An introduction to himself by our Minister Martin Dawes

Hi Everyone!

 I was born in Royston, Herts, in 1958, the son of a railwayman. I was brought up within the Church of England, but rebelled and became a Methodist!

Pam and I were married in 1979 and we have two sons: Peter who is aged 24 and lives in Huddersfield is a Sound Engineer at Leeds University Students Union, and Tim, aged 24 was left behind in Biggleswade and is currently running Meridian Line Travel, his uncle's coach firm.

When I left school, I joined Woolworth's management training scheme and worked for the company for three and a half years then moving to Brookers of Hitchin where I managed their Garden Department.

My ministerial training (formation they call it these days!) took place at The Queens College in Birmingham between 1981 and 1984 when I went to the Hornsea Circuit in East Yorkshire as a probationer. I was ordained at the Stoke conference in 1986 and in 1989 moved to Welshpool in the Welshpool and Bro Hafren Circuit. Whilst in Welshpool I played a part in setting up the Open Door Family Centre. 1997 saw a move to Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, where after two years I became Superintendent, a role which I fulfilled until coming to Woodbridge in August.

St Paul says that 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself'. I believe that means the most important thing anyone can discover is a deep, loving relationship with God (in traditional terms, finding salvation) through faith in Jesus Christ, his son. As a consequence, helping people to discover and deepen their relationship with God is right at the heart of my ministry. As a church, our worship and fellowship help us to develop our own understanding of and relationship with God, and our mission is to serve our community in love thus making opportunities for people to discover His love for themselves.

It is also clear to me that all the gifts, abilities, interests and possessions that we have are God's gifts to us, entrusted to us for a time and therefore can and should be put to work in God's service wherever possible. My passion for railways (model and full-size) I try to use as a tool for mission, my interest in science and engineering is a route to understanding how God's creation works and something of his purpose for us. My enjoyment of painting and photography helps me to see - and share - something of God's beauty as well as that of his creation; often discovering him in unexpected places. My love of history and especially my family history helps me to see how God's plan for humanity has been unfolding in the past and gives me some pointers enabling me to see where I fit into his world. All these interests will tell you a bit about me, they also inform my preaching alongside my theological studies.

I hope these few words help you to discover something of who I am and what makes me tick, I know I shall have a lot of fun getting to know you, and working with you to discover all that God has in store for us.

God bless,