Message from Rev. Dr. Andrew Lyons

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I have been asked to share with you a bit about myself and my life story as I join the Lambeth Circuit with Pastoral Charge at Lambeth and St. Mary’s and Vauxhall.  I am very much looking forward to working on these two exciting developments and to getting around all the Circuit, meeting people, sharing faith stories and getting to know a new area and people.

I come from a very Methodist background.  My grandfather was a Local Preacher, my mother (who died in 2013) Church Council secretary, Pastoral secretary and chief flower arranger – my father - Circuit and Church steward/treasurer and for several years the Chairman of MHA.  I went to the Methodist schools – Prior’s Court and Kingswood, where I was head boy. After school I spent a year at Luton Industrial College with Rev. Bill Gowland and another year doing voluntary Youth work at my home Church in Redhill, Surrey.  I was accredited as a Local Preacher and I was accepted to train as a Methodist Minister at that point but decided I was too young, inexperienced and naïve at that time!  So I then trained as a Youth worker at Southlands and became the Youth worker at Parchmore Methodist Church (where I have served as Presbyter for the last 5 years).

In spite of my very middle class upbringing I became very socially aware during my Youth work training and work at Parchmore of the many injustices in our society.  I went to work with the Sports Council in 1988 to work in liaison with Black and Minority Ethnic groups and then became the National Equal Opportunities officer.  I undertook a Master’s Degree in Race and Equality at Warwick University during that time.  I developed all the Sports Council equality policies and developed a training programme for the staff and for Local Authority and National Governing Bodies of Sport staff.

I lived in Birmingham at that time and I got married and had a son.  Unfortunately my marriage did not work out but my son Daniel is a great blessing to me.  He graduated in Graphic Art last year.  I remain single!  Daniel says he is going to come and live with me now I live in London proper.  This may depend on whether he can get a job.  My father now lives in a home in Redhill as he is suffering from dementia.  I am his power of attorney and try to visit him regularly – even though he does not remember when I leave that I have seen him.

I finally accepted my call to Ministry and went to Queen’s to do my Theological and Ministerial training in 2002/03 and gained a degree in Practical Theology and began my PhD on the subject of changing practices in British Methodist Worship (awarded 2010).  My Theology is therefore influenced by the more liberal/radical wing of the Church – and my Liturgical practice by the Ecumenical Reform movement of the later part of the last millennium.

My first appointment was in the Bromsgrove Circuit in North Worcestershire and I then came to the Croydon Circuit in 2012, where I have been Minister at Parchmore Methodist Church, Youth and Community Centre and Downsview Methodist Church.  I think I have learnt a lot about Church life from the perspective of being a Presbyter to add to my many years as an active lay person previously.  I hope these combine well as we begin to worship and work together.

Outside of Church and community life my main interest is sport.  I played, coached and umpired cricket and hockey in my younger days.  Now I play golf and am a member at Mitcham Golf club.  I read lots of novels for relaxation.  I support Crystal Palace Football Club and Surrey County Cricket Club.