Staff & Officers
The Aire and Calder circuit, like any other, is run by a combination of ministers (both presbyters and deacons), lay employees, circuit stewards and many other volunteers.
Click the following links to find out about the roles of various circuit staff and officers.
|What is a circuit steward ?||What is a deacon ?||What is a presbyter ?|
Ministers (Presbyters & Deacons)
Revd Andrew Longshaw - Superintendent Minister
As well as being the Superintendent Methodist Minister for The Aire and Calder Circuit I have pastoral charge of Featherstone Methodist Church. It is a church at the heart of the community and has the community very much in its heart. Please look at our Featherstone section to see just how much we reach out to the community, as well as all that we do in church.
I arrived here in the Summer of 2016 from North Cumbria. My wife Elizabeth and I lived in a little market town called Brampton. However, the circuit covered an area from the Solway to the Northumbrian border and included Carlisle. Part of my time was spent in ecumenical work, as Cumbria moved towards becoming an ecumenical county. Previously, we have served in North Liverpool, Newcastle-under-Lyme and for a short time in Birmingham. Many of these posts have also involved working with other denominations, different faiths and with people from different cultures, backgrounds and traditions. That has involved a lot of fighting for civil rights for many different groups over many years. I have been actively involved in Fairtrade and I am passionate about environmental issues. Most of all, I like to be rooted in my local community and serve them through different mission fields and initiatives. I have been in ministry now for 18 years and I still love it!
I was, by profession, a lawyer and worked in the Civil Service, as a senior lawyer, for several years. Yet, even as I was getting comfortable in that job God called me to the ministry and I have not regretted it. Having a job that you love to do and which often makes a really positive impact on people’s lives is a great honour and I give thanks for that on a daily basis. Working outside the church and in our differing communities is increasingly important and in the past I have been a hospice, hospital and a prison chaplain. I have also been a Padre to a RAF base and to the Royal British Legion. Currently, I am Chaplain to Featherstone Rovers RFC, the Royal British Legion and to the Mayor of Featherstone.
Over this past year I have, in my work with this Circuit’s leadership, helped enable a vision for this Circuit, as well as developing a succession plan for Circuit staff and stewards. I continue to pray that jointly we can formulate and evolve a mission strategy, which will help others to know the gracious and loving God who has so dramatically impacted my life and the lives of many I have come into contact with. Over this past year I have been able to preach in all our Circuit churches and my wife and myself visit them for social events whenever possible.
Revd Neil Bishop
Neil Bishop has been a Methodist minister for 30 years. He is the Circuit Development Enabler and Ecumenical Officer, and the minister of Trinity Church in South Elmsall.
Neil also works part-time as the manager of a community based charity in Sheffield. He has extensive qualifications and experience in charity management, fundraising and community development.
Deacon Sharon Dilley
I am working at Ropewalk & Airedale Churches where I will have specific responsibility for working with the church people to make connections with the communities around the churches and supporting the uniform organisations. I'm also involved with the Trinity Mission Night Shelter and drop-in in Castleford.
Apart from my two years training in Durham I have lived in the south all my life, having been born in Bicester. I'm enjoying exploring a new area and am beginning to understand the accent!
In my spare time I enjoy meeting up with friends, going to the cinema and reading, mostly non challenging fiction otherwise known as chic-lit.
Revd Andrew Checkley
Revd Andrew Checkley has pastoral charge of Kippax, Trinity (Castleford) and Airedale Methodist Churches as well as Christchurch URC, Castleford.
He is also the ecumenical officer for the Leeds District of the Methodist Church.
Revd Robert Drost
I am a "Rob" rather than a 'Robert'. I joined our Circuit in September 2016 and was previously Chaplain at the Children's Hospital in Sheffield and Student Minister at Millhouses Methodist Church.
Originally from Cardiff, I moved to South Yorkshire in 1999. I am married to Rachel McCallam, who works for the Methodist Church as the Co-ordinator for the Yorskshire Plus Regional Training Team.
