lives in Mijas, Spain, with his mother, Galina; and Hilary & Malc’s children, Harriet (10), Edith (5) and Campbell (3).
Christine is a lifelong Methodist who has been actively and enthusiastically involved in Church life and ministry. She was brought-up in the little Cornish village of London Apprentice, near St Austell, and attended Sunday School and Chapel there, where she ‘inherited’ the office of Chapel Treasurer from her father. In 1997 there was a special reunion of the children who grew up in the village in the forties and fifties. Christine compiled her childhood memories, along with those of her brothers, sisters and lifelong friends, into a very successful book of stories, illustrations and poems – which has been the subject of many interesting talks – sales of which are still raising money for Mount Edgcumbe Hospice, St Austell, Cornwall, and NCH Action for Children. Copies are still available!
For eighteen and a half years, Christine worked as a Nursing Auxiliary at Penrice Maternity Unit in St Austell, a job which she enjoyed very much. She has always be active in the Church and has served as a Pastoral Visitor, Reader and Worship Leader. Since giving up her job in 1998, Christine has served as Circuit Methodist Women in Britain President, Circuit and District Easter Offerings Secretary and has used her remarkable creative gifts to raise many thousands of pounds for Church funds and various charities with her Craft Stalls and Quilting Groups.
After ten years with Central Telford Ecumenical Partnership (Anglican/Methodist) - where I’ve served as Methodist Minister and Team Vicar - we already feel wonderfully welcomed to Bristol and we are certain that our time here will be a great blessing for all of us. Thanks to everyone in the Churches and Circuit who have already offered us such warm friendship and many kindnesses.
Nigel and Christine
Find out how by contacting us at:
St Chads Church
172 Rodway Road
Bristol BS34 5ED
Open Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri 9am - noon
Tel: 0117 9793978
Or use our online contact form.