I have been coming to St Mary’s since around 2004 which is a few years after I returned from living in South Africa. I grew up in Norwich and shortly after I finished Art College, I left the UK to visit friends in Cape Town for a holiday and stayed for ten years! In those ten years I started my career in the creative industry, met my wife Sharon, and came to know the Lord.
Since returning to the UK, I have continued working as a Creative Director in online advertising and digital marketing in various agencies in London and our family grew with the arrival of two sons Dylan, now 20, and Joshua 16.
We initially attended the 9.15am service but when the 4pm service started we moved over as a family. Sharon was involved in the music and Sunday school, and I later started helping with Pathfinders. I have also served on the PCC for a few years and since moving over to the 6.30pm service Sharon and I both serve on the congregational oversight team. I have really enjoyed working with the teenagers and doing this also gave me the confidence to sign up to help with Summer Camps. Last summer was my sixth year leading on Brymore 2 (previously Edgehill) and each year I have a lot of fun designing and building decorations and props for the site which bring the yearly camp theme to life. It is a lot of work, but I really enjoy it as making playful things has been a lifelong passion of mine.
Alongside my corporate creative career, I have authored and illustrated a handful of books which have been born out of this passion: Made by Dad is a book of 67 fun projects to make with children and Mega-Maze Adventure! is the world’s longest maze in a book.
Over the past few years, while completing two further books for the German market I have been working from home, setting up as a freelance Creative Consultant, helping clients from concept stage through to production of pitches/presentations, illustrations and video animation. I will be continuing this work on the days I am not working at St Mary’s.
I am very excited to take on the part time role of Facilities Manager where hopefully I will be putting some of my ‘hands on’ skills to work – although fixing the bollard remains firmly Jan’s domain! I am already enjoying the hustle and bustle of life in the town centre and being part of the busy and varied life of St Mary’s during the week. It has been great meeting and getting to know some new faces and I look forward to meeting more of you and serving our church family in any way I can.