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Calderdale Methodist Circuit : Stella Cusworth

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I was born on a farm near Hawes in Wensleydale. I was baptised, went to Sunday School and Youth Club at Hawes Methodist – ‘Chapel’ to us. Later on I was married in the same Church and our two girls were also baptised there. I grew up surrounded by animals and later studied Zoology at University.

After teacher training in Leeds I taught Biology in Stevenage where I met and married Mike. Our daughter Alison arrived and I became an old-fashioned stay-at-home Mum. We moved to Gomersal, where Linda was born and then in 1978 we arrived at Rose Cottage, dated 1719 and in need of serious renovation. It has 4 acres of Pennine hillside, space enough for children to grow and run wild and to keep a variety of livestock. We now have a dog, 2 cats and 12 Shetland sheep. We have also created a large garden and each have a greenhouse.

We attended Stones where I played piano for, and taught at Sunday School for a while before moving to St. Paul’s. I had been helping with Circuit Youth Club and when the leader left I resisted the suggestion that I take over. However, one night I felt God’s presence telling me in no uncertain terms to just ‘get on with it’! So began my work with young people, MAYC and all that that entailed – the most exhausting, frustrating, challenging, exciting and rewarding 9 years of my life.

In 2001 I did the Worship leaders course and also found myself leading our Music Group. I enjoy all aspects of worship leading but feel that music is where I am called to be. So most Sundays I choose and introduce a couple of worship songs and then play the piano for the singers. Our congregation is quite used to me throwing completely new songs at them and they always rise to the challenge. We must strive to keep our worship new, fresh and exciting and I love searching through new songbooks for that next ‘special song’.

We have 3 little grand daughters and they are a great blessing. I spend time gardening, dry stone walling, reading, sewing and spinning yarn from fleeces off our own sheep.