As of 15:00 Kevin and I became the General Assembly moderators for 2016 to 2018. This is a great honour but one which could easily bring a degree of anxiety with it. Not least because of those who have gone before us.
Let me express our thanks to both David and John who have worked tirelessly on our behalf demonstrating both compassion and competence. At least Kevin and I will demonstrate that you don’t have to be over six foot tall to be moderator!
Let me introduce ourselves.
Since 2008 Kevin has been the moderator of the Yorkshire Synod. By coincidence Kevin, like me, was born in County Durham. He did well at school and went on to read Geography and history at Leeds University. He then went to University College, Cardiff to read Social Work. He moved back to the north-east to work for the Durham County Probation Service. After three years he decided to test out a call to ministry. He was accepted and went to Mansfield College. In 1982 he was ordained and inducted to serve in Rhyl and Dyserth.
He has subsequently served in Manselton, Swansea and Ponteland, Horsley Village and Stamfordham. Kevin is an avid fan of Sunderland Football Club, Dr. Who and the Eurovision Song Contest! He is married to Lynne and has four adult children (including triplets) and two grandchildren.
Kevin heard a clear prompting from the Holy Spirit to call people to “Come back to my Son”. This drives his hopes for the next few years where his aim is to help us all to:
- be more confident in our Faith and recognise what the risen Christ is doing in the world today;
- listen to what the Spirit is saying to us and have the courage to follow Jesus;
- let go of all that is holding us back.
Kevin says “I believe that it is this time for which the United Reformed Church was born. The world today more than ever, needs the way of living that is Christ’s manifesto. I am convinced that the particular charisms of our Church are needed in today’s world”
Now my turn. I am an Assembly accredited lay preacher and have had a number of different roles in Thames North Synod. I am an engineer by training and a management consultant by profession. Until recently I was an Associate Partner with IBM specialising in Supply Chain and Logistics. I am now working as an independent consultant which allows me to tailor my workload to give me sufficient time to carry out my Modatorial duties.
I was born in the north-east of England in the coastal resort of South Shields (excuse the plug), brought up in a devout Roman Catholic family and educated in Catholic schools. I left the north-east to read electronics engineering at University College London, and remained in or around London ever since. I started my working career as a design engineer, moved to become a manufacturing manager (with the help of Cranfield University) and finally moved into management consultancy.
I enjoy trying to remain fit through cycling, aiming to cover an average of 100 miles every week. I am married to Kate, live in Beaconsfield and have two adult children by my first wife Judith (who died in 2002).