WBC is currently seeking a new senior minister to work alongside our Associate Pastor, Rev. Nick Swanson, our Children & Families' Worker, Nicola Foster, and the twelve members of our Church Leadership Team.

To be appointed

Senior Pastor


Our previous senior pastor, Rev Mark Clay, took up a new role as Regional Minister in September 2016. We have begun the process of appointing a new senior pastor.


The church report is being compiled and will be release to the National Settlement Team soon to begin the matching process for prospective candidates.

Rev. Nick Swanson

Associate Pastor

Rev. Nick Swanson graduated from Spurgeons College in 1994 and came to Whetstone in 2006, having faithfully served God at a Baptist church in Suffolk for 12 years, following his career in the Royal Air Force. Nick is primarily responsible for the Small Groups network here at Whetstone. Nick is married to Sue and they two grown-up children, Hannah and Ben. Nick loves walking in the Peak District, playing chess, spending time with the family, and, regrettably, supports Nottingham Forest.

Nicola Foster

Children and Families' Worker

Nicola is our Children and Families' Worker. Nicola has a Bachelor of Theology in Mission degree, specializing in children’s work and missional effectiveness. Nicola has also spent six months in India with BMS World Mission. During her degree Nicola worked for WBC as our children's worker and so we are delighted to be able to employ her full-time in this role. Nicola is responsible for all our children's and families' programmes. Nicola is also very creative and in her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts, baking, and reading.

Church Leadership Team (CLT)

Dr. Chris Hanning

Church Secretary

Chris has served as Church Secretary for over 20 years and is responsible for all the legal stuff and church membership, as well as being involved with the planning of the new building. Chris is a retired doctor who enjoys playing golf, baking bread and keeping chickens; he is married to Margaret and they have three grown-up children together.

Denise Burley

Church Treasurer

Denise was appointed as Church Treasurer in 2015. She works as an accountant in Leicester for a 5 partner firm and likes to think she can bust some of the myths about accountants. Her full-time job brings many skills which are useful in leadership and also for being treasurer. Denise is also active in the worship teams, and can often be seen signing to the songs. She is married to Neil.



Hugo Bryan

Hugo grew up in a Christian home and was confirmed at 14, coming to a fuller understanding of God's grace and being baptised when he was 19. He has led Christian Unions at school and university and served in various roles at Baptist churches in Worcester, France, Ross-on-Wye and now at Whetstone. He is currently one of our house group leaders. Hugo is married to Kate and they have three children.

Fiona Bedford

Fiona has been involved in youth work, small groups and the safeguarding team. Fiona is also the manager of the local Homestart Scheme - an organisation that supports families with preschool children. Fiona is married to Dave, and they have four grown-up children together; she loves travel, photography, and trying to grow vegetables.

Sarah Bywater

Sarah was coordinator and leader of Sunday Club prior to the appointment of Nicola as Children and Families' worker. She has been in fellowship at the church since a child and continues to work in children's ministry drawing on her own experiences of the support and influence she received from the church in her younger years.

Jon King

Jon's journey of faith started at a Crusader Class at the age of 12, and at 22 was baptised at WBC. He has served the church in various roles, including youth group, Sunday school, Holiday Bible Club, house groups, manager of the church football team and latterly is one of the P.A. team making sure we can hear everything during the services. He is married to Michelle.

Alex Clayton

Alex has been a worship leader and small group leader at Whetstone for many years, and has been involved in a number of other ministries as well. Alex is married to Julie and together they have two boys, Harry and Robert. Alex enjoys music, playing squash and chess.

Philippe Ndabananiye

Philippe is passionate about discipleship and mission, and co-leads a small group. Together with Associate Minister Nick, Philippe provides support, encouragement and leadership for the New Life Cluster of small groups. Philippe is married to Elspeth, enjoys competitive sport and double portions of dessert.

Tristan Owen

Tristan has always been at WBC, experiencing all the children's and youth groups, then the Alpha Course at 14 before experiencing God's leading into many faith challenging and faith building situations. He is a talented drummer and plays in our various worship groups. He is married to Sally and has one daughter.

Rev. Dr. Derek Tidball

Derek is a Baptist Minister who has spent over 40 years involved with local church ministry and theological education. Among other posts, he was formerly Secretary of Mission in the Baptist Union. He has an active writing ministry and teaches worldwide. He is married to Dianne, the current vice-president of the Baptist Union, and they have one grown-up son.

Gareth Share

Gareth has been involved in many ways in church life over the years and currently, as an architect, has the small task of designing the new church building, and is heavily involved in the associated teams and groups. Gareth occasionally plays drums in one of the worship groups. Gareth is married to Sarah and together they have three daughters, and he enjoys cycling.

Joy Wright

Joy has been at Whetstone Baptist Church for over 30 years, first attending the Young People's Fellowship before being baptised and accepted into membership a few years later. She has been a Sunday School teacher, a creche leader and part of the mission action team prior to her appointment to the leadership team. She is the Prayer Lead for the church. She is married to Kev, has three children and works as a research associate at the University of Leicester.


Page last updated: 9th February 2017