Our School workers are Chris Mason, Sarah Stone, Sophie Tinker (Brighouse based) and Joan Wright (Upper Calder Valley based). CICS is the lead organisation within The Partnership, a collaboration of several Christian based organisations and the church across the Borough - Robert Fox is the Project Manager of The Partnership. The workers are supported by an amazing team of volunteers and the trustees alongside those who donate to and pray for our work.
Meet Chris Mason:
My name is Chris , I’m a youth worker, married to Lucy and lived in this part of the world all my life. Outside of work I love going to watch the Huddersfield Giants play rugby league, I love music, play the guitar (badly) and love to play a board game.
I got taken to church since I was little, I went to a little independent Sunday School that was just up the road from my home. It was a more traditional church and I loved my time, the people were so kind, invested time into me and really cared. But as a teenager I just found less and less time to go to Church, I was just busy with other things. However when I was 16 I joined the church that my sister at the time attended as it had an evening service, it was much more modern in its style of worship and I found a group of friends. Over time through being connected church and through other experiences my faith continues to be part of my life.
I’ve got a long history with CICS from being a young person accessing and helping out what CICS were doing at that time, to now having working with CICS for many a year. I work in Brighouse High now with CICS running mentoring for the school providing extra pastoral support for those that require this. The work is so rewarding, the young people I meet are amazing and the school are great. With the rest of my work life I work for the Huddersfield Methodist Circuit as their Circuit Youth Worker doing more one to one mentoring, running youth groups, residentials, and now trying to help understand what the church looks like online after the pandemic. I love working with young people, the challenges that they face in life are often difficult in a world that is often complicated. They bring energy, joy and my job is often to try to engage with them to be the best version of themselves, the person that God truly created them to be.
Meet Sarah Stone:
Hi I’m Sarah, I’m married to Mark who is the Pastor at Halifax Elim Church which we lead together with a great team, and we have two amazing teenage girls.
I enjoy gardening, Interesting food, playing games, going for walks and I love trying to fit lots of people around my dining room table! I like making friends, who then become family!
I enjoy working with people and helping them see who God made them to be.
I became a Christian when I was a little girl. I knew that I needed Jesus in my life. I witnessed how God answered prayers and changed situations, so I asked Jesus to lead my life. After attending Huddersfield Uni I had a gap year with UCCF as a relay worker working on a evangelism team where I worked with students. I then became the youth worker at my church. I have also been a schools worker, and led pre-school and children’s groups at Christian camps and conference’s
Through CICS I currently work as a mentor at Brighouse High School. It is an absolute privilege to get alongside girls who need someone to listen to them and help them think through their life choices. The current season presents itself with lots of challenges. It’s great be able to help young people be the best they can be and support them as they process all that life throws at them.
Meet Sophie Tinker:
I grew up going to Church and would say I believed in God but I didn’t fully understand all that He had done for me. I had my ups and downs in life, we moved house a few times and I often found it hard to make friends in new places we moved to, so as I looked for friends one summer I started going along to some activities put on by local churches. I became a Christian a few years later, around the age of 14 at a summer event, after hearing someone explain how Jesus loved me and had died for me. God started to change me and help me know Him better and understand that He loves me so so much. I met my husband, Chris, at University and together we just want to be serving God in whatever way we can, wherever we are. Having lived in 10 different places in my life I have had lots of adventures but after moving to Brighouse in 2018 we feel very settled and love living in Yorkshire. We are blessed to have 3 children who share our love of staying indoors and snuggling up to watch a film or read a book.
I love working for CICS, it is a real privilege to be involved in some of our Calderdale school communities. I work as a mentor, listening to and supporting young people in Brighouse High School and I also lead assemblies, deliver R.E. lessons and run a lunchtime club in Longroyde Primary School, sharing with the children there what it means to be a Christian and helping them understand God’s love for them. I love the variety of my job and really enjoy spending time with the children, young people and school staff who I come across.
I am a member of Cornerstone Church, Brighouse and I help out with children’s work and enjoy spending time with my church family. I feel very blessed to be part of a church that runs a café (Cafe 139 on Bradford Road, Brighouse) as I do love sitting down for a cuppa, a natter and a piece of cake so supporting the café provides the perfect excuse for doing that!
Meet Joan Wright:
Hi my name is Joan Wright I am married to Steve Wright and we have two daughters, Nicoline who lives in Leeds UK and Shelley, who lives in Chicago, USA with her husband Nevin and they have two daughters, Evvy and Adrie. I was born in Johannesburg South Africa (hence my accent) but of British descent. I am a Maths and French teacher and do online tutoring. I loved walking in the Calderdale hills around my home and am an avid birder. I love doing crafts of all sorts.
