Who’s who in our Circuit?

 When Pauline Matondo came to preach at our church recently she was warmly welcomed as a Local Preacher ‘on note’ (the first stage of a preacher’s training) but few people realised that Pauline is also the Lay Pastor for Bracknell Methodist Church and for The Pines. So a request has been made to have a ‘Who’s who?’ of those involved in work (whether paid or voluntary) in our Berkshire-Surrey Borders Circuit, who they are and what they do.

There are quite a lot of people so I’m going to try to keep it as brief as possible, but please do ask me for more information if you’re interested and don’t forget that, whilst everyone listed below has their own key role to perform, every one of you in the congregation is a V.I.P. – without you we would have empty churches and no BSB Circuit.


 Revd. Catherine Bowstead Circuit Superintendent and Minister of Wokingham MC (largest church in the Circuit)

Revd. Sharon Gardner (I think you might know her!) Minister of Bagshot, Crowthorne and Sandhurst & Yateley MC. Also has a Methodist-representative role at High Cross alongside Revd. Alan Costello, Supernumerary from the Hants-Surrey Borders Circuit

Revd. Soba Sinnathamby (joined us in September), Minister of Bracknell Methodist Church, Church @The Pines and Woosehill (these last two churches are both Anglican/Methodist LEPs)

Revd. Mike Thomason URC Minister of High Cross

Lay Workers:

Mary Elms Circuit Lay Worker (part-time) Mary’s role has changed over time but in the last three years has been primarily focused on work with the toddler groups at Bracknell and Crowthorne. Mary is due to retire at the end of 2020 and will be greatly missed.

Claire Knight Church & Community Outreach Team Leader (part-time) for Wokingham MC

Pauline Matondo Circuit Lay Pastor (full-time) appointed to Bracknell and Church @ The Pines. Pauline joined us in September 2019 and has quickly become a valued member of the Circuit team.

Circuit Team:

Will Hutchinson Circuit Administrator & Circuit Meeting Secretary (part-time)

David Morgan Circuit Treasurer

Marjorie Mitchell Circuit Safeguarding Officer

Kim Tame Local Preachers’ Secretary

Bob Clark Senior Circuit Steward

Jane Bonney Circuit Steward

Robert Godden Circuit Steward (another familiar name!)

Brian Gennery Circuit Steward

These people do such a lot on behalf of the Circuit and its individual churches. Between them, the Circuit Stewards also take responsibility for each of the churches, the ministers and their manses.

There should also be a Circuit Property Steward’s name listed here but since Ian Severn moved away in 2018, the post has remained unfilled. That has definitely added to the work the others have had to do so if you know of anyone who might be interested in the role, please encourage them to speak to Catherine Bowstead or David Morgan.

The Local Preachers:

You will no doubt know these names as they have all preached at our church on multiple occasions. Local Preachers have been part of Methodist tradition since the time of John Wesley and their contribution to our Sunday worship is both vital and inspired. Preaching is a calling and the training for it in the Methodist Church is a thorough and accredited process. There is no upper age limit(!)

and if you feel that God may be calling you to this special vocation and would like to explore that further, please do talk to me. (The date after their names is when they were each accredited.)

Mike Bowstead (1993)         Mary Elms (1989)         Maggy Garton (1990)       Christine Morgan (1998)      David Morgan (1982)    Rosi MorganBarry (1970)      Doreen Murgatroyd (2013)  Irene Robinson (2011)  Kim Tame (1996)

Peter Whalley (2004)           Sharon Wright (2017)  Karen Glossop (on trial)     Pauline Matondo (on note)

 Worship Leaders:

Whilst most churches have people who are regularly involved in elements of leading worship, especially the musical side of things, there is, within Methodism, a specific role of Worship Leader. Worship leaders are appointed, trained and commissioned by their Church Council to operate within their own church. They work alongside the minister or local preacher appointed to lead an act of worship. Their role may include choosing and leading music and prayers, reading Bible passages or other readings, facilitating dance or drama and any other aspect of worship other than the sermon.

Theirs is an important ministry within the Methodist Church. Worship leaders often know their local congregation well and can introduce new creative insights and gifts into worship which are grounded in their local community and shaped by local mission priorities.

Within our Circuit we have two accredited Worship Leaders:

Brian Gennery Church@The Pines

Mike Goddard Wokingham