I'm Paul and I'm married to Juliette with two lovely daughters, Hannah and Jenny. We live in Bookham and go to Bookham Baptist. Our Christian faith is at the centre of all that we are about as a family. I became a Christian around the age of 8 and become really convinced of the facts through reading a number of books by C.S. Lewis. At school, a couple of my mates also found faith through the Christian Union I led at school. At University, I really saw the power of prayer - such as when a group of us prayed every morning for a week for friends at college. One morning the following week, the captain of our Cambridge College Rowing club spontaneously gave his life to God in the King's College Chapel and then invited all the rowing club round to his story and the difference Christ had made.
I am passionate about the way faith affects the whole of life - it's God's world and he cares about all of it and all the people in it. We have dedicated our home to God and renamed it "The Haven", as a place where people and families in difficulty can come for meals, to stay, to talk and to pray. We are also considering adopting a child as an extension to this vision.
At work, I try to dedicate my work day to day to God and look for him to really make a difference through it. I am an associate director of an international management consultancy where I advise clients on how to recruit and develop the right people with the right skills to deliver their business plans. I've helped organisations as diverse as an international child sponsorship organisation (to deliver support and help to unprivileged children globally) to the Her Majesty's Treasury put in place the right workforce to deliver the UK government's plans.
My role as TA and mother - from an early age I have loved children. As my children grew I worked in playgroups and then started working at Eastwick Infant School.
God’s hand in my work role - from school days I had a heart for the children on the outside, who found it hard to fit in or were left on their own. I see myself as a server and encourager and this plays a strong role in my day to day work. Not just for the children but for the teachers and parents too. My aim is to give patient encouragement just like Joseph nicknamed Barnabas (meaning ‘Son of Encouragement’) Acts 4:36.
My vision - That every child is valued and finds confidence and also that I take the opportunity to encourage. We all need encouragement.
Faith in the work place – I hope and pray that my faith goes before me, that I have a listening ear, am supportive and a role model. I have been blessed to be a blessing. Not only to support and encourage the teacher and children but also the parents. It is about the whole care and well being of a child in education I believe.
When I look back God has moved mightily through prayer, not only by me praying into situations but knowing that there is now a team of people who pray for the school, its staff, children and the work that is done.
I would love to see a lunch time group for the children to gather talk and share about Jesus.
My challenge is to take the opportunity to encourage those I come into contact with each day.
I became a Christian when I was 11 and soon afterwards my life just got a whole lot worse. My parents divorced, and, after a lengthy and acrimonious custody battle, a temporary stay with foster parents, and then becoming estranged from my father, ended up homeless aged 14. Psalm 68:8 tells us that God sets the lonely in families. This was so true for me, when the Deputy Headteacher of my secondary school, who is a Christian, took me into his family. This for me, was a life changing demonstration of God, using members of His family, to transform my situation at a time when I was vulnerable and powerless. It showed me that God has a special place in His heart for the lonely, vulnerable and powerless. People on the margins. It also showed me that God gets involved, and His way of getting involved is through ordinary people. Since then I have been involved in working for charities. I have looked after people living with Aids, shared Christmas Eve with homeless people in Central London, run a counselling charity for people living with the effects of abuse, and managed humanitarian work in some of the worst affected countries in the world. There is a common thread to my life whether it is supporting important education work for disadvantaged young people in Brazil, or standing with the traveller community in their quest for a home. That thread is the life changing transformative power of the love of God. He works in us and through us, using our contributions, however grand or insignificant we may feel they are, to change lives for the better. That is God’s love in action.