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Calderdale Methodist Circuit : Deacon Bob Stoner

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It is wonderful to start my Diaconate Ministry here in beautiful Calderdale, with my work focused around Todmorden.  Being one of Todmorden’s two new ministers, as a Deacon, I offer possibly a new alternative perspective, a new complementary dynamic, to the ministry of Kathie, the Presbyter at Todmorden.

I’m looking forward to being that presence within Todmorden, looking to bringing together communities from Cornholme, Mankinholes, Lumbutts, Walsden and Hebden Bridge, and to engage ecumenical groups as we continue to seek God in all aspects of our lives. My wonderful supportive wife is a local preacher, and we have two independent talented children.

Initially my work was in the Royal Air Force where I served over Bosnia and Kosovo. I then joined the Civil Service as a scientific analyst and found myself in Kuwait during the conflict in 2003, analysing weapon release points and damage assessment.

My career then moved towards teaching Mathematics at secondary school and in the 6th Form. I also was a Street Pastor in Lincoln and, with my wife, we started a form of Street Angels in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

We also were prominent in developing Fairtrade status in both the school and the town. It was with such work that I heard that calling to be ‘where the people are’, those who have possibly never been in church or have left church for some reason. We have worked with families with LGBT children for some time now. 

I love running albeit I feel that fell running may take some time to grow to love, but that will give me more time to look at the wonderful countryside.  I look forward to running along the canal.

Love is important to me: in one of the Epistles of John it says

“Let us not talk of love but practice real love, for then we shall know that we are in the Kingdom of God” (1 John 3:18)