Executive Committee

The 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 Vice 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 Immediate Past President

Ash James
Ash James

Ash is a recent Unitarian, having joined the Kidderminster New Meeting House, where he is Vice-President, in 2008. he does have a family connection however to Unitarianism, through his wife Elaine, a fourth generation Unitarian.

He was formerly a Deputy Headteacher at a large Dudley comprehensive school, but has over the last five years become increasingly involved within the voluntary sector. He works as a volunteer adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Stourbridge, is a governor at a local school and a member of the Dudley Education Appeals team. He is an events organiser and fund raiser for various charities, organising charity weekends and music promotion events. He lives in Stourbridge.

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 Secretary of the Unitarian Association for Lay Ministry and the Unitarian Peace Fellowship.

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.

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.

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.

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 – Women’s League

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.

Representative Members