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The United Reformed Church of Halstead

Kings Road




Email: secretary@urcofhalstead.org.uk

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Profiles of Minister, Elders and Joint Treasurers


Rev. Joshua Norris - Originally from the Isle of Wight (I.O.W), Joshua became a Christian at the age of 15 and subsequently felt a call from God into a ministry of preaching and teaching. In response to this call Joshua spent 3 years working as a volunteer with the Crusaders organisation (now Urban Saints). During this time he also operated as an itinerant lay preacher. This continued in the following years at university where he received a BA in Theology from Canterbury Christ Church University.

Following his studies, Joshua worked as a Church based youth worker at St Mary of Bethany Anglican Church in Woking, Surrey before moving on to furthering his youth work experience at Shanklin URC on the I.O.W.

It was whilst working as a youth worker Joshua felt called to train as a URC minister. This led him to train at Westminster College in Cambridge where he earned a Masters degree in Pastoral Theology from Anglia Ruskin University, and gained further experience studying and preaching in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.A.), as well as working for Park URC in Reading, High Cross URC in Tottenham, and at the Northumbria Christian Community.

Revd. Joshua Norris was ordained in September 2014 and is now Minister of two Churches in Essex (Eastern Synod) at the URC of Halstead and Bocking URC. He is also a member of the G.E.A.R. (Group for Evangelism and Renewal) Committee within the URC (see www.gear.org.uk) and is the G.E.A.R liaison to both the Eastern Synod and Ministers in training.

Sheila Balding - Sheila joined the Church after moving to Halstead from London in the 1970`s. An ex nurse, she is part of a multi generational family as a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She especially values the relationships she has with members of the congregation.

Janet Daw - Janet has lived in Halstead all her life and started Sunday School when she was 4 years old.  She became a member of the Congregational Church in Parsonage Street at 16, and joined the teaching profession in 1958, retiring in 2001.  Since then she has taught Sunday Club and also organised the weekly Mothers & Toddlers Club afternoon. Ordained as an Elder in 2006, she is also responsible for the Safeguarding of our children and young people.


Steve Felton - Steve started going to the URC when he moved to Halstead, becoming a church member soon afterwards and within a short time was ordained as an Elder. He likes to help as much as possible both inside and outside the church, especially working with the elderly. His last job before retirement was at Halstead Day Centre, a meeting place for older residents. He enjoys the walking group, especially the coffee afterwards and also sings in Halstead Community Choir.

Deb Miners - Deb grew up in Braintree, moving to Halstead in 1977. She started attending the URC in 1982 and has been an Elder for a number of years. She previously held the post of joint treasurer and took up her current role as joint secretary in January 2017. She enjoys singing and like Steve, belongs to the Community Choir.

John Miners - Born in London, John has lived in Halstead almost all his life, except for a few years in Braintree. Like Deb, he started at the URC in 1982, and was elected as an elder in 1986. After some years of not serving in the eldership, he took up the role of joint secretary in 2017. He and Deb split the job between them, with Deb attending meetings, and John doing the computer work! He is "semi-retired" having worked in textiles for many years, and is now involved with the Local History Society. He also plays various stringed instruments and sings.

Pauline Murray - Pauline moved from Hartford, Cambridgeshire in 1987 to Great Dunmow, where she began to worship in the U.R.C., becoming a member and then ordained as an Elder. In 2006 she felt the Lord was calling her to Halstead, where her daughter & son in law live, along with 3 grandchildren. She began to worship at the U.R.C of Halstead and transferred her membership from Great Dunmow, later being called to join the Eldership.

Alan Page - Alan was born in North London, attending Palmers Green Congregational Church, where he was a Deacon and subsequently an Elder when the Church became part of the URC, being Treasurer for 25 years and Secretary for 6. An Engineering Apprentice at the de Havilland Aircraft Company in Hatfield, he stayed with the company all his working life. He joined the URC of Halstead in 2004 after moving to the Hedinghams, and became joint editor of the Church magazine. Alan is also a member of the Finance and Property Committee as well as the person responsible for fire safety and updating the various church publications.

Sylvia Slee - Sylvia has lived and worked in Halstead all her life. Her working years were spent in an elderly people's home and she enjoyed her time there.  Her church has always been the URC and she helps with many aspects of church life including the Fresh Expressions Group that organises Messy Church. She became an Elder in 2011.


Christine Morley - Christine attended the Congregational Church in Parsonage Street from a very early age and became a member at 18; she also taught in the Sunday School. She was involved with Church finances for 20 years, becoming Joint Treasurer in 2005. She is also heavily involved in catering for events at the Church.

Diana Stevens - Diana has been a member of the United Reformed Church in Halstead for 5 years. She is joint treasurer which means she still gets chance to use her brain after retiring from 34 years of banking.