All We Can has recently appointed Tim Baker to the new post of Churches and Volunteers Officer. In this blog we ask Tim to introduce himself and explain what his job involves.
Tim, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Tim Baker and I have been married to my lovely wife Hannah since October 2013. She is a primary school teacher. My background is in the charity sector, and we have both been Methodists all our lives. I spent my younger years in the south Caribbean as part of a family of mission partners working first in the island of St Vincent and then Grenada. So in my life I have been blessed by glimpsing something of the resilience and inspirational strength of people who are dealing with the very personal side of poverty. I am inspired by my faith in a God of love to seek justice for the world.
What does your job at All We Can involve?
As the new Churches and Volunteers Officer, I help to develop the very special relationship that exists between Methodists and All We Can as the Methodist relief and development partner. Mostly, this involves supporting local volunteers – our Co-ordinators who are church, circuit or district representatives and our volunteer Speakers – and visiting churches to speak at events or lead worship, helping to raise awareness and support for All We Can.
I am soon to be based in Yorkshire (we are moving to live there in the summer) and I am concentrating half of my time on that area: covering six Methodist districts from Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands up to Scarborough on the north Yorkshire coast. That is a new venture for me and for All We Can, who have not had a regional staff member before, so I am very much looking forward to the challenge!
What attracted you to the role?
I have always believed that the central calling of the church is to play a part in building a better, more equal world. If we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world, that work has to begin with people who are suffering – marginalised, discriminated against, oppressed and affected by poverty. I have supported All We Can for as long as I can remember and I am delighted to be part of this small team working alongside the church to do just that.
The idea of spending my time visiting and meeting Methodists who share my passion for social justice and international development around Yorkshire, Manchester, Staffordshire, Cheshire and the whole country gives me enormous pleasure. If you are one of those people, please do get in touch with me!
What do you do when you are not at work?
Outside work, I still spend quite a lot of time around Methodism – I am nearing the end of my Local Preacher Training and hoping to be accredited this summer (God willing). I edit the magazine for a great little organisation called Methodists for World Mission (MWM) and I am a member of the Connexional Grants Committee, amongst other things.
Having studied English Literature at university I remain a keen reader. I thoroughly enjoyed Hilary Mantel’s journey through Tudor England and I am amongst the hordes eagerly awaiting the climax of the trilogy later this year. I am still learning how to be a husband, a friend and a disciple, but enjoy real ale and good pub food with family and friends, hill walking and talking about life in the Caribbean.
What are you most looking forward to about the next few months?
At All We Can, I am incredibly fortunate to play a small part in standing alongside people in some of the world poorest communities as they find practical solutions to poverty and fulfil their God-given potential. As I settle into my new role, I hope to meet and share with many of you on that journey over the coming months and years.