Executive Committee

The President

diane-rutter
Diane Rutter

Is Salford born and bred! She spent the first 22 years of her life as a member of Pendleton Unitarians in Salford, then peregrinated via the Church of England and the wilderness back to Unitarianism over a decade ago.

Diane is currently Lay Assistant to Kingswood (and by serendipity Warwick) congregations. A touch typist by trade and a cleric by profession, previous employers include Tootal Fabric, The Sunday Express Sports Desk and the University of Salford.

The Vice President

Angela Maher
Angela Maher

Angela found the Unitarians in 2007 and is a member of Unitarian New Meeting, Birmingham where she edits the church calendar and website. She is active in the Unitarian Communication Coordinators Network and BUYAN, the Unitarian young adults network. Angela works in web content development in the civil service and lives in Birmingham.

The Immediate Past President

Jane Couper
Jane Couper

Brought up as an Anglican in a family more interested in politics than religion Jane became a Unitarian as a teenager. In her professional life she taught Religious Studies at an academic independent school and from the late 1980s she was an active member of Hale Chapel becoming its Chairman, then President of the Manchester District Association. In 2003 she moved with her husband to Evesham and now attends Oat Street Chapel. Recently she has been involved with “future ministry” and the District Associations Project.

The Secretary

Rev. Sue Woolley
Rev. Sue Woolley – BA., M.Phil

Sue is a fifth generation Unitarian. She is minister of the Banbury Unitarian Fellowship, and District Facilitator and Secretary of the Midland Unitarian Association. She is also President of the Unitarian Association for Lay Ministry and Secretary of the Unitarian Peace Fellowship. She is also Worship Studies Course Tutor and Administrator.

The Treasurer

Sandy Ellis
Sandy Ellis – TD, BA, FCMA

Sandy, a fourth generation Unitarian, is a member of Oat Street Chapel, Evesham. He has served on the Executive Committee and as Midland Unitarian Association Treasurer since 1983. He was a Manager of the Ministers’ Stipend Augmentation Fund from 1985 – 2012, and is a Director of the Ministers’ Benevolent Society. He served as Treasurer of the Sustentation Fund from 1994-2003 and was a Trustee of the Hibbert & Gregson Trusts from 1991-2003. A Chartered Management Accountant with over 50 years’ experience, he is a G.A. Qualified Lay Preacher and is a regular Preacher in Midland Unitarian Association Congregations and lives near Worcester.

Elected Members

Rev. Jeffrey Bowes
Rev. Jeffrey Bowes

After a much chequered working life in hotel, garage, office, tyre depot and bingo hall, and some years as a lone parent, I trained for the Unitarian ministry at Unitarian College from October 1982. In between ministries in the Somerset and Dorset Group, Rochdale, Hinckley and Coventry (including pastoral oversight of Newchurch and Shelf) I’ve worked as an administrator. I’ve also been Chair of Directors for two Councils for Voluntary Services, and Chair of Governors for two schools (one an Outstanding Special School). I have a daughter and two grandchildren, and my wife is looking forward to retiring from teaching next year. My committee skills are mainly in the areas of governance and strategy.

Debra Burbery
Debra Burbery

Debra was born in Portsmouth but she spent her teenage years in North Yorkshire and has only recently ‘fallen into’ Unitarianism.
In her professional life she was a Biology and Chemistry teacher in state and private secondary schools. Since wandering into the building on an open morning, she has been regularly attending Shrewsbury Unitarian Church and has completed the Introductory Worship Studies Course held at Kingswood Church in 2016.

David Heppinstall
David Heppinstall

I’m a monumental stonemason and letter-cutter. I’m also a fourth generation Unitarian. I was christened at The Great Meeting Hinckley, where my grandparents were caretakers. I attended this chapel until my wife and I moved up to the Manchester area in 2004, where Cross Street became my main chapel. We moved to Banbury in 2011, and I’m now a member at Banbury, but still have very close connections to Hinckley as this is where my family are still based.

David Jones
David Jones

I am a retired teacher (first of maths, later of Further Education pupils with learning difficulties, and finally of computer applications to adults). I am now a key worker / befriender, in particular with a Muslim with cerebral palsy, and a woman with schizophrenia. In my spare time, I am chair of Unitarian New Meeting Church in Birmingham, and a member of a local choir. I am also a keen photographer.

David Mearman
David Mearman

David has been a member of Stourbridge Presbyterian (Unitarian) Church since 1966. He succeeded his late father as Organist, continuing a fifty year family tradition, and is the Secretary, and a Trustee. He lives in Stourbridge, Worcestershire.

Cressida Pryor
Cressida Pryor

Although only a Unitarian for three years, Cressida has recently discovered she is descended from the Radical Dissenter Henry Solly and the MP William Smith, so feels the denomination is in her blood! She attends and is Secretary to Bayshill Church in Cheltenham, where Solly was minister. Her professional background is in the therapies, and latterly in adult mental health; with a special interest in working with new parents and their babies. She is self-employed, a new grandmother, a Morris dancer, and sings, if given half a chance! She is an Interfaith minister, and is currently studying the Intermediate Step of the Worship Studies Course.

Pamela Rose
Pamela Rose

Pamela has been a member of the Oldbury Congregation since joining the Sunday School at the age of five. She has been Secretary and Treasurer to Oldbury for many years and is a Trustee of both the Oldbury and Dudley Congregations. In 2010 she was elected President of the Birmingham & District Women’s League and represents them on the MUA Executive Committee.

David Taylor
David Taylor

I have been interested in spirituality for most of my life, with an active involvement with Buddhism, Paganism and the Quakers.
I have been involved with Unitarianism since the late 1990’s and since 2013 have been a regular member at Stourbridge Unitarian Chapel. I am a professional graphic designer.

Representative Member Ministers’ Meeting

Winnie Gordon
Rev. Winnie Gordon

Rev Winnie Gordon, serving the congregations of Birmingham Unitarian New Meeting and Kidderminster New Meeting House, is honoured to represent the Midlands Dissenting Ministers Meeting as part of the Midlands Unitarian Association. Winnie, came to Unitarianism in 2006 and very quickly recognised it as her spiritual home, becoming involved in the then Education and Training Commission. Now she works as part of the team on the Worship Studies Course, and 2020. Previously a Lecturer of Maths at a FE College, an Adult Educator, Special Education Teacher Assistant, Account Clerk and Prison Correction Officer in USA, to name a few career choices, Winnie believes it was all preparing her for the vocation of an inclusive ministry ethos that Unitarianism upholds.