I was born at Stockport on VE Day — 8 May 1945 — and grew up in nearby Hyde, a small town once described as an S-bend with chip shops! My home was a terraced house in a street opposite the cemetery, and our neighbours were salt of the earth folk who mainly worked in the cotton mills or the nearby rubber factory. In those days, we lived in community with those around us — we looked after each other, pulling together through thick and thin. I have vivid recollection of other children being sent to ask my mother for a cup of sugar, a drop of milk, a piece of brown paper to send a parcel — and a piece of string! You never got them back, but you didn't expect to.
I attended a Church of England primary school, which I loved, and it was there that I learnt most of the great hymns of the church, practising them loudly each night when I went to bed — to my mother's annoyance! I went to Sunday School, Brownies and Guides, swam with Hyde Seal Swimming Club, and I was probably at my happiest when I had my nose stuck in a book!
We came to Darlington in 1972, when Abdul was appointed a consultant at the Memorial Hospital, and I quickly found that I had to learn a new language! Foodstuffs, in particular, seemed to go by a different name here or they took on a different appearance. We have 2 children — Yasmeen and Rasheed — and 3 grandchildren, James, Lara and Rachel, each of whom brings great joy into my life.
I've been an accredited local preacher since 1990, and I've been tremendously privileged to have had the opportunity to work out my faith in circuits as far flung as Salisbury, Stoke on Trent and Hyde & Denton, as well as this circuit and those nearby. I'm interested in the training and encouragement of preachers too, and am a local tutor. I've been greatly blessed by the people who I've met on my journey, some of them no longer with us, and I give thanks to God for having placed me where he wanted me to be, and motivated me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be useful and, hopefully, effective in spreading the Good News of his Kingdom.