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MinisterRoberta Topham 2019

Hello. My name is Roberta Topham and I am new to Ilkley having just started as Minister in September 2017.

Already, I know that there is lots going on at Christchurch with something, hopefully, for everyone.

Since Christchurch is both a Methodist and United Reformed partnership church, we also belong to a circuit of Methodist Churches and URC synod. That means I am not present at Christchurch every Sunday as I go to preach in other churches too. If you want to speak to me you can ring me on 01943 607870 or email on rev.robertatopham@gmail.com.

I am happy to talk with you about anything and if I can’t answer your questions I will do my best to find someone who can do.

Please do approach me if you are interested in exploring Christian faith further, baptism, confirmation and church membership, bible study, weddings, funerals, pastoral care, worship and anything that pertains to human flourishing.

I’ve been working for the Methodist Church, off and on, since 1989 when I began as a lay worker in Leeds. I’ve been a minister (presbyter) since 1999, always based in Yorkshire, which I love. I come originally from Northern Ireland, ”where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea”, so I adore a good hill walk and sea swimming. My background is in social anthropology and I continue to enjoy learning about how we human beings make meaning in our communities and make the most of the opportunities which God gives to us.

I am delighted to be working in a place that is already so good for body, mind and soul and am looking forward to making my contribution. I hope you will feel as warmly welcomed as I do and get in touch.


Lay Employee

Hi. I’m Michael, and I am the Children’s Youth and Families' Lay worker here at Christchurch! I am originally from Northern Ireland having lived and studied there, with most of my life living in and around Belfast. I actually studied Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Ulster University. Following the completion of my degree I spent three months in South Africa volunteering on the International Citizen Service scheme with Tearfund. On my return, I felt called to serve the forgotten people of society. I moved to England in September 2017 and started a 'Time for Jesus' gap year at Caring for Life in Leeds, my first experience of working on a farm! I then stayed in Leeds for another year and completed a 'New Wine Discipleship Year' at St George’s Church in Leeds where I was the Children and Music Intern. While studying Criminology my particular focus was on helping ex-offenders as I believed they were a forgotten group of our society. Over my years in Leeds I’ve had  the privilege of working and meeting other people from other groups of society who I believe often get looked down on or ignored: the elderly, refugees, those who are physically or mentally disabled, those who are homeless and roofless, and finally children and youth.

I feel it is an honour to be advancing God’s Kingdom amongst children and youth and helping them to mature and become disciples of Christ. It is also a privilege to be given the opportunity of working within this great forward-thinking church to unite people from many different ages and background, and help them come together as Christchurch, a church that has Christ at the centre and is at the centre of the town.

If anyone would like to find out more about anything to do with children and youth within Christchurch then you can contact me via email at michael@christchurchilkley.org.uk or feel free to give me a call on 07312 098299.


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