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.
Also pastoral charge of Trinity Castleford 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 Crigglestone, Newmillerdam, Walton and Sandal churches.
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 (South Elmsall) and Airedale Methodist Churches.
REV. Rob Drost
I joined our Circuit in September 2016 and was previously Chaplain at the Children's Hospital in Sheffield and lay Minister at Millhouses Methodist Church. I received my first License and Church Minister back in 1987 when I served in East London.
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 Yorkshire Plus Regional Training Team.
We have four children between us - Richard is 24 and has his own flat in Rotherham where he is cared for in a shared housing block - he has Autism. Stephen is 22 and having been at Aberystwyth University studying International Politics and History (2:1) is now working in a Law Firm in Sheffield. Eve is 21 and having got a First in Fine Art is now working in Brighton for the YMCA as an Outreach Officer with homeless and vulnerable adults. Isaac will be 18 in February and is in his second year as a welder and metal fabrication apprentice in Sheffield.
I have pastoral charge of Lindale, Methley and Wrenthorpe. I am the Mayor of Wakefield's Chaplain and Co-Chaplain of Wakefield Hospice and the Lead Minister in exploring the redevelopment of Newton Hill Cricket Club.
Revd RUTH Gilson-Webb
I am in my first Ministerial appointment (a ‘Probationer’), based at Central, Micklegate and Knottingley Ropewalk Methodist churches (all part of our 'Eastern Cluster')
Prior to training (Including two years as a student Minister in the Barnsley Methodist Circuit) my previous role was as Director of the Christian youth movement The Girls’ Brigade
Despite being a Yorkshire girl through and through, home for me is a bit of an Australian/English/Scottish fusion as it’s shared with Helen my Aussie partner, and our two cheeky West Highland White Terriers….Fergus and Basil.
Helen and I enjoy trips to the Ice hockey ('Go Sheffield Steelers’ ), watching Aussie cooking shows and finding places to chill and enjoy a good coffee.
Our ‘Alexa’ enjoys blaring out Hillsongs, Bethel and Chris Tomlin style worship music, though I am a bit of a Classic fm and Archers geek when in on my own!
Is it risky to admit that I don’t like liquorice and I have no real idea about the rules of Rugby League?
I find the Message translation of the Bible really helpful at times, and this my absolutely all-time favourite passage:
'We look at the Son and see the God who cannot be seen.
We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created.
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.
He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.
And when it comes to the church, he organises and holds it together, like a head does a body.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end.
From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone.
So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.
Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
How incredible and hope-filled is that?!
Revd Michael Jones
Mike joined the circuit in September 2011 and has pastoral responsibility for The King's Way Church (Ossett - Methodist/URC), Woodlesford, Rothwell and St. John's Methodist Church (Ossett).
Revd Jacob Kaiga
My name is Jacob Kaiga I am a Circuit Minister in charge of Lofthouse, Parkside and Trinity (Wakefield) Churches.
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 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 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 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 have been in post since October 2016 and 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, firstly as a nanny in various locations, then as a deputy nursery manager and lastly as an OFSTED registered childminder, for 21 years.
I am married to Stuart and we have 3 children. Our eldest child, Alex, is a science teacher in London. Our second son Will, works in credit control for a company in Leeds. Our daughter Charlotte, is enjoying Year 6 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 & Families 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 & Families 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.
Paula Ridley- Pastoral Worker
As pastoral worker within the Circuit I am, initially, working alongside Rev. Naomi in the churches of Ackworth, Lofthouse, Parkside and Upton. I’m looking forward to getting to know church fellowships from different parts of the Circuit.
I am a member at Upton Methodist Church and Anchors Section Leader within 1st Ackworth Boys’ Brigade based at Ackworth Methodist Church.
Mr Michael Roberts - Finance
My responsibilities are to keep the accounts of the Circuit, receive all the income, pay all the bills, reimburse all expenses, ensure that payroll records for our lay employees are maintained 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 prepare the annual budget, calculate the assessment on each church 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.
I am a former Senior Circuit Steward of the Circuit and a Circuit Steward of the former Wakefield Circuit
I attend Wrenthorpe Methodist Church where I am a Steward, Church Treasurer, and Editor of the church magazine. I am a former member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
I am married to Wendy and between us we have 5 grandchildren who keep us busy. I enjoy reading, travel and watching (armchair) most sports, especially cricket and rugby league.
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. I am a member and steward at Upton Methodist Church.
My professional background is in primary teaching and I have many years experience working with children and families within the church as well as in Guiding.
I work closely with Matt and Vicky, our circuit Children & Families Workers.
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 Property. 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.
Mr David Lane
I am the circuit steward responsible for Mission, Evangelism & Outreach.I was brought up in a Methodist family, both my parents having been missionary doctors in China. I have been a member of the Church for about sixty years, and was a local preacher in the 1960s and 1970s. I now attend Sandal, where I have lived for over thirty years. My career was mainly in child care and social services, but I retired last year. I was elected in September 2018 and look forward to getting to know the Circuit.
last edit NAS 30/9/19...