Hugh was born in 1956, and brought up in rural West Dorset. He studied theology at Edinburgh University, spent two years working in Japan with the Church Mission Society, and returned to complete his training for the ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham. He married Alison in Durham, and subsequently spent 12 years in Leicestershire, first as a Curate in Coalville, before becoming Vicar of Packington and Normanton-le-Heath.
They moved to Kidderminster in 1996 with their four children. For 12 years, Hugh has been in charge of St Chad’s and St Cecilia’s churches, before moving in 2008 to St George’s, whilst keeping oversight of the whole parish. These three churches will shortly become five, as we become linked together with St Cassian’s, Chaddesley Corbett and St Mary’s, Stone.
For all the ups and downs, joys and frustrations, he loves being in this job. He longs to see more people touched by God’s love in Jesus, and having their lives transformed by Him. Hugh is also committed to seeing us take better care of the environment – so cycles wherever possible!
Team Vicar (till August 31st 2012)
Joseph was born in Malek, in Southern Sudan. His father was a head teacher. Joseph represented Sudan in the Olympics and ran in the 3000 metres steeplechase in the World Championships. He has also been pan-African high jump champion.
He went to Sweden for theological training in 1982 and to England in 1984, studying English at Whitby (where he met Karin who was also studying). After studying Theology at Trinity College, Bristol, he was ordained in 1988 in Salisbury, and served his curacy in Swanage. Joseph and Karin were married in 1990 and they both joined the Church Mission Society, serving in Bermondsey, London (and living for a time in Barnes with St Mary’s Church) before they left for Northern Uganda to serve in Sudanese refugee camps. Here he led youth ministry and theological lay training and Karin worked with UNHCR and Médecins sans Frontières as a nurse.
On return to England in 1995 he worked as a Team Vicar in West Dorset. To support his fellow Sudanese he sent bicycles for teachers, and achieved BBC publicity for the situation in his home area. In 2000 Joseph and Karin set up the ‘Under Tree Schools’ project in Aweil South County.
In 2002 Joseph and Karin with their two daughters moved to Alexandria in Egypt. They worked as mission partners for the Church Mission Society setting up a ministry for Sudanese refugees providing a centre (including a clinic) to help them develop their skills for the future. They were there for three years.
From 2005 until 2009 Joseph was Hon. Assistant Priest in the Barnes Team Ministry in southwest London, where both he and Karin supported the work of the Team. In October 2006 Joseph worked as Director for Religious Affairs in the Government of Southern Sudan responsible for promoting reconciliation, inter faith relations and advising on the religious education element of the new Sudan school curriculum.
Joseph is currently on leave working with the government of South Sudan and will be resigning from the his role as Team Vicar with affect from August 31 2012.
Oli was born in London and went to boarding school from the age of eight. Growing up he went to church (when he had to) but by his late teens was a convinced atheist. He studied Psychology and Theology at University in Edinburgh where he became a Christian at the age of 21. He has worked in London for removal companies, Holy Trinity Brompton Church and the Metropolitan Police before training for ministry in the Church of England.
From 2008 – July 2010 Oli and his family were based in Bristol while Oli was doing the first part of his training at Trinity College Bristol where they were involved in exploring new forms of church on an estate where they lived.
Oli married Hannah in 2003 and they have three young children. He relaxes by gardening, reading and building Lego constructions with his children. Oli enjoys thinking and reading about early church history and the theology of mission.
Oli and Hannah are passionate about the church serving the community outside its walls and they always seem to end up working with those on the fringes of society and the church.