Andy was born in London and grew up in a single parent family in Kent – he met his father for the first time when he was 21 years old. With a devoted mother and supportive grandparents, his upbringing was generally happy and secure, but by no means privileged.
However, it was Andy’s privilege to become a Christian at a young age (through the local church and a Christian Summer camp), and his faith remained firm even through his teenage years.
He met Sue his wife at Law College in a post graduate year. They have been married for nearly 30 years and have three daughters! After a career in law, Andy trained for the Anglican ministry in Oxford and became an assistant minister in an Anglican parish in Cheltenham.
In 2011, I became aware of Mariners church and the fact that it had a vacancy for a Minister.
I was struck (and increasingly drawn) by:
- Its beauty – especially when lit up at night
- Its history – it has been there for over 160 years and the Good news of Jesus has been proclaimed to many generations of people using the docks from all over the world
- Its visibility – the church is very prominent as you approach the Docks. Most locals know of its existence
- Its incongruity – it is surrounded by towering warehouses
- Its centrality – in the massively regenerated docks where there are leisure boats (private and commercial), shops, homes, businesses, tourist attractions (eg museums) and a further education college
- Its tenacity – the few remaining members had prayed and worked with great determination to keep the church open as a place of worship
- Its potential – connecting with residents, people who work in the docks, students, shoppers and tourists who visit the docks (and pop into the church) in large numbers
At the end of 2011, I was invited by the church and by Church Society (the patrons) to become the Minister of Mariners. I started at Mariners in January 2012.
Our vision as a growing Christian community is to play our part in the re-evangelisation and transformation of our city by worshipping God passionately, by sharing life and faith together meaningfully and by making Jesus known widely.