I was born and grew up in Leicester and in the early 1960's I was sent by my parents to the Sunday School at Melbourne Hall Evangelical Free Church. It is incredible to think that Anne, who became my wife many years later, was in the same Sunday School at the same time - although I don't think I paid her much attention at the age of five!
It was through attending the Boys Brigade at Melbourne Hall that I was drawn under the sound of the gospel and into the life of the church. I came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour at the age of 17 through the ministry of Dr Eric Gurr. Anne had become a Christian some years before, at the age of 12 at a Billy Graham Rally which was relayed from London to a large meeting hall in Leicester.
I joined the Insurance industry straight from school and qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute. Over the next 35 years I worked for a number of Insurers and eventually became Regional Manager of NIG Commercial (part of Royal Bank of Scotland). I have four grown up children and a grandaughter.
I began preaching at the age of 21 along with two close friends. I can only describe it as being compelled to engage in this work by God! The three of us began to attend a preachers training course at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Seminary in London. We all preached in local chapels & churches wherever we were invited. My two friends were both called into the full time ministry not long after but I continued in secular employment for another 35 years. Any thoughts of becoming a church Pastor had gone by then.
Although we lived in Droitwich Spa for over 20 years, we have had a long association with Castlefields Church, having been members 30 years ago when we lived and worked for a time in Derby. During the intervening years Castlefields has run an annual Houseparty holiday and I have been a helper and speaker each year. Even so it was a great surprise and wonderful privilege to be asked to become full time Pastor at Castlefields Church in March 2008.
Having been here for over six years now we have seen some wonderful evidences of God's hand at work in the church as numbers have grown substantially and we are now concerned about the suitability of the current building to cater for our growing needs in ministry of all kinds. Our motto text in 2013 from Exodus 14 v 15 "...go forward" seems very apt to our situation. God has strengthened us to be able to go forward in many ways but now we are praying particularly about the future location of the Church. In the next few years 800 new residences and a new school will have been built behind the Church. We would love to be here in a larger building to serve the new community and to bring the gospel to them, just as the founders of this church did in the early years.