We have four children between us - Richard is 21 and has his own flat in Rotherham where he is cared for in a shared housing block - he has Autism. Stephen is 18 and is off to Aberystwyth University to study International Politics, Eve is also 18 and is off to Brighton University to study Fine Art, and Isaac who is 14 and is about to go Year 10 for his GCSE's. He continues his passion for rugby and is on trial with Leicester Tiger's Rugby squad.
I have pastoral charge of Lindale, Wrenthorpe and Trinity Wakefield.
Revd Wayne Grewcock
Wayne has been a Methodist Presbyter since 1997. He is part-time within the circuit and his roles are Chaplain of Wakefield Methodist Junior and Infant school, working with the Children and Families workers as well as preaching across the circuit.
Wayne also runs Twelvebaskets Ltd which operates theworshipcloud.com, a worship resource site for preachers and worship leaders.
Revd Michael Jones
Mike joined the circuit in September 2011 and has pastoral responsibility for Crigglestone Methodist Church, the King's Way Church (Ossett - Methodist/URC) and St. John's Methodist Church (Ossett).
Revd Jacob Kaiga
My name is Jacob Kaiga I am a Circuit Minister in charge of Central and Micklegate Churches in Pontefract.
I am married with three children and was trained in Kenya where I attained a Diploma in Theology and a Bachelor of Divinity Degree. I was stationed to the circuit in 1987 and was ordained in 1989.
After working there for eight years I came to the UK in 1995 for further studies. Whilst doing my studies I was given a job as a Circuit Minister. This was a big surprise because I never thought about working in England. Since then I have worked in the UK but still doing some charity works back in Kenya. For me England is my home from home.
Revd Naomi Kaiga
I take care of Parkside(Outwood), Lofthouse, Ackworth and Upton.
I was born and brought up in Kenya. I was trained as a Methodist minister in Kenya and then did my second degree at Sheffield University. I joined the British Methodist Church in 2001, first as a regarded and recognised minister of another church, then received into full Connexion in 2007.
I have a passion for prayer and also seeking to make the heart of the Father known as the world's greatest Dad.
I am married to Jacob and a mother of 3 girls.
Revd Barry Lotz
Put me in the garden, with chocolate and some coffee, and Celeste (my spouse) nearby and I'm as happy as Larry. Well, Barry.
Our family lived in Devon when we arrived here from South Africa in 1995 and we still think we are (slightly) Devonian. We've been in West Yorkshire since August 2008 and beginning to think more like Yorkshire folk, not least that this is God's own county.
We have two sons who live near Milton Keynes and one of them has three sons, William, Benjamin and Thomas, of whom we are ever so proud. Have I shown you their latest picture, yet?
Barry is in pastoral charge at Sandal, Walton and Newmillerdam Methodist Churches.
Revd Barry Owen
I’m a presbyter with pastoral charge of Altofts, Normanton, Stanley and Streethouse Methodist Churches.
I am married to Jacqueline, who is a Minister in the Leeds South & West Circuit.
We have three grown up children, two daughters and one son, and then there are our three fantastic grandchildren, who continue to grow up very fast.
Before offering for the Ministry I was an Electrical Engineer in the construction industry, the last 25 years of which was MD of my own Electrical Commissioning Company working on industrial and commercial projects, which I fully withdrew from before stationing. I am glad to say the company continues to thrive with its new management.
Revd James Morley
I am the Presbyter serving the communities of Methley, Rothwell and Woodlesford.
Before my pilgrimage back to the North I've lived in Manchester (sorry), County Durham, Nottinghamshire and Bedford. Sadly I am still a Notts County supporter.
I enjoy music and play bass guitar (because it has less strings than a proper guitar).
I was ordained in 2015 and so, still being fairly new to all this, look forward to us learning and journeying together.
I feel particularly inspired by alternative and fresh expressions of worship and Church.
