Rev Michael Giles - Superintendent Minister
Greetings. I'm married with three children and three grandchildren. I have a non-church, Baptist, Anglican and Methodist background. I enjoy hiking, cycling, travelling, films, humour, sport and supporting Spurs. I'm passionate about Mission both global and local, and I have enjoyed three sabbaticals visiting Northumbria, Cyprus, Ghana, India and Sri Lanka. I'm now in my fourth appointment as I respond to the call of Jesus who said 'Follow me'. After two years of settling in, I am the new Superintendent of the Circuit and look forward to sharing ministry with the staff and churches.
I have primary pastoral responsibility for the Methodist Churches at Kempston East, Kempston West, Willington, Wootton and Stewartby LEP.
Michael is on Sabbatical during March to May 2023. Please contact Stephanie Field or Rev Silas Wood if you would have contacted Michael
Rev Silas Wood - Deputy Superintendent
I moved here from the Shropshire & Marches Circuit in 2018, where I had served for eight years. I’m looking forward to the challenges that will arise as the Circuit evolves into a more team-based way of working, not just in the staff team but in the churches too. I enjoy leading worship, and believe that social justice, equality and inclusion are at the heart of a Christian life. I live with my wife Sue and our dog Izzy. I enjoy photography, reading and cake - not necessarily in that order.
I have primary pastoral responsibility for the Methodist Churches at Ampthill, Clophill, Flitwick, Haynes and Lidlington LEP.
Rev Leslie Noon
Hello! I moved to the Circuit in August 2022 after serving as a Minister in Huddersfield and Swansea. Ministry is clearly a good way of getting to live in some wonderful parts of the UK – Bedfordshire included! My ‘thing’ is about taking the Bible seriously but not literally, and using love to interpret how we understand the Bible (rather than using the Bible to define how we understand love). I have a dog called Wookie who is generally in charge – and a husband called Geoff. I believe that chocolate is the answer to all of life’s problems.
I have primary pastoral responsibility for the Methodist Churches at Beeston, Priory (Bedford), Sandy, Trinity (Biggleswade) and Cardington LEP.
Rev Chris Sandy
I moved here from the Southend and Leigh Circuit in Essex in 2021. I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and am presently studying for my PhD on Cross-cultural leadership in the Methodist Church in Britain. I am very excited to be a part of and to serve in this Circuit, where I expect to see God's faithfulness doing exploits in the life of the Church and the community in general. During my spare time, I like to read, listen to music, or go for a walk, in order to experience the beauty of nature.
I have primary pastoral responsibility for the Methodist Churches at Clapham, London Road (Bedford), Oakley, Park Road (Bedford), Putnoe Heights and Sharnbrook.
Rev Lorna Valentine
I have been in the Circuit since August 2016, and this is my first appointment as a Minister. I have a passion for leading worship and preaching, and enjoy finding ways to be creative in this. I enjoy films, TV and books, and often find myself reflecting on how they connect with faith.
I have primary pastoral responsibility for the Methodist Churches at Henlow, Langford, Shefford and Upper Caldecote.
Stephanie Field - Circuit Manager & Safeguarding Officer
I have been working for the Circuit since November 2014 in various roles. I live in Bedford with my husband Martin and our children Jake and Kady, not forgetting Naseby our dog. We attend Putnoe Heights Church in Bedford. I am the Chair of the RNLI Biggleswade and District Branch, a Parent Governor at Mark Rutherford School and spend many hours travelling round the country supporting my daughter in Cheerleading (proud parent moment - her team came 4th in the world in 2022).
Damilola Obajemu- Circuit Finance Officer
I am an ACCA qualified Accountant. I have worked in the Accounting/Auditing sector for over 7 years and I am currently the Circuit Finance Officer. I am married with a lovely son. I enjoy creating faith and lifestyle contents on social media to encourage Christians to live an intentional life of faith and I also enjoy travelling.
