Jonathan is the Chief Executive and Diocesan Secretary of the Church of England Diocese of Leicester. Previously he was a member of the national senior leadership team of the Methodist Church, having strategic responsibilities for a wide range of work, including education and training, children and young people, equalities and diversity, advocacy and outreach. He is a Chair of Governors of Leicester College and a Trustee of Prostaid, the support and advocacy charity for prostate cancer in Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire, He has previously served as a trustee of a Christian publishing charity and treasurer of an international development agency which promotes learning and literacy.
Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, University of Manchester and Principal of Northern Baptist College Manchester 1970 – 85, Director, Christian Aid 1985 – 97, President, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham 1997 -9, Professor (now Emeritus) of Social Theology, University of Birmingham 2000 – present, Director of World Faiths Development Dialogue 2001-3.
Gordon practised as a solicitor in Leicester for over thirty years and is familiar with the multi cultural nature of the city. He is a churchwarden, Lay Chair of his Deanery and a member of the Leicester Diocesan Synod and Leicester Cathedral Council. He is also a trustee of the local charity Warning Zone which aims to help children and young people by raising risk awareness, particularly with regard to the dangers of the internet. He has travelled in China, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East and is interested in the interaction of different cultures and faiths, something for which Leicester is renowned. Gordon is married and has three children who have also travelled widely. Gordon was High Sheriff of Leicestershire for the year 2015/16.
Helen is the Chair of the Northampton Methodist District and is a Yorkshire woman married to a Scot. Her husband Iain is a GP and they have 3 children Alex who is an English teacher, Iona at Warwick University reading English & Theatre and Morven who is studying at Nottingham University and reading Chemical Engineering. Helen served in 2 Birmingham Methodist Circuits, taught ministerial students at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham for many years and between 2015 – 2017 served as Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference. Helen is an enthusiast, enjoys meeting people, likes reading novels and making soup (not always at the same time). She is passionate about Methodist identity and ecumenical partnership and believes the Methodist people are called to holy living for the sake of the world. Helen has written “Living in the Gaze of God: supervision and ministerial flourishing” (SCM, 2018), and has particular interests in ministerial flourishing and Safeguarding of children and adults. She co-Chairs the Anglican: Methodist Safeguarding Group with the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Jayne is a member of both St. Philip’s Parochial Church Council and Evington Churches Together and has been an organist at St. Philip’s church for over 20 years. Her background has been in retail management and business development and she has spent the last 10 years working as a trainer and assessor for private training providers and colleges. Jayne has a degree in Law and currently runs a business in Leicester with her husband.
Mrs Ruth Olugbenga
Ruth has been in Christian ministry for over two decades co-Pastoring at the Redeemed Christian Church of God City of Favour in Leicester is is a passionate lover and minister of The Word. Her ministry has been develted to builing up strong kingdom-minded young peopel (pre-teens and teenages) as well as ministering to adults in vulnerable situations who are experiencing personal and spiritual hardship. Ruth is a seasoned counsellor and has been at the fore-front of partnership work championing the cause of women, men and families experiencing domestic violence and sexual abuse in faith communities. She is the founder and Managing Director of Eagle Care Alternatives Ltd, a domiciliary care and supported living provider in Leicester. Ruth is married to the Senior Pastor of RCCG City of Favour (Pastor Taiwo Olugbenga) and they are blessed with three lovely children.
Rev Dr Peter Shepherd has been a Baptist minister in England since 1979. He was Minister at Stoneygate Baptist Church in Leicester until 2016 having previously worked in Norfolk, Middlesbrough and Derby. He has been a member of the Council of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, President of the Baptist Historical Society and Moderator of the East Midlands Baptist Association. His PhD thesis was on the career of J H Shakespeare, a leading English Baptist of the early twentieth century. Peter was a member of the Churches' Liaison Group of Derby's Multifaith Centre and in Leicester was involved in various activities of the St Philips Centre and was a member of Leicester's Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. He is married with five adult children and five grandchildren.
The Revd Jonathan Surridge