We currently have five Circuit Stewards, they are:-
At present we only have two post holder ‘bios’. The others should follow in due course.
In September 1973 I arrived in Coventry to do a 1 year PGCE course as an enthusiastic 22 year old whose new wife was doing research in the Physics department at Warwick university. We found a warm welcome at Lime tree Park for what was suppose to be a short 2 year visit whilst Helen completed her research at Warwick University. Nearly 40 years later we are still here, as I had the privilege of working my way up from Science Teacher through Year Head and to Assistant Head Pastoral before retiring in December 2010 in one of Coventry’s most popular Comprehensive schools who kept promoting me. Given that our talents and skills are gifts from God I have always tried to use them in all aspects of life, but especially within the churches we attended. I have been a youth club/YPF Leader encouraging young people to get involved in leading worship, Youth and Education Secretary, Trainer of youth workers and Junior church staff. During one of Youth events at the MAYC weekend it was at a service in the Albert Hall with the Rev. Donald English preaching that my faith became personal, ( faith of heart and head.)
I have had the responsibilities and joys of being a Church Steward in two very different style churches. Thanks to the promptings of the late Rev. Barbara Marshall I became a worship leader at Earlsdon, and with my wife, Helen, helped establish the alternative style Pulse worships during the last 14 years. It was standing in the balcony in Llandudno at Easter people trying to sing “I the Lord of sea and sky” that I finally gave in to the call to Preach being unable to avoid the promptings anymore. ( God does have a sense of humour and just keeps nudging you so that things are done in his time). I now help train new local preachers being part of the Circuit Tutor team on the Faith and Worship course.
My roots are in a very traditional Methodist background, as my great grandfather and grandfather were chapel planters and along with my Father were also Organists and choirmasters. I recognise the strengths of Methodism and its contribution and role in a caring society but also just how much we have moved away from the foundation that Wesley’s laid of Christ is for all. As Christians we are called to share the good news in ways that are relevant to the 21st century communities.
The world to which we witness is totally different even to the 1960’s traditions I grew up in and with 70% of people being unchurched now has more in common with Wesley’s time of outreach. In the role of Circuit enabler I hope to serve Jesus through supporting the churches in the Circuit in working together as we move forward as a “Discipleship movement shaped for mission” sharing his love with all. Being a northerner I do call “a shovel a shovel and a spade a spade” but I feel I have a range of skills that will enable me to serve the Circuit in this period of change as we are called to move forward to be Christ’s hands on earth sharing his love with each other and all we meet.
I’m Helen Holdforth, I moved to study in the Physics department at Warwick University after graduating with a degree in Physics and Astronomy from St. Andrew’s University. Bill and I (both from the north-east town of Hartlepool) were married when he came to do his PGCE and we’ve been in Coventry ever since as he was promoted through the school to eventually be Assistant Head.
We began worshipping at Lime Tree Park and took part in many church and circuit activities. I stopped being ‘Mrs Bill’ helping to run the Youth Club when our first son, Paul, was too old to take around in the carrycot. Mark was born three years later. We started to worship at Earlsdon in 1989 as we had moved to a house by Hearsall Common. We now have three granddaughters – two in Coventry and one in Croydon.
I have helped to plan worship since we first came to Coventry, with many of the ministers and some local preachers and was one of the first authorised Worship Leaders in the Coventry circuit.
I’ve been involved in alternative worship services particularly meditative forms using multimedia and interactive prayer.
Since the autumn of 2004 my friend Alison and I have been setting up prayer rooms which give individuals the opportunity to spend time with God by means of several themed prayer ‘stations’. I have made several labyrinth carpets which are also used for meditative prayer.
Since Earlsdon started using a data projector I have enjoyed preparing the necessary Power Point presentations for worship and experimenting with using the technology to offer worship in different ways.
I believe that worship is a way of life not just an hour on Sunday so I would like to encourage the people of the circuit to have a wider view of worship (different forms and other days), and I hope to help those leading worship in the circuit to explore new ideas and improve how we offer worship to our eternal, loving God in the 21st century.