John Bradbury's Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 22
How do we talk about God today? That is the question which is probably the one that fires me the most. In the midst of a world and even a church where by and large we don't talk about God, how do we do it, and how do we do it so that it makes sense? My role here at Westminster is to grapple with some of those questions with others as we think our way into what it means to minister today. To talk about God is, of course, what to do theology is all about, and that is one part of what I do. The other part of me engages with how other people have talked about God in different times and places, and how they've lived that out in their life together in the midst of the world – for that is what we are about when do Church history. I've always been fascinated by the big questions of life, the universe and everything, from when I was a small and annoying child who would perpetually cry 'but Why?!'. I'm a passionate ecumenist and am old fashioned enough to think that the way about we talk about God might have something to do with how we can further the unity of the Church. Academically my interests are in the Church and what makes it tick – my PhD being in ecclesiology, with a particular interest in how we understand what it means for the Church to be 'perpetually reforming'. I'm also a very keen pianist when I get the chance, and love nothing much more than putting the world to rights with friends over a good meal or a pint of beer.
Neil Thorogood's Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 23
I became Principal of Westminster College in January, 2014, having previously served as Westminster’s Director of Pastoral Studies since 2005. I’m a minister in the United Reformed Church and a practicing artist. I was ordained in 1992 and have served pastorates in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. I received my M.A. in Contextual Missiology from Manchester University, where a series of paintings on the Lord's Prayer formed my dissertation. As well as teaching Westminster’s first year course exploring the reality and potential of ministry within the URC I teach an M.A. module for the Cambridge Theological Federation on the ways in which the visual arts and pastoral theology can inform and engage with each other. I relish the opportunity to write prayers and liturgies and my oil paintings and charcoal drawings are a fundamental part of my ministry. My current interests include exploring the possibilities for visual arts within Reformed worship and alternative forms of church within contemporary British culture. Being at Westminster, in this role, is the greatest privilege and challenge of my life so far and I delight in all that we are seeking to do and to become. Creatively serving the whole Church, in the company of gifted people, is a wonderful adventure! I love great story-telling, which makes me a huge fan of The West Wing.
Janet Tollington's Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 25
After ten years with the Police Service and a brief career in personnel with a national retailer, I trained for the Baptist ministry in Bristol. Before ordination I went on to Oxford where I studied for my D.Phil. My thesis on Haggai and Zechariah 1-8 was subsequently published. From 1989 to January 1994 I served a Baptist Church near Bristol and taught Old Testament part-time at my old theological college. I then came to Westminster and transferred into United Reformed Church ministry in 1996. I am passionate about the Old Testament and love helping students discover the riches of this part of the scriptures, encouraging some to gain the extra benefit that comes from learning Biblical Hebrew. The chance to work with lay and ordained throughout the church, often in ecumenical contexts, is both a privilege and a delight; and the stimulus that comes from my university involvement enriches my teaching. I have had several academic essays published but also write material for Roots, Scripture Union and the Bible Reading Fellowship on occasions, as well as sermons for the Preacher's Press. Engaging with local churches in their worship and learning is important to me, as is my role within Training for Learning and Service (TLS), which I have been part of since it was introduced into the URC. Overseeing the sabbatical programme at Westminster as Director of the Cheshunt Foundation adds a welcome international dimension to my work and the life of the college. Outside work I enjoy the theatre and exploring the countryside – if I have time!
Samantha (Sam) White
Sam White's Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 21
I joined the staff at Westminster College in July 2014 after serving as a minister in the West Suffolk Group of United Reformed Churches. During that ministry I also spent some time working with the chaplaincy team at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, having come from a background in adult nursing. I trained as a minister at Westminster College, completing an MA in Pastoral Theology through Anglia Ruskin University. My dissertation reflected upon the role of the funeral and pastoral care of the bereaved, with a particular emphasis upon practice in the United Reformed Church. My post at Westminster has two dimensions. I teach pastoral studies and co-ordinate the student placements in church and sector ministries, as well as working with other staff members to extend the provision of events, courses and study opportunities for ministers, lay preachers, elders and churches. I enjoy leading worship and value occasions when I can use my imagination, artistic ability, voice and enthusiasm for drama to bring the bible to life. I find contemplative spirituality and Lectio Divina enriching and in my leisure time I enjoy spending time with my family, singing with a local choir and coaxing things in the garden to grow.
Please Note: If your enquiry is regarding a Cheshunt Foundation Sabbatical, please refer to the information on the Sabbatical page under 'How and When Do I Apply', here.