Our Present Diaconate

Julian (click for larger picture)

(2013 - )

Unlike my fellow deacons, I have always lived in the London Borough of Bexley. My membership at Middle Wall and recent election as deacon came about after I and my wife Gill found ourselves spending most weekends in our touring caravan at Tankerton. We missed attending a church and prayed that God would lead us to a friendly one. As always, He certainly answered our prayers with more than we could have imagined!! In the past I have been a deacon, treasurer and secretary in another Baptist church and it is interesting to see how Middle Wall does things in the same way or differently.

I believed in God from a very early age but it wasn’t until 1976, in my mid-twenties, that I was baptised. My commitment followed a series of “coincidences” that did not seem much at the time but which, on reflection, clearly showed God’s hand. He has continued to shape and guide ever since.

It started with Sunday school, through the youth organisations and, with them, to the Billy Graham meetings in Earl’s Court. Later I helped with my church’s youth group and with a local Crusader group with whom I went as driver and linguist to Mialet, near Nimes in France, to help redecorate a wonderful octagonal protestant church there. One of the highlights for me was using a flannelgraph to tell the story of the good shepherd to the local children – in French of course!!

Life has not been a smooth ride all the way. My first wife died just a week after the birth of our third child – a very difficult time but church friends and neighbours were a great help. None more so than Bob Schulz (Gill’s first husband) who himself died suddenly barely five months later. With much in common, Gill and I drew closer and closer and married in 1988. We moved house to make a new home for ourselves and our five children who have now all grown up and “flown the nest”. God has been very good to us in many ways and on many occasions.

Outside the church I was, until very recently (January 2014), a technical consultant with an IT firm working mainly with housing associations in and around London but also as far afield as Waterlooville, Canterbury, Dunstable, Bedford and Watford.

My work is with data, databases and (mostly) housing association software though I would prefer to use my languages – I love speaking them and bringing people together by interpreting for them or by reading aloud and making stories come alive.


© Tony Harris 16/05/2014