Churchwarden, St Michael, Little Witley
Born in 1946 I was brought up in a Christian family, my father and both his brothers being ordained priests of the Church of England. Their background otherwise was in farming and I have always lived in the country side, Shropshire, Herefordshire and during the last 50 years Worcestershire, in this particular area of the Witleys. Married to Diana with two children, Mary a radiographer living in Ringwood and working in Bournemouth; Matthew a compliance officer in Bank of America, living and working now in Sydney, Australia.
I have therefore been involved in church life and activities all my life, first as a choir boy and now churchwarden, putting as much as I can back into community life be it as village hall chairman, parish council chairman chairman of school governors, and now in my second of two years only as PCC lay chairman. Interests include choral singing, SVR, croquet (weather permitting) having previously done quite a lot of dinghy and off shore sailing, and swimming – some but not all out of capsized dinghies. I try and take an early morning walk nowadays for exercise.
I am a retired solicitor having worked in the same firm first as articled clerk, then partner and finally as consultant. I started in Kidderminster, moved to Stourport, then Bewdley; after Bewdley to Worcester and finally back to Kidderminster so I know the area well. I saw the firm grow from five partners to probably over fifty by now I think; two and half offices to five and a half, two in Wyre Forest having been closed. All my work was, hopefully, non contentious!
I am probably a Christian by habit and routine rather than strong conviction I regret to say but I wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do without it and commend the faith and Christian values to all and everyone. My particular interest now is preserving what we have in Little Witley and improving that, be it congregation and family involvement, or maintaining the church fabric and churchyard. The Friends of St Michael which was formed in 1976 to lobby to keep the church open, have worked so hard in various incarnations, in the last few years particularly, to raise money by social events and grant applications to fulfil it functions that it must continue to be supported. It is safe to say that with the WI and the Village hall committee it is at the heart of the social scene in what is now the Parish of St Michael’s – no longer a Chapel of Ease – and without it a vital part of community life would be lost. As we are constantly reminded it is the only church in the united benefices actually in the centre of the village.