Our Church Elders:
Bill Dodsworth – I grew up in a Christian home, my grandad was a minister and as a child I always thought of myself as a Christian; if I had to put a date on when this became truly real to me it would be at a Billy Graham Crusade in 1985; from there I spent 4 years in Loughborough, where I was at University studying Engineering and it was there that God truly blessed me with some great Christian friends and my faith grew exponentially.
Straight from University I was lucky enough to get a sponsorship with British Airways who taught me to fly and that is what, some 30 years ago, got me to move from my roots in the beautiful county of Yorkshire down to Staines and start my new life as a pilot, flying Boeing 737s for British Airways.
I have been at Staines Cong since the beginning of 1991 and during that time I have run the tape ministry, worked as treasurer of the Missionary committee, served as a Deacon, helped on the interregnum committee and acted as Church secretary for 7 years. For the last couple of years I am honoured to have been serving as an Elder at the Church.
At home, I have my wife Katie, who I met at meeting at a local Christian event; we married in 1996 and have two grown up girls. At work, I got a command on Boeing 757 and 767s in 2005 and I am currently very lucky to be flying Boeing 787 (Dreamliners) to destinations all over the world.
John Hawthorn – I was brought up in an Anglican church where I served as a choirboy from the age of eight. On moving to Senior School I was invited to join a Covenanter Bible Class held at Ashford Congregational Church. The following year I was converted while at a Covenanter holiday camp on North Wales. I became more involved in the church activities and it was at the church that in 1961 I met Esme when she returned from Teacher Training College. We were married in 1966 and served as bible class leaders, members of the choir and for a number of years as the church’s prayer group leaders for FEBA radio.
In 1985 Esme and I and our family moved to Staines Congregational Church. We both became involved in Sunday School teaching, as members of the Missionary Committee and members of the choir. Later on we led a Home Group. I have served as Missionary Committee Chairman, one of the Holding Trustees and Chair of the Holding Trustees and three periods as a Deacon. In 2007 I became the Church Secretary, a post I held through the eighteen month Interregnum period between Rev Stan Short and Rev Nick Gray. In 2011 I was elected an Elder and stood down as Church secretary at the 2012 AGM.
Before retiring I worked for over forty years in NHS Pathology Departments in various West London Hospitals. My initial training and qualifications were in Biochemistry, but in later years I became involved in Pathology management and for the last five years was employed as Pathology Manager for the South Buckinghamshire NHS Trust.
Esme and I have two children, Jeremy and Rebekah and four grand children.
Rob Gee (BA. H.E.D, B.Ed Hons) is a counsellor, coach and trainer of leaders in business, the non-profit sector and politics. For the past 20 years in the UK, he has served as a Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School, Cass Business School, Southampton School of Management and Imperial College Business School.
He has worked across the globe encouraging senior leaders to be authentic, to develop their emotional intelligence and to provide the kind of leadership that brings success to the organization. Client companies include ARUP, KPMG, RBS, Caterpillar, Staples, Comet Stores, The Rank Organisation and HSBC. He is currently working with The Living Leader, promoting and leading his new leadership course, The Power of 10, to companies across the UK.
Before coming to the UK Rob lived in South Africa, where he spent 10 years as Regional Director of Southern Africa Youth for Christ, after completing his Bible college training in the USA. He also served as a company commander in the South African Infantry during the Angola conflict in the late 70s and early 80s. Rob spent 15 years in secondary education as a teacher of English and History, completing his service as Senior Deputy Headmaster of York High School in the Southern Cape.
For the past 12 years Rob has been a member at Staines Congregational Church, where he has served as a lay preacher and as an elder for the past few years.