Jane McVay - Co-ordinating Circuit Steward
Hello all. I am currently the Co-ordinating Circuit Steward. This enables me to get to know the wider Circuit and contribute to decisions about the future of Methodism in our area. I am a Worship Leader at Oakley Methodist Church and the Church Council Secretary. I also regularly attend worship at Cardington Church, so regard myself as an honorary member there. I enjoy singing (I sing with Kempston Musical Society) and have also taken up playing bridge since retiring, which I enjoy very much.
Michael Carr - Circuit Steward
I have had the privilege of being a Circuit Steward for ten years and currently manage the manses, trying to make them fit for the future. As a Local Preacher I have been to all our Circuit churches so hopefully I do understand the issues each church faces. We worship at Oakley.
I am a passionate gardener, Leeds United supporter (somebody has to be) and member of Ouse Valley Singers.
Alan Davies - Circuit Steward
I am a Local Preacher and Circuit Steward, and following Suzy Goodson’s departure I have taken on the role of Finance Steward. When not preaching, I attend Priory Methodist Church where I have been a member for 17 years, although I was born into Methodism many years ago, as Mum and Dad were active church members. I enjoy most genres of music but am not too keen on modern stuff, preferring that written during the 30s and 40s, and I have a keen interest in musical theatre. For over 60 years I have sung in various choirs ranging from choral societies to barbershop, requiems to ragtime. The cost of travel insurance now precludes foreign travel, but Cornwall is a fine substitute.
Nick Guy - Circuit Steward
I have been told I was steeped in Methodism. I trust my Christian faith extends beyond that, but I have been a regular attender of Chapel and Church since I was three, growing up in a Methodist family – my father was and my brother and sister both are Local Preachers while my uncle was and one nephew is a Minister – and I have served on the Leadership Team at Priory, where I worship, both as a Church Steward and as Church Council Secretary. Outside Methodism, I volunteer at the Bedford Foodbank warehouse, and I relax (?) with my stamp collection, editing the Bulletin of one of the societies I belong to.
Phil Timms - Circuit Steward
I worship at Kempston East Methodist Church, where I have been a Church Steward for the last six years, and a Boys’ Brigade Officer for 24 years – for the last 15 of which I served as the Company Captain, until August 2022. I am now part of the national management committee responsible for the Boys’ Brigade in England. In my professional life I am an Employment Policy and Union Relations Manager for the supermarket chain Tesco, working at the UK headquarters in Welwyn Garden City. I am also a chartered member of the CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development). I like all styles of worship, and although I don’t play a musical instrument, I sing very loudly and somewhat out of tune! I haven’t had a Damascus Road experience – my finding of faith was a more gradual experience, but one I am grateful for and enjoy sharing. If the Boys’ Brigade has taught me one thing, it’s the importance of helping young people explore their God-given gifts and the love of Jesus - everyone is gifted; we just need to provide the opportunities so that these are discovered.
Christina Sawkins - Circuit Steward
I worship for Sandy Methodist Church. I have been a member there for nearly 30 years with my parents worshipping there also. I’m a mum and a proud new nanny born the day before the kings coronation. I have many different roles within many different organisations. I have been a governor and chair of governors of a lower school as it was then in Sandy, governor at a place of work in Bedford. I’ve also sat on the national board of girls Brigade. I’m currently a leader at first Wootton Girls Brigade after having to close 1st Sandy group after 20 years of running due to Covid. My work role is at Bedford Free School as a key stage 4 pastoral leader dealing with safeguarding, attendance and behaviour. This is intense challenging and consuming, but worthwhile with some of the results. I live in Bedford, I enjoy walking history, music and spending time with my family. I feel very privileged to be on the circuit board having felt that I have been called to share my skills, although I’m still learning and taking lots of the information in I am sure. I’m hopeful with the Lord’s Holy Spirit I can be guided into making the right decisions for the overall work of the circuit.