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.
John Proctor's Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 21
After a brief career in mathematics, I trained for the ministry in Glasgow, and served a parish there from 1981 to 1986, when I came to Westminster. Here I help students to enjoy the New Testament, and to take it seriously. I relish the special role that Westminster has, connecting the world of university study to the life and work of the church. So I love to share the scriptures with any who are interested to discover more, both ordained and lay, in Cambridge and far away. As part of my Christian service I write on the Bible for various publishers. Away from the job, I follow cricket and football and watch birds.
For an interim spell, from August 2013 until a new Principal takes post, John Proctor will be Acting Principal.
Neil Thorogood's Direct Office Line: 01223 33 06 23
I teach pastoral theology and relish working with our students as they explore ministry's realities on their placements in churches and secular settings. I also delight in the many opportunities to share with individuals and church groups at Westminster and elsewhere as we discover more of the wonder and challenge of what God is up to all around us all the time. Having been ordained in 1992, I served pastorates in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. For my M.A. a series of paintings on the Lord's Prayer formed my dissertation. Having always used art within worship I've grown increasingly excited by the ways in which the arts can and do speak of life in a culture as much in love with images as with words. I'm fascinated at how the arts can be in creative conversation with so much of what we do as Christians: in our worship; in our thinking and sharing about God; in our dwelling upon the Bible; in our living faithfully and critically in the world. Amongst other commitments I teach an M.A. module at Westminster on the visual arts and pastoral theology. I enjoy writing prayers and liturgies along with my painting. I am a devoted fan of "The West Wing" which seems to me to be storytelling at its compelling and creative best.
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!
Michael Jagessar's Direct Office Line: TBC
For over 33 years, I have been privileged to work and serve in diverse and eclectic contexts across the Caribbean and the United Kingdom in pastoral ministry, community development, theological education and formation of the whole people of God for a variety of ministries. It is this experience, alongside my multiple Caribbean influences and heritage, that I bring to teaching and my service to the wider Church.
I believe ‘formation for ministry,’ grounded on self-awareness and a continual habit of discerning and feeding our giftings, enables ministry that is sustainable, generous and renewing rather than one that is depleting and short-lived, as we strive to become transformative leaders and reflective practitioners in complex and challenging situations. This habit needs embodied discernment, deep listening, the nurturing of spiritual and transformative practices as we ‘strain towards’ hearing the voices of God, self and neighbour. I am also committed to discern anew the transforming and ‘multi-coloured’ wisdom/vision of God through imaginative conversations across diverse cultural expressions of Christian and other religious traditions. I believe that by bringing the richly layered texture of our diverse voices – often contentious and polarised - into an intercultural engagement, we can provide a platform, method and environment that would give us a ‘foretaste of heaven on earth’.
My academic qualifications include a BA degree in theology (University of the West Indies, Jamaica), an MA in theology and Caribbean Literature (University of the West Indies, Jamaica) and a PhD in Systematic Theology, Ecumenism and Missiology (University of Utrecht, Netherlands). At Queens College (Birmingham) and as guest lecturer across the UK, I have taught Ecumenical Studies; Interfaith Studies; Ministry in Intercultural Contexts; Practice of Ministry, Liturgy and Worship, and Modern Theologians. I have also supervised postgraduate students. I am currently serving as a moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church (2012-2014) and Staff Secretary for Racial Justice and Intercultural Ministry (RjiM) for the United Reformed Church.
I love to write and tell stories. And of course I can tell you everything you need to know about the ever elusive patron saint of the Caribbean, Anansi. I find relaxation in watching good films, delighting in things Caribbean, collecting rare books and maps, working with wood, and dabbling in photography.
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.