Revd Kim Williams
Born and bred in Sheffield. Prior to the ministry I was a nurse working in palliative care.
I am married to Steve and we have 5 sons, 4 grandchildren and 2 dogs. I have pastoral charge of Horbury, Trinity Netherton and West Wakefield.
My passions are chocolate, mugs (not cups) of coffee, shopping and God – not necessarily in that order, and, having spent the last 5 years in Cornwall I am an expert on the correct way to serve cream teas!
Heather Turner - Circuit Administrator
I am the recently appointed Circuit Administrator and I have been in post since October 2016.
My role is to assist the Superintendent Minister with the administration of such a large circuit and includes collecting information from circuit staff, local preachers, circuit officials and church officials to enable the timely production of e-news and the plan.
I was brought up in Horbury, near Wakefield and have always been connected to Horbury Methodist Church, where I am now the Safeguarding Liaison Officer. I am also the editor of the Horbury Churches Together newsletter.
After college I worked in childcare, first as a nanny in various locations, then as a deputy nursery manager and lastly as a childminder, for 21 years.
I am married to Stuart and we have 3 children. Our eldest child, Alex, has just finished university and is a science teacher in London, our second child, Will, is working as an accounts assistant for a lawyer in Leeds and our third child, Charlotte, is enjoying Year 4 at a local junior school.
During days off and weekends we enjoy family time together, reading, crafts and card-making and growing vegetables to name just a few pastimes. I also like to knit and do puzzles and jigsaws. Attending church coffee mornings is also a speciality of ours especially if there is a tombola stall!
Vicky Welsh - Children's & Family Worker
Hi, my name is Vicky Welsh.
Newly appointed September 2015 to the role of Children and Families Worker (there are two of us) I am dedicated to ensuring that all ages are listened to, promoting learning from each other.
My last post was Community Support Facilitator. This included facilitating groups within the local communities, job carving, Inclusion (recognising that we are all of equal value) and safety for people who are vulnerable.
St John’s Methodist is my home church. I’ve been there since January 2009 when I returned to the Methodist Church after spending some time attending Evangelical Church and some years not at church services. On return I learned what Grace is.
My husband Nigel has two grown up daughters which means I have two young grandchildren.
My current interests are papier Mache animals-the larger the better, flash mobs- I’m going to need help with this one, and finding rainbows everywhere-eternal hope! I am an avid U.C.B. listener.
Matt Burland - Children's & Family Worker
I began working for the circuit in September 2015 alongside Vicky as a Children and Families Worker. Our role is to support what the churches are already doing in their work with children and families; help implement new initiatives in the churches; organise circuit wide events for children and their families; and provide training and support for those volunteering with children's work.
I was brought up in the town of Otley in Wharefedale and have attended Otley Methodist Church pretty much all of my life (apart from when I was at university in Norwich for four years) where I have been a youth club leader, Sunday School teacher, church steward, and holiday club leader. I am also a local preacher. I live in Holt Park, north Leeds and before working for the circuit I worked for eight years in the world of education - first as a teaching assistant and then as a primary school teacher.
In my spare time, I enjoy catching up with family and friends (particularly playing with my niece and nephew), watching sport (football, rugby league and cricket especially), growing my own fruit and vegetables, and baking cakes.
Mr Colin Ride
My Circuit responsibility is for Mission, Evangelism & Outreach, so that's a broad and diverse agenda.
I'm a member of Trinity, Netherton and a local preacher. My passions include World Church and Fair Trade.
For the last eight years of paid employment I was the Methodist Church Europe Secretary, located in Methodist Church House, London. I was responsible for Methodist and ecumenical relationships across Europe, needless to say I am Europhobic!
Together with my wife, Sandra, we have been voluntary Fair Trade reps with Traidcraft plc almost since its inception as a company and we are now Area Contacts. I trained profesionally as a youth & community worker and I spent a number of years as a Methodist Training & Development Officer.
