In this section you can gain an insight into our Leadership.
We believe that the offices sanctioned by the New Testament are
Elders and Deacons.
The function of the Elders is to
exercise shepherd-like oversight of the church. They have responsibility
for the pastoral care, leadership and teaching of the members
of the congregation. We are committed to a shared ministry
of leadership where all elders are subject to one another.
Pastor: Owen Blackwood
Owen served as Pastor at Peniel Church in Maesteg, South Wales before coming to Chester in September 2015. His Induction service was held
at Upton Baptist Church on 26th September 2015
Owen and Eleanor have three young daughters, Molly,Jemima and Rosie and have set up home not far from the church.To contact Owen, please refer to our Contacts page
Associate Pastor : Dave Stott
Dave came to Upton Baptist Church in 2008 after two years full-time training with Grace Baptist Church, Southport, during which time he also completed the FIEC ‘Prepared for Service’ course on which he served as the Course Rep.
After serving a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship he went on to study Mechanical Engineerinclassg at Bradford University and although having been brought up in a Christian home, it was whilst at Bradford that he realised the truth of the gospel and the hopelessness of a life without God. At the age of 22 he committed his life to God. Through his working life as an Engineer with a company making special machinery, he has gained skills in design, proposals engineering and project management
In previous churches Dave has worked extensively with young people and has led many youth camps.
Married to Rebecca, he has two teenage stepsons, Thomas and Sam, and a younger daughter, Phoebe.
When time allows Dave loves being in the outdoors, especially in the mountains, whether walking, biking or camping. To contact Dave, please refer to our Contacts page
Elder: Ian Williams
joined the church in 1981. He served as a deacon for
some years before becoming an elder in 1994.
He is married to Pauline and they have three
grown-up children and two grandchildren. His "day job" is as the Quality Director
of a pharmaceutical company.
Ian became a Christian just after leaving university
in 1970, as a result of the prayers of Christian friends. He
has completed the Evangelical Movement of Wales theological training course.
Elder: Ray Tibbs
Ray became a Christian in 1968 at the teacher training college (now the University). After 23 years in leadership of Baptist churches in other parts of the country, he moved back to the city in 2003 with his wife, Margaret. They had met at the college and took up teaching posts in London. They have 3 grown up children. Ray is now involved in producing bible teaching material for children.
The task of the Deacons is
to relieve the elders of the burden of responsibility for the material
affairs of the church and to support them in every way possible.
Deacon (Church Secretary): Colin Dyke
Colin is our Church Secretary. He became a Christian through the witness of two Christian friends. He could see that there was something different in the lives of these friends that gave them a peace that he knew nothing about.
On Good Friday 1975 Colin picked up a copy of a Christian newspaper in the digs where he was living.
One article that Colin turned to again and again was one that explained that Jesus had died on the cross for sinful people and that we all needed to confess our sin before God.
Colin says: "After thinking these things over for a while I went to my room and prayed, asking God to forgive my sins and come into my life as Lord and Saviour ":
Deacon (Church Treasurer): John Hocking
Johnís role in the church is Treasurer and as such, he is responsible for overall management of the church finances, including budgeting and making payments to the various missionaries and organisations we support, as well as dealing with day to day expenses.
John was brought up as a Roman Catholic and attended church regularly, until his teenage years, when he became indifferent to organised religion. One evening, whilst out in Chester city centre, John was invited to a coffee bar where he met people who attended church, not out of duty, but because they had a living and vibrant relationship with God. John was challenged by this and realising the importance of a personal living relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, made a commitment himself at the age of 20 and has never regretted following Christ ever since.
As a husband, father and Christian businessman, John is able to testify of God’s involvement in his life on a daily basis, adding a whole new purpose and meaning to life on earth which was never there previously and a promise and assurance of eternal life with God in heaven when he dies.
Deacon:(Site Management)Peter Siddorn
Peter's role as a deacon in the church is to take primary responsibility
for the church site and building. He and his wife met
while they were studying veterinary science at Liverpool
University. They now run a farm on the outskirts of
Chester. It was in 1975, during his studies at Liverpool,
that Peter became a Christian.
Having been brought up to attend the local anglican
church Peter was challenged by the Christians he met at Uni.
It was obvious that they had more than a head knowledge of the
Bible. They claimed to know Jesus Christ personally.
Over several months of attending the university
Christian Union, Peter realised that he needed to ask God to
forgive the sins of his past, and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to
come into his life as both Saviour and Lord.
Peter has never regretted making that step of faith and today is still
seeking to know God better and discover new lessons to be learnt and
applied from His Word, the Bible.
Deacon: Ian Thompson
Ian came to the church in 2003, and continues to enjoy the teaching, fellowship, and support that characterises Upton Baptist. He became a Christian in his early teens after hearing the gospel several thousand times since his earliest years, but it was only at that point that the Lord showed him he needed to personally turn to Him for forgiveness.
He is married to Liz (a paediatric consultant) and they have two bright and cheery daughters, Rachel and Emily. His professional background is IT / management, but he is currently splitting his time between minding Rachel and Emily, a part-time BA theology course from WEST, and potentially other part time employment.
Within the church Ian serves as a deacon focusing on the communication and IT equipment, helping with Friday Club, and various other activities.
Any spare time is taken up with walking their two Labradors, photography, hill walking, mountain biking and off-road running.
Deacon: Alex Taylor
Alex grew up in Milton Keynes and had virtually no Christian input besides Christmas trips to church. It was after University when, grieving for his Grandfather, he started to question if there was more to life.
"A friend started to tell me about God",he says, "not the distant idea of God that so many people have, but of a father figure with whom you can have a real and personal relationship. I was intrigued nand started to go to church to try and learn more. Over time I came to see that Jesus Christ was not just a story told to children, but was the actual
Son of God who laid down his life so that my sins could be forgiven and that without ever accepting that sacrifice there was no way I could ever be right with God."
Alex and Jo have been married for seven years and live in Upton with their little boy William. Alex continues, "We started our married life in Manchester where we had met at University, and moved to Chester six years ago when we felt, after much prayer, that God had shown us it was time to move. Listening to God's direction is quite a difficult thing to do but God has rewarded our faith in His guidance".