We are a non-denominational organisation drawing on extensive church and leadership experience across the UK and beyond with a passion to see the gospel transform culture through the ministry of the local church.
Our Facilitators have extensive backgrounds in church leadership, and they bring significant expertise and insight concerning church growth and development.
We also draw from an extensive faculty and are connected to many innovative Christian thinkers and practitioners. Members of our learning communities benefit hugely from the specialised input and resources that these contributors provide.
Director/Facilitator - Chris has spent over 20 years in pastoral ministry in the UK, latterly at Aylesbury Baptist Church where he took specific responsibility for mission and worship. He was one of the founders of RUN (Reaching the Unchurched Network) and served as Director until the end of 2009. He has been part of the leadership team of Eurochurch, a European-wide leadership network and is co-author of Church on the Edge. Chris is married to Liz; they have two daughters and live in Buckinghamshire.
Operations Manager – Gillian has worked in hospitality and education prior to joining Lead Academy She is the ‘oil’ which helps us run smoothly and her priority is to support those who are part of our Learning Communities. Gillian and her husband Tim belong to Riverside Church in Birmingham.
Associate Director/Facilitator - Martin served as both associate vicar and rector at St James Gerrards Cross over 17 years. He has extensive leadership experience in pastoral care, vocations, small group ministry and leading a larger church. His passion is to see the local church flourish and grow, especially to support and nurture leaders. Prior to ordination Martin was the Marketing Director for Gillette UK & Northern Europe. He is married to Sophie and they have three grown up daughters. He lives in South Bucks.
Director/Trustee - Nick is the founder leader of Riverside Church, Birmingham and a Lay Canon at Birmingham Cathedral. He is highly regarded as a creative communicator and teacher both nationally and internationally and is also the author of a number of books including ‘How to Survive as a Church Leader.’ Nick is a regular contributor to our Learning Communities. He is married to Lois and they live in Birmingham.
Finance Manager – Petrina expertly manages our finances. Prior to a career break to raise her children Petrina worked in administration. She studied book-keeping and accounting during this time and is now the Treasurer of Woodley Concert Band in which she plays the flute and piccolo. She lives in Finchampstead, is married to Richard and has two children.
Facilitator - Martin leads our Learning Communities in Scotland. After an initial career in production management with Kangol Ltd, Martin served as a minister in churches in Cumbria and Aberdeen and latterly as senior minister at St Peter’s Baptist Church, Worcester. He has a strong commitment to world mission and has served as a president and trustee of BMS World Mission. Martin is married to Becky and they have three sons who, on the whole, share their dad’s enthusiasm for hill-walking, sailing and listening to good music.
Trustee/Facilitator - Chris is the Senior Minister Andover Baptist Church and before that was Senior Minister of Easthampstead Baptist where amongst many other things he led the ‘Cinema and Curry’ Cluster. Prior to training for the ministry, he travelled all over the world as a Management Consultant. He lives in Hampshire with his wife Ruth.
Coach - Rachel is on staff at Finchampstead Baptist Church in Berkshire and has been part of the Leadership Team for over 14 years. Previously, she worked in HR for a mission organisation. She is married to Jonathan and has two teenage daughters.
Facilitator - Andy Hickford is the senior minister at Upton Vale Baptist Church Torquay. Andy's involvement with Lead Academy started when he brought his church leadership team to one of the learning communities and he is now a facilitator and coach. He is married to Cerys and they have three grown up kids. Andy loves all things outdoors, especially running and walking, and he and Cerys are joint owners of an old rural property that is being renovated to become a sanctuary and academy for leaders, their families and their teams.
Trustee/Facilitator - Jim has worked in the healthcare industry in various roles across the world for over 16 years, most recently as European Managing Director for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. He is one of the leaders of Finchampstead Baptist Church and is passionate about seeing the church make a difference in our society. He is married to Karen and lives in Finchampstead.
Our superb and varied group of contributors have shared in different Learning Communities at various times either in person or via video link. They all have high levels of experience and expertise in their particular fields and their role within Lead Academy is to teach, inspire and provoke discussion that leads to action. Other guests are invited from time to time as the need and opportunity arises.