The ministers serving in this circuit are listed below. There are also several lay workers employed by the circuit.
REV. SHAUN SWITHENBANK
Shaun is Superintendent and, with the other circuit ministers and stewards, has care of the Methodist churches in Durham and Deerness Valley. He has particular pastoral oversight at Elvet, Framwellgate Moor and North Road Methodist Churches.
Rev. Andy [Andrew] Longe
Joined the team in September serving Carrville, Bowburn, Brandon, and the local ecumenical partnership at All Saints’, Newton Hall. Please read his blog link below.
Rev Colin Jackson
Colin is used to looking after rural churches and loves riding his motorbike on pastoral visits but only in good weather! He and his wife, Janet (also a minister), are jigsaw enthusiasts and now the children have flown the nest have only Pierre, their elderly Bichon Frise dog, to keep them company. Colin lived in France for a year and still enjoys Camembert, Chocolat and Citroens. The churches in Colin’s pastoral care are Bearpark, Esh Winning, Pittington, Sherburn Hill, Langley Park, Sacriston and Witton Gilbert.
Deacon Annette Sharp
Joined the team as a probationer Deacon Sept 2013. Was brought up in Colwyn Bay, N.Wales and moved to Huddersfield in 1980 where she has lived until moving to Wesley House Cambridge to train for the past two years. She has two grown up daughters and two young grandchildren. Her previous work was as a therapist in the NHS and so she has a wealth of experience of working with people experiencing many different life situations. For hobbies, she says it is easier to say what she won’t do – base jumping, parachuting or bungee jumping, most other things she’ll at least have a go at.
Circuit Children’s and Young People’s Development Worker
Viv was born in Woking in Surrey until her parents moved back to Hartlepool which is where she is now based. She gained her BA Hons Degree from Oxford Brookes then her PGCE (Adult Education) took her into teaching Music in College & Primary Schools. Followed by 5 years of Children’s Ministry Advisory Work which she loved and found very rewarding, she is very happy to be engaged in this work again. She has a weekly Gospel Radio Show and is a published international singer songwriter with chart success and national awards. She is the manager of a few UK artists & has recently set up a Record Label “Dove Records”. Her passions in life are Children’s, Youth Ministry & Music. Her aim is to come alongside the churches in the Durham & Deerness Circuit to encourage, resource where needed, offer training towards sustainable projects in fun & engaging environments with the main aim of introducing many more children & Young People to our God who loves, care & has compassion for everyone of us.
COMMUNITY CHURCH WORKER at Carrville.
Helen describes herself as a Lancashire Lass who emigrated to the North East via Yorkshire. A Theology graduate from Durham, she has successfully led an RE Department in a County Durham School. Currently completing an additional degree in Counselling, working with children and adults, she has also trained with Cruse Bereavement Care and supports the Hospital Chaplaincy Team. Helen has a rich and varied journey of discipleship: beginning with Mission England in the 80’s; working alongside Ian Bell of Venture FX at an Urban Priority church in the 90’s; Co-ordinating the Mission Shaped Ministry Course NE; and being involved with National Fresh Expressions as PA to the Connexional Methodist Missioner in the 00’s; presently continuing pioneer ministry with Forest Church. She has two daughters and three granddaughters. She adds: “Extended Family life is a little rainbow coloured including the whole range of the LGBT community.