Personal interests include photography, being a season ticket holder of Derby County, and a member of Derbyshire County Cricket Club - as you might guess Derby is where we come from.
Mr Gordon Kay - Finance
My responsibilities are to prepare an annual budget and ensure adequate funds are available to meet all regular commitments of the Circuit.
I also receive and forward all church donations made to outside organisations, reimburse all business expenses, maintain payroll records for our lay employees and liaise with local authorities over the payment of council tax and water rates on the manses. At each year end I prepare and present financial statements for the approval of the Circuit Assembly.
I and my wife, Frances, have been members at Sandal since moving from York in 1973. I'm a member of Sandal choir and I have been a local preacher since 1967.
Mr Tom Ferguson
I am the circuit steward responsible for the ministers (presbyters & deacons). The role involves dealing with the re-invitation of ministers and preparing the circuit profile when we are requesting a new minister to be stationed in the circuit.
Amongst other things I am an organist and church steward at Altofts Methodist Church which I have attended all my life, apart from when I was studying at Hull University. I am also on trial as a Local Preacher.
I married Diane in February 2013 and gained four children at the same time. I have been a primary school teacher for almost 10 years.
I am a season ticket holder at Castleford Tigers RLFC and attend most matches both home and away!
Mr Peter Finneran
I am the Circuit Assembly Secretary responsible, with the Circuit Superintendent, for preparation of the Circuit Assembly and Circuit Executive and presentation of the minutes.
I am married to Betty, we have a son and a grand-daughter.
Prior to moving to Yorkshire in 2006 we lived in the Scottish Highlands.
I previously served as a Circuit Steward in the Inverness and the Pontefract & Normanton Circuits. Betty and I are members at Upton, and I am a Local Preacher.
Originating from Birmingham I support Aston Villa and Warwickshire County Cricket Club. In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking and going to the theatre.
Mrs Deborah Storey
I am the Circuit Steward with responsibility for Children and Young People
Mrs Val Brook
I am the Circuit Steward with responsibility for Church Life/Learning and Development within the churches.
Mrs Judith Kershaw
I am the circuit steward with responsibility for Lay Employees, including our Administrator, Children & Family Workers and any other staff employed within the circuit, including cleaners and caretakers.
I grew up in Ferrybridge and attended Central Methodist Church in Pontefract, where I was Christened at the first Baptism service held there after it opened in 1952. (I leave you to do the Maths!) My Mum still blames my late arrival for her missing the opening celebrations!
Apart from 3 years at College in Lancaster, I have always lived and worked in the Wakefield area. Before retiring in the summer of 2015, I spent 41 years as a Primary School Teacher. When I first moved to Wakefield I went to Eastmoor Chapel, which is sadly now a used car lot as the congregation have moved to new premises at Trinity, just around the corner. In 1976 I bought a house in Sandal and joined the congregation at Sandal Methodist Church. There I have been JMA secretary as well as still being a member of the Choir and, prior to becoming a Circuit Steward, I served a 6-year term as Church Steward.
David and I were married at Sandal in 1980 and still live in the area. He is a keen photographer and we enjoy getting out and about looking for photo opportunities – often in more rugged areas such as Spurn Point or Ravenscar Beach. With my Mum, we also like to explore garden centres – preferably those with a good coffee shop!
Mr Ian Pattison
I am the circuit steward responsible for Lay Appointments ranging from cleaners and caretakers to lay workers. Since June 2012, when we moved to Ossett, my wife Christine and I worship at The King's Way Church where we are both Worship Stewards. Prior to our move I worshipped at Woodside Methodist Church, Horsforth which is now part of the Leeds South and West Circuit where I held various positions at Church and Circuit level.
I am a member of the District Candidates Committee and the District Manses Committee. I have also been a member of the District Consent Panel and secretary of the former District Lay Employment Committee.
I am a retired solicitor and have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren.