Elders

John Harding

John Harding

John Harding

Tel: 01865 556487;
e-mail: John Harding

John was brought up in a Congregational family and his grandfather was a Congregational Minister. He came up to Oxford in 1953 to read Engineering Science and later returned as a University Lecturer and Fellow of Mansfield College. He and his wife Caroline are members at both Summertown URC and St Peter’s, Wolvercote where she is currently PCC secretary. They are both committed supporters of the Church Partnership, the successor to the Ecumenical Parish formed in 1982. For some 30 years John was treasurer to the Oxford Christian Aid committee and still serves on the committee. His other interests include railways and classical music.


Mary Horwitz

Mary Horwitz

Mary Horwitz

Tel: 01865 554983;
e-mail: Mary Horwitz

Having trained in Birmingham Mary originally came to Oxford in the mid 1960’s to work as a radiographer, working at different times in several of the Oxford hospitals. She became and remained a member at Summertown until moving to Watlington in 1984 where she joined the local Methodist Church. Returning to Oxford in 2010 she transferred her membership back to Summertown and was then ordained Elder in 2012.


Beryl Knotts

Beryl Knotts

Beryl Knotts

Tel: 01865 510055;
e-mail: Beryl Knotts

Beryl was brought up in a Congregational family and had early experience with the Surrey Congregational Youth Council. She trained and worked as a social worker in the UK and from 1966 to 1969 served as a UNA volunteer in Brazil. This led to 10 years international social work experience in Peru, Nigeria, South Sudan and Geneva, followed by 11 years with Oxfam, latterly in international human resources, until retirement in 1991. She was a URC Racial Justice Advocate, an avowed ecumenist and was our Church Secretary from 1997 until 2011.


Peter Lund

Peter Lund

Peter Lund MBE

Tel: 01865 248966;
e-mail: Peter Lund

His parents exerted no pressure on him to attend their rather unimaginative church and Sunday School or to explore any other church. However as the second world war approached, their views led them towards the Society of Friends and he attended several meetings with them. Leter, as an undergraduate, he attended the Oxford Meeting until the outdoor activities of the OU scout club took precedence.

After 2 years away on Tyne side, where he helped a scout troop, spending most weekends working on their local campsite but with some youth hosteling trips to the Cheviots, he returned to Oxford in 1947 and found the scout and guide club very active and able to provide him with somewhere to live (three years permanent youth hosteling at Hillend). His companions could be described as dormant Christians but sympathetic – probably looking for a more meaningful faith. Through the scout and guide club he met Heather who was a Congregationist and became his wife and the rest, he writes, is history.

Scouting led him to folk dancing, to Morris dancing and to the work of the Rural Community (for which he was awarded the MBE – note added by web editor).


Ian Scargill

Ian Scargill

Ian Scargill

Tel: 01865 558875;
e-mail: Ian Scargill

Ian grew up in Yorkshire, one of an extended family all associated with the Congregational Church. He came to Oxford as a student and stayed on, becoming a Lecturer in Geography in the University, specialising in urban studies and the geography of France. He was also Fellow and Tutor in Geography at St Edmund Hall where he was for several years the Vice Principal. He is an Elder and former Church Secretary at Summertown URC and apart from church work his main interest is now in environmental conservation.


Jean Stolton

Jean Stolton

Jean Stolton

Tel: 01865 559359;
e-mail: Jean Stolton
jean.stolton@virgin.net

Jean was brought up in a Congregational family. Her brother became a Congregational minister and her father, a teacher with much experience in education, did a good deal of work as a Leader of children and young people in the Church as well as in the Pilots’ organisation. Jean graduated as a teacher from Goldsmith’s College, London and taught for three years in a large Comprehensive School in Kidbrooke. She then spent a year at Selly Oak, training as a missionary with the London Missionary Society/Council for World Mission before spending 27 years in Calcutta, India. On her return she worked for 5 years, before retiring, as a Warden of a Sheltered Accommodation, during which time she followed a course to become a Lay Preacher in the URC. She became a member at Summertown on her return from India in 1991 and was subsequently ordained as an Elder.