Encounter Church has a very high percentage of members who work in voluntary roles. There are too many to name them all but we are really grateful to each one of them and couldn’t continue to function without them. We’re currently expanding this page to show you more of the Team Leaders and people with key responsibilities.
Mark and Karen are married with three grown up children and two grandchildren! They have lived in the Cotswolds for the last twenty-five years where they have been involved in church leadership and have experience of the joys, sorrows and challenges of life, leadership and ministry. In the past they have had the privilege of travelling extensively, both in the UK and overseas, envisioning, encouraging, training and equipping parts of the wider church.
Karen has experience of pastoring and encouraging women and has trained in counselling and spiritual direction. She has a heart for people to discover their full God given potential in life. She loves being creative. Having been involved in church leadership for many years, more recently, Mark has worked in the world of business and charity. He loves rugby! They both love walking, keeping fit, enjoying beauty, discovering fresh horizons and spending time with family and friends.
Together they love being part of Encounter Church and have recently become the Lead Pastors. They have a passion for this to be a place where everyone is welcome, because they have learnt that none of us is perfect and that with God all things are possible. They have experienced and truly believe in the goodness and grace of God and His restorative freedom, purpose and Hope.
Fernley and Sue Hext have three daughters and four grandsons and at long last one granddaughter! They have lived in Winchcombe since 2009. Fernley has been a Christian since teenage years, and has held various service and leadership roles in Baptist, Anglican and Independent churches. Fern is our Trustee in charge of Governance and Finance at Encounter Church and he is also a part of the leadership team. Fernley is the Chair of Encounter Trust until April 2019 when Mark Bailey will take over the role. Fern previously worked in a management role in the Criminal Justice Sector. Fernley and his wife faithfully led the church before handing over to Mark & Karen Bailey.
Sue has a passion for sharing God and loves connecting with people, inspiring, encouraging and empowering them to become the men and women God created them to be. Sue has now been able to fulfil one of her dreams to have more time to travel but will still be involved with Fernley as part of the Leadership Team. Sue has a passion for Prosecco and has left that legacy with Encounter. Sue and her husband Fernley faithfully led the church before handing over to Mark & Karen Bailey.
Dave and Alison Busby are elders of our church. They have a daughter and son in law, a son and one grandson. Dave oversees pastoral care jointly with his wife Ali. Dave leads men’s ministry, inspiring and encouraging them to explore the gifts God has put within them. Dave says “I love being the hands and feet of Jesus, carrying the joy of the Lord. Being knitted into the body of Christ is a privilege”. Dave is also a Trustee of Encounter Trust.
Ali has a heart for the hurting, but recognises no one person can be present for all, know all intimately, pray for all deeply. Without the caring hearts of our Pastoral Care Team, Ali would not be able to reach all those who need love & support. A team approach allows us to equip & pastor each other and build one another up. Ali believes this should be the backbone model of pastoral care in church.
Briony is one of our Trustees. She also runs our Sparklers Toddler Group each week along with her team of brilliant volunteers. Briony is a real ‘do-er’ and if there’s a need she will try and fill it! She’s been an active member of her local W.I. for many years and has recently set up a monthly craft group at Encounter Church. As a Trustee she has responsibility for Safeguarding at Encounter. She and her husband Geoff also run one of our Life Groups.
Alistair has been a member of churches on the current site where Encounter stands for almost 29 years and works in retail in Cheltenham and runs our catering team – Loaves and Fishes. As a Trustee he is responsible for Food Safety and equality at Encounter. Alistair and his wife Ryssa are very involved in church life and have family in London, Australia, New Zealand and the Phillipines.
Gill is our most recent Trustee and she lives in Winchcombe with her husband Cliff. they have two adult children and one grandson. Gill works part time for the Civil Service. Until recently she was Chair of the Winchcombe Patient Group and in her spare time she enjoys helping backstage at Cheltenham Playhouse. Before joining Encounter, she worshipped at St Peter’s (Anglican) church on Cleeve Hill. Gill has a particular interest in all things ecumenical and in Life Groups (home based groups). Her role as a Trustee involves strategy and forward planning.
Ron, our Church Manager looks after all the running aspects of the Church and loves to serve and assist all to fulfill their calling in the Church and in God. Ron works closely with an amazing office team made up of Fiona Leach and June Yeats to support the work and passion that God has laid on the hearts of The Leadership Team and the Trustees. Ron has a passion for the ministry of encouragement and loves to see the saints equipping themselves and being a source of light to a world that so desperately needs it.
Fiona together with her husband Nigel, play an integral part in the life of our church. Fiona looks after most of the administration in the office and also makes sure that there is enough food and drink to make sure that our groups are fed well. Fiona does so much that it is hard to really put your finger on it as she makes sure that all the chemicals we need as a church are in stock.
June has been with Encounter as a volunteer for over 7 months and has taken over the processing of the accounts, copyright licensing and also volunteers at WAM Youth. June lives in Winchcombe and has been a part of Encounter Church for 2 years now. June has two children that live away from the area and her hobbies are sewing and gardening.
Geoff spends many hours sorting our IT, repairing the building, contacting contractors etc. Old buildings like ours are constantly in need of work and Geoff has been up in the loft or under the floor and can often be found with his toolkit putting something right! We are indebted to Geoff for all his help. Geoff and his wife Briony lead our Beckford Life Group and he has the gift of explaining biblical truths in relevant easy to understand ways.
Etel leads the worship teams and has a passion not only for worship but missions, fitness and family. Etel and her husband Andy together with their two children Livvy and Olly are regular members at Encounter.