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Calderdale Methodist Circuit : Caroline Stead

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Caroline Photo

Born a Brummie, I lived in Handsworth until escaping the smog and moving to Halifax at the age of 7. The welcoming children at Warley Road School told me “you don’t talk proper” so I rapidly acquired a Yorkshire accent! We also acquired a dog and I relished the countryside and became a passionate horse rider. Riding and helping out at the local stables led to competing, teaching and breaking in young horses. Sadly, I do very little riding now.

I learnt to play the violin, flute and viola and dabbled in piano and guitar.

I attended Crossley and Porter Grammar school and from there I travelled north again, to Durham University, to read Mathematics and then to complete a PGCE.

It was while I was in Durham that my life as a Christian ‘took off’ and I became a member of the Methodist Church. At Methsoc. we were fortunate to hear regularly speakers such as Kingsley Barrett and Paul Smith and I had wonderful friends – many of whom are now presbyters.

Returning to the Halifax area to marry and teach at Holy Trinity Senior school, I learnt to appreciate incense. After a break from schools and the birth of Rachael and Jonathan, I returned to teaching at Hipperholme Grammar School in 1991 and am still there!

My Methodist pedigree goes back to my birth – mum was the deputy organist and dad the choirmaster at Rookery Road Methodist Church. When we moved to Halifax, we attended West End Methodist (the one at West End, not the one at Queensbury) until it closed – we then attended King Cross. That too has now closed. Following university, I worshipped briefly at Lindley (still open) and then Hipperholme Methodist (now Christ Church LEP).

I was a Circuit Steward in the Halifax Circuit and have been Senior Steward and Church Secretary (the nearest LEP equivalent role), and many other things you wouldn’t be interested in. Currently, I am a facilitator on the EDEV Encounter programme in the District, a Conference Rep and the Lay Stationing rep. I LOVE Conference – do try to visit at the end of June.

The call to preach came in spite of me frequently telling people that I would “do anything except preach”. God has a strange sense of humour at times – borne out by the fact that I will be fully accredited on April Fools’ Day, 7.30pm at Christ Church.

The training course has been wonderful – very thorough, fascinating, stimulating and of course, incredibly hard work. I feel incredibly privileged and humbled by the fact that God has chosen to use me to spread his word to others – not just in worship but also through my daily work amongst children and teaching colleagues.