Forefront, in common with many churches whose origins are in the non-conformist tradition, understands church leadership to be plural. We recognise leaders in various ministries, according to their gifts and calling, and most of the week-to-week work in Forefront gets done because of their diligence. Leaders of our home groups (which we call Life Groups) are significant in our pastoral activities and 'family business'. Our Trustees ensure we fulfil our responsibilities for staff, property and financial accountability. Our Forefront Centre administrator Martyna Lee runs a team of receptionists and volunteers which ensures this facility continues to fulfil the vision which led us to establish it. Our SWYM-trainee youth worker Naomi Peachey oversees our work with young people. Week by week, our Sunday meetings are guided by busy rotas of service leaders, speakers and musical worship leaders, meaning no two services look alike.
The Forefront Leadership Team provides spiritual oversight and direction. The team, in alphabetical order, comprises:
Abigail Brister (soon to be pictured!), a laboratory technician at a veterinary practice serving the South West and a lifelong member of Forefront. Abigail spent time living and working in South Africa. She is married to Martin. They have a lively dog and an assertive tortoise.
David Burfield (right), a Polymer Scientist with a Doctorate in Pastoral Studies, who spent 17 years teaching at the University of Malaya and another 16 teaching in Bible College there – including writing three books in Malay. David has been with Forefront since 2012. He is married to Rhona and together they have three adult children. David and Rhona have been adopted by a cat.
Laura Dimon (front left), who has been a primary school teacher and now works in a local business. She is a prolific craft worker and runs an online craft shop through which she sells patterns for some of her crochet designs. Laura has been a lifelong member of Forefront, and has volunteered with a London-based mission organisation in the past. Laura has a very shy cat.
Ben Grave (centre), owner and manager of an automotive garage and partner in a property development company. He previously had a varied business life including eight years as marketing executive for Impey UK, which was sold in 2010. Ben is the youngest son of a multi-generational Forefront family. He is married to Becky, and has two young children with a third on the way.
Nigel Marsh (left), formerly a journalist in Somerset, then a missionary and a relief and development worker for 21 years in Africa. He returned to the UK in 2010, still working in the humanitarian sector, when he joined Forefront. He is married to Jane, with three adult children.
Christine Smith (front right), who has been with Forefront since 2008 and is employed by the church to coordinate community connection and integration, in addition to her voluntary role on this team. She has lived in various places in the UK, and worked as an English teacher for 18 months in Beijing, China. She is a keen footballer with Ilminster Town FC.