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Who's Who

Richard Andrew
District Chair

I was born and raised in North Yorkshire and after studying philosophy and theology in London worked in industry for a few years before candidating for the Methodist ministry. I trained in Cambridge and then served in circuit ministry in Sheffield. Before joining the district in 2018, I worked as Principal of York Institute, one of the Methodist training colleges, and then as Director of Learning and Development for the Methodist Church based in London. I am married to Debbie and have two grown up children, Tom and Becky, as well as Ruby, our cockapoo! I have a lifelong and unexplained passion for Middlesbrough FC and enjoy guitar, walking, reading and good company.


Revd Bev Hollings
Deputy District Chair

Prior to ordination I was a secondary school teacher. As a minister I have served in Cornwall, as Leeds District Evangelism Enabler, as Superintendent of the Barnard Castle and Teesdale Circuit, and since April 2022 as Superintendent of the Castle Eden Circuit.

As deputy chair my role is to support the chair and to deputize for them as required. Where necessary I can be contacted should the chair not be available.


Revd John A Squares
Deputy District Chair

I studied Theology at Emory University and came to serve the Methodist Church straight after completing my master's degree. In America, ministers earn degrees in Divinity so I am among the few British Methodists certified divine. My wife, two boys and two dogs are the proof of my good fortune. The cat tolerates me and me it.

I have served Circuits in Lincolnshire and Cheshire, been a part of the Connexional Team with the Learning Network and have served as a University Chaplain and Chaplain to a local hospice. Also proof of my good fortune has been landing in the NE where my family are enjoying being among the wonderful open hearted folk that it is my pleasure to serve.


Revd Rachel Williams
Presbyteral Synod Secretary

Rachel's ministry as a presbyter began in Cumbria, starting in the south in Millom and moving northwards to Brampton, before moving to Stockton last year. Her ministry has included establishing food banks, involvement in chaplaincies in Auction Marts and an airport alongside a concern for children and young people, especially through using Godly Play. In Stockton, she has so far enjoyed being able to commute by bike a lot, being involved in an affordable food hub, becoming a school governor and also becoming a Cubs leader. Rachel also appreciates having the chance to swim (both indoors and outdoors in the North Sea!) and continuing to knit whenever the opportunity arises! Rachel also enjoys spending time with her family and exploring the local area.


John Monkhouse
District Treasurer

After completing a Mathematics degree at Leeds University I trained as a Chartered Accountant and have spent the passed 45 years mainly working in the food industry.

The role of District Treasurer is mainly as a conduit between Circuits and Connexion, allocating the District assessment, some of which is kept to fund District expenses, the rest goes to London to fund all centrally provided services of the Methodist Church. We as a District receive money from London which is given out in grants twice a year.

This role has helped me better understand how the Methodist Church functions financially. As a result of Covid, a WhatsApp group for District Treasurers was set up. This has been very helpful, as if one of us has an issue, someone else has usually already come across the solution.

I also represent lay people on the Connexion Allowances Committee of the Methodist Church. This is the committee that recommended stipends to Conference and also administers a fund to help both active and retired presbyters and deacons in times of acute financial hardship.


Maurice Aspey
District Resourcing Mission Officer

Having over 35 years' experience in the building services industry as an Electrical Technical Engineer working on a wide range of government properties, in 2015 I offered my services to the Darlington Methodist District, and took up the role as Resourcing Mission officer. Much of my focus to date has been in roles supporting and encouraging Churches to see how their property can be used for mission in their local communities , to adventure, and to build on the past in ways that relate to the present and future.

The role is about offering practical encouragement and support to circuits and local Churches, as they face challenges in fulfilling their responsibilities as trustees for their properties, whether in the context of property management or property development and use of our properties for the mission of the Church.

I look forward to being of service to you.


Carolyn Godfrey
District Safeguarding Officer

Carolyn is the Regional Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for both the Darlington and Newcastle Districts and has been in this role since 2015. She has a background in pastoral care, child protection and special needs within the Education system. She holds a Master of Education qualification which focused on social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, also a post-graduate qualification in Psychometric Testing and in Behaviour Analysis: Understanding Perpetrators of Sex Crimes Against Children.

07534 346374

Helle Sewell
District Evangelism and Community Engagement Enabler

Originally from Estonia, I came to England to study at Cliff College. I graduated from Cliff College with a degree in Biblical and Evangelistic Ministry and became a teacher of RE in a secondary school. This led me to be involved in different aspects of youth ministry within the local church: leading youth clubs, representing the church in local high schools through school's work projects and coordinating ONE Opportunity North East. I have also been involved in volunteer work: Trustee for North East YFC, Samaritans, Listening Post and Airport Chaplaincy.

I work in the District as an Evangelism and Community Engagement Enabler. My work entails enabling of Circuits and local churches to dream about, discern and get involved in God's mission. I encourage and support to live out their calling as disciples of Jesus. This work takes many forms and is tailored to the local context.

As part of the District Leadership Team, I am working with others in identifying and developing opportunities for fresh expressions, new church plants and facilitate courses, events and innovative evangelistic approaches in response to the changing context of mission across the District. I plan to nurture, resource and encourage individuals in the development of evangelistic, community focused and pioneer ministries and work towards a culture of 'every church growing'.


Andrew Crawford
Human Resources

Andrew works part-time as Human Resources Officer to the Darlington, Sheffield, and Yorkshire North & East Methodist Districts. Combining work for the three districts with his Barnsley-based employee relations consultancy Andrew is well placed to answer any employment related questions you have, and to provide the support that you need to recruit well.

If Andrew isn't behind his desk, you will find him walking the dark peak, riding his motorbike, or volunteering – where he actively supports people in and around the Barnsley borough who are rough sleeping. Andrew is also a trustee at YMCA (Barnsley).

Andrew's email is hr@darlingtonmethodistdistrict.org.uk or you can contact him by telephone (or WhatsApp message) on 07825337500. He also has an X (formerly twitter) account @UKMethodistJobs and a Facebook page where he advertises job vacancies across the districts and talks about general employment related stuff!

Jenny Prior
District Administrator and PA to the Chair of District

I have been working in various administration roles for the Methodist Church since 2016 and have started this new role in December 2023.

I am based in the District Office at Elm Ridge Methodist Church. I am usually available there on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so if you're at the church do please pop in to say hello.

I am also available via dmd13office@gmail.com or 07484 886006.



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Elm Ridge Methodist Church
Carmel Road South

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