James and Melanie have shared a life of faith for 40 years. For the last 14 years they have been involved in St Mary’s Longfleet (SML), a large Anglican church in Poole, where James is on the regular teaching team and they jointly lead a Life Group.
They both enjoy studying the Bible and finding creative ways to communicate its message in a way that is relevant for 21st century living.
I came to faith whilst studying Civil Engineering. One of the things I find most exciting about being a Christian is helping people connect with God’s truth in a way that is both transforming and relevant. My enthusiasm for learning and teaching, along with some leadership skills, has shaped many of my life experiences. In my church life I have I have led two church plants and in my work life I have had leadership roles in organisations as diverse as design consultancies, regeneration organisations and developing the visitor experience on an Island nature reserve.
Two areas of faith which I have developed a particular interest in are;
* Exploring how we can encounter God through our work and I have led courses on this in both church and workplace settings.
* Understanding the benefits of contemplation and reflection and discovering how people can improve their sense of wellbeing through connecting with nature.
I have always been an avid reader and I love digging deep into the Bible, learning about the background, finding the connections between the different passages, trying to understand what the words meant for the people at the time and, more importantly, what they mean for us now. In Children’s Ministry, I want to make the Bible stories come to life and I enjoy helping children see how the truths of the Bible work out in their lives. In Group Bible Studies, my aim is to find engaging and thought-provoking questions that will help people see for themselves what God is saying to them today through his Word.