Sunday, March 15, 2009

Interview with Revd Marcus Bull


How long have you lived in the Upper Calder Valley?
Since July 2008.

Where is your favourite place, personally, in the Upper Calder Valley?
We're still getting to know the area, but we love Hardcastle Crags, as well as the little bridge over the river at Blake Dean (up above Slack).

Who, in the local community, is your "Local Hero"?
Shelia Shackleton, one of Hope Baptist Church's members and a leader in the church, is in her 80s yet still works tirelessly, uncomplainingly, and with the most amazing energy!

What do you think this area should be most proud of?
John Fawcett established the Baptist Church in Hebden Bridge in 1777. He was a prolific author and hymn writer, and is still a significant figure to Baptist Christians not just in this country but overseas too.

If you could wave a magic wand and change three things in the area, what would they be?
(1) The proposed John Fawcett Centre (at Hope Baptist Church) would be finished. (We're still £2 million and several years away from completion!) (2) No traffic congestion, or parking issues, in Hebden Bridge. (3) An end to the underage binge-drinking culture.

What is your general occupation?
Baptist Minister at Hope Baptist Church, Hebden Bridge.

What is the most satisfying bit about what you do?
Making a difference (I like to think I do, anyway) in people's lives and spiritual journeys.

What is the most frustrating part about what you do?
Dealing with CRB Disclosures, Listed Buildings Officers, and certain people in the Baptist system who are still locked in the 19th Century!

What was your very first job?
My very first job, as a student, was in a chicken factory (I lasted less than a week)! After than I was a griddle chef and a Little Chef (not much better). But my first job after leaving uni. was as a Primary School teacher in Dagenham, East London.

How do you relax?
Listening to music, drinking beer (or good wine), watching decent TV.

What's the best film you've seen recently?
Took Thomas (my son) to see 'Bolt' in half-term. Great film!

What is your favourite food?
I grew up in Mexico, and so I love spicy stuff. My absolute favourite is a mole (pronounced molay) which uses strong chillis and dark chocolate as a savoury sauce. Yum!

If you were Prime Minister, what’s the very first thing you would do?
Write off the debt owed to us by the developing world.

As cheap and easily available oil is expected to run out in the next couple of decades, what do you think will be the predominant form of transport in 2030?
Try strapping a cat (or a catgaroo) to each foot? Genetically modified donkeys? I'm fascinated by these new hydrogen fuel cell cars which produce no waste but H2O - can't afford to buy one though!

Have you got any guilty carbon secrets?
I own a car and a motorcycle.

What have you done, personally, that you were most proud of?
I was once asked to audition to play lead guitar for Samantha Fox's European Tour! But apart from that I'm most proud of my beautiful son.

What single issue are you most concerned about in the world at large?
Debt, poverty, etc. in the developing world.

Which person in the public eye do you most admire and why?
John Sentamu (Archbishop of York) for being unconventional and willing to speak out from a Christian perspective on a variety of issues.

What are your three favourite websites of the moment?
I'm getting into Facebook! I love 'The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus'. And, of course, www.hope-baptist.org.uk

Thank you Marcus!

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