CRB Anniversary Celebration 2018 – June 9th-10th
This year, for our significant 179th year anniversary celebration, we welcome Revd Graham Brownlee to speak out our Sunday morning service and encourage the Church in a heart for discipleship.
Graham is the co-minister at Moortown Baptist Church, Leeds, and has been helping our deacons consider future plans and vision.
Graham was brought up in Northumberland and studied Chemistry at Leeds University. Following 2 years science teaching he then read theology and studied for the Baptist ministry at Oxford. Graham has been a Baptist minister since 1989.
Over that period Graham has worked as the minister of two urban churches, one in Aston, Birmingham and the other in South Bank, between Middlesbrough and Redcar. Life in Birmingham was in a multi-cultural context whereas in South Bank he was heavily involved in community and civic partnerships focusing particularly on education, housing and regeneration. Church life flourished through these connections and seeing Christ shape action and meet people in their life situations. In this time a number of community projects and initiatives were established involving partnerships with public bodies, national charities and local churches and schools.
In 2002 Graham became the Chief Executive of the Churches Regional Commission for Yorkshire and the Humber – a charity which forged partnership between churches and public bodies, influenced policy and negotiated resources.
Before joining Moortown Baptist Church, Graham was the Yorkshire Baptist Association (YBA) Regional Minister for Mission. He encouraged mission that encompassed community action, evangelism, church planting, re-imagining the way we do church, social issues and working in partnership. This role was a blend of working alongside local churches as well as offering a strategic direction for the YBA through planning, speaking and training.
Outside these full-time roles, Graham has been a member of the Baptist Union Council and served on various groups on Mission, Strategy and Racial Justice. From 2002 to 2009 he was a member, and latterly Chair, of the National Community Forum, a body which acts as an independent sounding Board for the government on policies that affect communities.He was also a founder member of the Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum.
Currently Graham plays an advisory role with Faithworks and is an Ecumenical Canon of Ripon and Bradford Cathedrals.
From this you get a flavour of someone who likes to focus on mission, thinking ahead and being creative!
Graham’s wife Margaret is a head teacher of a Secondary School near Castleford, and they have two children, Hannah, who works as an accountant in Leeds and Aodhan who is currently in further education.
In all this, when time allows Margaret and Graham enjoy going out for meals – a way of getting away from it all. Graham is also a supporter of Newcastle United and a bit of a cyclist and table tennis player.