Welcome to Rev Gary and Debbie Ridley
I am very grateful for the opportunity to offer a few words of introduction. At 62 years of age I’ve worked in both the secular and the religious areas of life. I was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, and yes, I am follower of Newcastle United, although the least said about the present fortunes the better. I do like sport in general, but these days, apart from some swimming, it is from the comfort of an armchair. Theatre and visits to historic places of interest are among my other pastimes.
My wife, Debbie and I have been married for 34 years. She hails from Southport and has been a Methodist local preacher since 1982. We have two married sons, Lewis, the eldest is married to Becky and our youngest son, Daniel, is married to Alice. I spent several years in local government, working for Northumberland county Council. I first became a member of the Methodist church in 1977, which then led to a year as a student at Cliff College in 1980. During this time I met Debbie on a Cliff College mission. I then began my vocation to full time Christian work in 1982 at the Plymouth Methodist Central Hall, followed by two further years in lay ministry in Cornwall before candidating for the Methodist Ministry where I attended Wesley College, Bristol. I was finally ordained in 1991 in Rochdale at the Champness Hall.
We’ve travelled around a large part of the Connexion since, but we look forward to this new chapter in our lives and our remaining time of active ministry in the Oldham and Saddleworth Circuit. Finally, we are grateful for the privilege of getting to know you all, sharing our faith journey together and seeking to follow where the Lord may be leading in the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Blessings in Christ,