Our church has three elders: Chris Haley, Stuart Freer and Richard Hughes. Chris works full time for the church as the Pastor.
(Steven Bowers, a former pastor in Brighouse, is also currently acting as a temporary Trustee while Stuart Freer formally becomes a trustee.)
We also have three Deacons: Rose Smith, Alex Bridgen, and Sarah Hughes.
Chris was born and raised in Drighlington, near Morley in South Leeds, and now lives in Otley. He is married to Caroline and they have two boys, Calvin (10) & Lewis (9). He wasn’t brought up in a Christian family, but became a Christian aged 12 through a local church youth group. Before going into full-time ministry he went to University in Lancaster, and trained as a French teacher.
Chris spent six years years working in Lancaster (two years as a ministry trainee, two years in an office, and then two years as a church student worker), before moving back to Yorkshire in 2013. He became pastor in 2016, after serving three years as an Assistant Pastor whilst completing his training.
Chris has served on the steering group of the Yorkshire Gospel Partnership, is a local school governor, and coffee shop regular. He enjoys languages, light-hearted tv detective series, and sci-fi/fantasy novels. His particular theological interests are expository preaching and biblical theology.
An Otley resident for over 20 years, Richard is a retired Bradford secondary headteacher, now self-employed as a consultant and company director. Richard takes an interest in politics and is leader of Otley Town Council.
Richard is also a partner in The Yorkshire Wordwright, a graphic design and copywriting agency. In that capacity he is organising the Otley Coffee Festival and enjoying the excuse to spend lots of time in cafes.
Richard is married to Sarah, a father of three and a very keen follower of Welsh rugby and football.
Stuart became an elder in October 2023. He moved to Wharfedale in 2021 with his wife Nicola. They have two grown up children.