After gaining a first in Psychology at Bangor University (the welsh one!) and a PGCE at Lancaster (with some office work in between) I became a primary teacher in Leeds. I followed this with a few years of self employment and worked as a dancer, fine artist and community practitioner. During this time I became the children and youth adviser to Bradford Diocese and supported church initiatives and conferences in teaching and participating in creative worship including Spring Harvest, New Wine, Boys and Girls Brigade, Edinburgh festival and Global Day of Prayer, London and Berlin. I love to dance and I am on the core team of Movement in Worship (Miw.org.uk) and recently enjoyed leading all age workshops at Big Church Day Out.
Along with my husband, Nathan, I’ve been on the leadership team of a church in Leeds for 13 years and have learnt a lot about accessible church and church growth in diverse all age communities. This was a busy time but it included becoming a lay reader in the Church of England and completing some theological training, pioneering a ‘fresh expression’ of church called Genr8 (along with a team) leading worship, playing clarinet, leading dance workshops, setting up a prayer room, developing accessible Sunday church programmes, co leading a parish CPAS growing leaders course with my Dad and planning a community fashion show to name a few. Oh I also had two children during that time.. who came after a long struggle and a lot of prayer! I was also grateful to co lead an enjoyable (mostly sunny!) week with MBC at your Moorlands church holiday along with Nathan d and a very Rowan.
I’ve spent the last 11 years working for Leeds Museums and Galleries as a Learning and Access Officer, based in a 500 year old Tudor Jacobean Mansion known as Temple Newsam House. The objective of my job was to bring the house and it’s collection ‘to life’ to as many people as possible. Temple Newsam was gifted to the people of Leeds back in the 1930’s, so it was important to make sure that all aspects of Leeds communities felt welcome there.
During this time I set up a learning programme for primary and secondary schools, university partnerships, school holiday activities, developed teacher training, joined with community organisations on creative well-being projects and helped create exhibitions. One of my favourites was working with a group of local people from Osmondthorpe, East Leeds and following one lady’s comment that “I didn’t think a place like this was for someone like me,” I was inspired to work with them over the following year to support language skills, new hobbies and to build confidence and parenting skills using the House and the objects inside.
All of my work over the years has relied on developing good relationships, encouragement, communication and creativity so I am really looking forward to getting to know people at MBC, partnering with them and with those communities who are or could be connected to us to see what we can do! I’m passionate about inter-generational communities, using creativity for well-being, inspiration, problem solving, purpose and identity in God and how we can support each other as Gods family to build a better world.
In my ‘spare’ time I like to dance, paint, do interesting gym classes, see live performances, try different foods, go out with friends and family and visit museums and galleries. I’m also part of a book club and even though I sometimes fail to finish the book I very much enjoy the discussions!
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those of you here at MBC who have made me and my family feel so welcome. I value your prayers at this time of new beginnings.