I met Jesus through an afterschool club, when I was 8 years old and then dedicated my life to Him at a youth meeting in high school. We felt the call to go to Mauritius Island and we spent 18 years there as tentmaker missionaries. Steve flew as a captain with Air Mauritius and we helped to found churches in the north of the island. When we returned to the UK, we pastored Morley Community Church in Leeds.
As one of the CICS workers in the Upper Calderdale, I help Nancy White with assemblies in the Primary schools around Todmorden. Together with Steve, as a volunteer, I run a Question Point and a Bible study in Todmorden High School. Steve and I help out with the worship time on guitar and keyboards, at Vale Baptist Church in Cornholme.
Meet Robert Fox
My name is Robert Fox. I spent my early life in Sheffield before the family moved to Bridlington. I became a choirboy at the age of 6 at Bridlington Priory leaving as Head Chorister when I was 18. This set the context for my life and since then; faith, religion and music have always been very important to me.
I studied Theology and Religious Studies at the College of Ripon and York, St John before undertaking a PGCE in the same subjects at Manchester Polytechnic. Being the principal French Horn player in the orchestra at Ripon led to my engagement to the principal clarinettist, Susan. I think offering to carry her clarinet back from rehearsals clinched it!
Following teacher training, we married at Susan’s church, Bethel Independent Methodist Chapel, Shelf, where I have worshipped ever since. Being offered two roles by my father-in-law, I settled for Registrar for Marriages over boiler duties, believing it would use my skill set better. I conducted marriages over a 35-year period and am now also chairperson of the Finance and Trustee Committee. I have also taken the teenage class in our Sunday School since 1987. We have been blessed with two wonderful sons: Joshua (a ceramicist) and Thomas (a research scientist). One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
In our chapel everyone takes a role; my wife is the organist and I am equally happy working with the Sunday school, meeting Gary the gravedigger or helping with the washing up. As my mother-in-law would say, they also serve the Lord who only stand and wipe! After 36 years as a teacher, 19 of which as a headteacher in Calderdale, I am now enjoying the freedom of semi-retirement.
I am looking forward to getting to know the CICS members and feel very excited to be doing research work for ‘The Partnership’.
Meet the Trustees:
Paul Blakey MBE (Chair) - Paul is the founder of Street Angels and CNI Network and has actively worked within Calderdale's churches for over 26 years. Paul and wife Jean worship at The King's Church, Halifax and was involved in the initial discussions around setting up a school's work in the Borough - he became a trustee in 2012.
Daphne Cansdale - Daphne and husband Graham moved to Calderdale in 2000 and was thrilled to find and join the group praying and planning for a schools project, having been involved in one in Bedfordshire for almost 20 years. Daphne is a retired Secondary and Adult Education teacher and was chair of CICS prior to Paul. Daphne and Graham belong to St Michael’s Church, Mytholmroyd.
Pauline Edwards (Publicity, including In-Form) - Pauline trained in London as a residential child care officer a role which bought her to Yorkshire. Meeting her husband Ian the couple settled in Halifax and Pauline spent 15 years as a teaching assistant at Mount Pellon school. Pauline attends Highgate Methodist church in Pellon and has been involved in CICS since the early days.
Ronnie Jackson - was educated at Calder High School and then had a career in decorating and building before supervising the decorating team for a training scheme in Halifax. Ronnie then became self-employed as a decorator. Church wise Ronnie was part of the leadership team of Calder Christian Fellowship and is currently at King's Church, Halifax.
Hazel Murgatroyd -
Carol Pearson - From Halifax Carol was a Primary School teacher in Calderdale for around 16 years. and with 3 children and 4 grand-children young people are still at the heart of most of what Carol does! With her husband Tim they helped lead a church in Halifax for around 15 years and were involved in CICS back at the beginning!
Tim Pearson - Our able treasurer who looks after the financial part of CICS. Tim has recently retired from working in a local Secondary School and is married to Carol.
Rosemary Wright (Administrator) - moved to Halifax in 1969 and has taught in several schools in the area teaching maths and music. Rosemary has been involved with CICS since the start and is part of Christ Church in Pellon. She currently serves CICS as our administrator and puts in hours of time and expertise.
Winner Inspire Awards - Children / Youth Initiatives