Helen Garton is Minister to St Columba's United Reformed Church, Oxford and to our sister church - Cumnor URC - as part of stipendiary ministry to the Oxford area URCs. She was inducted at St Columba's on Saturday 21st July 2018.
Helen has been a minister for over 20 years, working first as a Methodist minister in north west London and now full time ministry in the United Reformed Church. In the intervening years, Helen worked for Christian Aid in the Churches Team and then as a member of the Mission Team at URC Church House. She has been leading worship for over 30 years and has built up a reputation as a writer, producing worship resources for Roots, Christian Aid, One World Week, Racial Justice Sunday, Traidcraft, and Commitment for Life.
Before going to Westminster College in Cambridge, to retrain for ministry, Helen worshipped at Bethnal Green Meeting House and Stepney Meeting House. Her Great Grandmother was a Congregationalist and her Great-Great Grandfather was (probably) a Scottish Presbyterian, whose wife was Jewish. She is a proud ecumenist and has close links with the Anglican Society of St Francis.
Helen has also been an advocate for interfaith dialogue, having grown up in Wembley with friends of many faiths, an interest she pursued at Cardiff University with a degree in Religious Studies and an MPhil in interfaith dialogue. Her first ‘proper’ job was as an Overseas Student Worker for the Anglican, Methodist and URC Chaplaincy and then she went to work for the World Congress of Faiths, the world’s first interfaith organisation.
Her other passions include the history and politics of the Holy Land, peace and social justice, LGBTI rights and music, from classical to David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley. More dormant interests include cricket, theatre, Nordic walking, swimming, and table tennis! Helen is married to Sally Whitehead, an artist, and they have been together for 20 years.