You can find below the bios for individual members of the leadership team of Dignity and Worth. To get in touch with the leadership team, just complete the online contact form.
Ruby Beech is an HR Consultant and Independent Celebrant based in Newark on Trent. She has worked in the private, public and charitable sectors and been a Trustee of a number of charities and a Non Executive Director of her local hospital trust. Ruby is a Local Preacher, a past Vice-President of Conference and former member of the Steering Committee of the World Methodist Council. Ruby is passionate about equal rights, including for LGBT+ people and longs for the Methodist Church to reflect the inclusive love of God. Ruby is married to Garry and is our Vice-Chair.
Joy Everingham is a Deacon in the Canterbury and East Kent Circuit and serves as Chaplain to the University of Kent, Canterbury and as Associate Chaplain to Canterbury Christ ChurchUniversity. She is proudly Transgender and has a passion for inclusion, especially for those who are on the margins of society. She works closely with the EDI department of the University and has pioneered a support group for Transgender and Non-binary people, both at the Uni and within the local community. She has delivered Gender Diversity training courses to the University, Kent Police, local NHS trusts and has been a speaker at the Stonewall Workplace Conference about LGBT+ issues within the Church. Joy is married to Ruth, and they have 2 teenage children.
Gary Hopkins is a senior leader in education, having worked with children and young people from the age of three to sixteen. He presently works as Assistant Headteacher of an inner-city secondary school in Birmingham, and previously worked as Deputy Headteacher of a primary school. He is a Local Preacher, organist, pianist and hymnwriter and has an MEd in Leadership and Management. He served as National Coordinator for Outcome from 2007-2012 and was a member of the Methodist Council between 2007 and 2010. He believes passionately in an inclusive, all-embracing church that truly represents the diversity of God’s world where people from all backgrounds and communities serve and lead as part of God’s reign. He has a keen interest in theatre and music and enjoys being around people with a good sense of humour. Gary lives in Birmingham with his partner, Sam.
Delyth Liddell is Coordinating Chaplain at Cardiff University and Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer for the Wales Methodist Synod, as well as being on the Connexional EDI Committee. She is on the leadership of the ecumenical group, “The Gathering – Cardiff, a church for everyone, especially LGBT+”, responding to pastoral and spiritual needs in the LGBT+ community. The Gathering is committed to making links between churches and the LGBT+ community and organises the Faith Tent at Pride Cymru in Cardiff, as well as connecting with local churches and advising on inclusivity.
Sam McBratney is currently a part-time presbyter in the Midlands and a researcher at a university in London. He’s proudly Irish and previously worked in rural ministry, chaplaincy and theological education. He is also an activist, including being member of the Corrymeela Community, and working for reconcililatiom in Ireland, the Middle East and Sri Lanka. A member of the World Methodist Council, he also served on two previous Conference Working Parties on Marriage and Relationships. He remains committed to helping Methodists live well with contradictory convictions.Sam has one son, Dom, and lives with his partner, Mark, in Coventry. You can find out more about him from his website: www.cassowary.eu. Sam is our Chair.
Alister McClure is a local preacher, circuit steward and district EDI officer in the Yorkshire North and East District. He has been equality, diversity and human rights professional for 20 years, working with public and voluntary sector organisations. Currently working as Head of Equality and Inclusion for an NHS Hospital, he has previously worked as one of the Connexion’s EDI officers. Describing himself as a Methodist who is ecumenical, inclusive and progressive, he has a passion for the giftedness of all people, especially of those not ordained, and for ‘church beyond the Church’. Alister is married to John and lives in Beverley, East Yorkshire.
Barbara Pettitt is a presbyter without appointment living in the North West. Returning to part time Circuit ministry in September 2018. She is the convenor for Outcome, which includes LGBT+ people and straight allies. Outcome continues to offer support, speakers and three events each year including a stall at Conference. Barbara is married to Alison and they have two disabled children.
Mark Rowland is a presbyter in the Coventry and Nuneaton circuit, with responsibility for Coventry Central Hall and Woodside Avenue Methodist Church. A lifelong Methodist, Mark is committed to a gospel which is for all and to the church’s action for justice and peace. Mark has worked closely with Coventry Pride on a variety of events both during Pride itself and as part of LGBT history month. Mark lives in Coventry with his partner, Sam. Mark is our Treasurer.
Ric Stott is a Methodist presbyter based in Sheffield where he ministers as a Venture FX pioneer. Over the last 8 years he has helped develop an inclusive art space at 35 Chapel Walk where people are enabled to explore the relationship between community, spirituality and creativity. He is an artist currently studying for an MFA in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Much of his art work explores the relationship between Spirituality and the queer male body as well as the impact of place on our sense of self. He believes that his sexuality as a gay man is a gift from God and is eager for the Church to move on from the same old petty debates about LGBT relationships so that we can begin to celebrate and learn from the richness of queer people’s experience.