Along with our minister, the leadership team has responsibility for the oversight of the church, whilst there is also a team with responsibility for pastoral care. There are teams in place for leading worship and for looking after the premises and the fabric of the building.
I heard about Jesus at Sunday school and as a teenager made a commitment to follow Him. I studied German and French at university and joined Oakes almost 30 years ago when I came back to Huddersfield to live, work and get married. I am mum to triplet daughters, one of whom has complex additional needs. I work in a special school with an amazing group of children who teach me more than I could ever teach them. I was widowed at the end of 2010 and the last few years have been really difficult. I have been so grateful to the church family for walking alongside us and to God for His faithfulness in the stormiest of storms.
I like cooking and cleaning(!), helping out in the church café and sharing a meal and a game of canasta.
Something you may not know: I am addicted to charity shops and the garage is full of interesting ‘resources’. If ever you need a didgeridoo or a flamingo …….
I joined the leadership team in July 2012, and have been worshipping at Oakes since 2005. I made a commitment to Jesus as a little girl one evening after thinking about what I had heard in my Sunday school class but it wasn’t until my first year of university that I realised what trusting in God meant as a day to day reality. That was a while ago now and I honestly have not looked back. My faith in God and his awesome power is central to all that I am and all that I do.
In my work life I am a primary school teacher who has been doing supply teaching for the past 18 months and I love the variety this brings. My enthusiasm for working with children and young people also spills over into my church life and I am involved in our youth and children’s work as well as being the Safeguarding Trustee.
Something you may not know: I once lived in Nassau, Bahamas for 18 months and I get very involved with films I see at the cinema – and am very easily scared! An example of which would be my being the only one who screamed when the sharks appeared in Finding Nemo (very embarrassing for me, hilarious to my friends!).
I am a Baptist minister, who retired in 2011 after 8 years as pastor of New North Road Baptist Church in Huddersfield. I previously pastored 4 other Baptist churches and for a few years was also Director of the Christian Enquiry Agency.
My wife Sue, who is an experienced relationship counsellor, and I have since become very happily settled at Oakes, believing that this was where God would have us be. We have three children, Isabel (married to Dave) in Glasgow, Hugh (married to Jen, with our grandsons Ben and Toby) in West Virginia USA and Sarah (or CJ as she prefers) living with us. CJ also enjoys the life of the church at Oakes. I became a member of the leadership team in 2014.
I have been a Christian since the early 1960s. Since then my faith has grown and deepened in many ways. I take prayer very seriously, and in 1997 was awarded a PhD by Manchester University for a dissertation on the theology of intercessory prayer. This was published by the Ashgate Press in 2006 under the title Intercessory Prayer. Unfortunately it is now out of print!
I have been part of the Oakes Church family since Summer 2007. I cannot pinpoint the exact date but I became a Christian in my mid-thirties and for many years attended a small village Wesleyan Church. I moved to Oakes to be part of a larger fellowship where there were people of all ages and all backgrounds and I was made to feel welcome from day one. I travel over 10 miles to Oakes but it’s worth it! I have been blessed by the teaching, the music and the house group meetings.
In my work life I work with people on personal development and improving confidence through coaching and help local businesses with organisational development. I love to see people learn new skills and put them to use.
Something you may not know: I love pottering about outside with plants in all weathers and generally doing little DIY projects and fixing things!
I have the attended the church at Oakes since 1998 and have always been impressed at its sense of reality and its courage to tackle difficult questions. Within the church I work as part of the pastoral team and am a Sunday School teacher.
I trained as a musician at Hull University and subsequently as a classroom teacher, instrumental teacher and workshop leader and spend time making music in various ensembles. Other interests include travel and curry.
Something you may not know: I’m a big fan of the astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore but have an elementary knowledge of astronomy.
David Pickering (Church secretary)
I became a Christian on Good Friday 1985, when I realised exactly what God had done through Jesus and how his death and resurrection had relevance and meaning to me. I had the joy of being baptised on Easter Day, and have been a member at Oakes ever since.
I love this church. I love the fact that we don’t need to wear masks, pretending everything is fine when we’re actually hurting. I love that it is a place where we can share sorrow as well as joy – and we certainly have experience of both! I appreciate the fact that we take seriously the Bible’s position as God’s revealed word and its relevance in giving advice for daily living in the 21st century.
Something you may not know: I enjoy rallying and as a twentysomething held a motor sport competition licence, as I used to compete. I am a big fan of Joan Armatrading.
I became a Christian on Pancake Day in 2004 at our (then) youth minister’s home. Oakes has been my home church my whole life and it’s safe to say that I consider it to be made up of my extended family. I’ve never met such willing and selfless people who will go out of their way to make things better for people in need, and I appreciate that so much.
I graduated from Hull University in 2012 with a 2.1 degree in English and Creative Writing and have so far put it to use by writing to the naughty students of Leeds University Business School when they don’t attend their classes!
Something you may not know: I am an avid reader and a big film fan – come and find me to talk Atwood or Tarantino!