If someone has never met you before, who are you and what do you do?
I’m a husband to Jackie, father to four wonderful children and a grandfather to their 11 children. I have worked in the property sector for over 40 years, as a planning and development specialist and urban strategist. In the last 10 years i have focused on the Future of the High Street and the future of church buildings.
How long have you been involved with SAINT?
Jackie and I came here 5 years ago, to support Al Gordon, who we have known for 20 years. We moved from SW London and totally fell in love with Hackney and east London.
What made you want to start up WORKLife?
I came to faith at the age of 33, when I was a highly ambitious Associate in one of the top property advisory firms. It was a huge paradigm shift to make sense of. As I found few answers in the church I turned to groups that shared the same search for answers? That brought me into a marketplace ministry in the west end, where i worked, as well as the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. I grew to become a speaker and writer on workplace issues. I even published a book, Ten at Work. I am passionate about seeing Christians become confident change-agents in their working lives, so when Al asked my to start this service, the answer was yes!
What has your experience been of being a Christian in a secular workplace?
Well, there is no such thing as the secular workplace! The bible makes no distinction and that is one of the things we will be teaching about; but I understand what you mean! My main experience is that of the huge priveledge we have in simply being there for other people; to value them, encourage, stand up for them, being kind and – when I am trusted and given the opportunity – to share the gospel. At the same time it is often a hard and challenging place for christians – I myself was threatened with not being promoted unless I stopped telling people about Jesus. It didn’t work.
What is your hope for WORKLife?
My immediate hope is twofold:
- to equip christians to be confident in who they are; to do good work; and to change the world for good. And
- to enable those who come and those in Saint who are interested in the search for answers, to form a network that will eventually change them and their world.
In all this i do believe we are ministering into a window of opportunity, as many people are re-evaluating their whole lifestyle and are asking: “Do I really want to go back to the way things were?” I believe that God is very interested in the answers to that question and my prayer is that WorkLIfe will be influential in helping find the right answers.