Urban Presence consists of 4 associates, supported by a group of trustees
DEREK PURNELL After three years at Missionary Training College and two years working for his home church in Birmingham, Derek & Maureen moved to Manchester in 1979 to work with the Manchester City Mission. In Manchester Derek pastored an inner city church for over ten years where he was also actively involved in the community. He also served for a number of years on the executive of ECMA (Evangelical Council Manchester Area - now renamed "Network") and later worked for them as Executive Secretary in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance with whom he functioned as Regional Coordinator.
His deepening concern for urban ministry and growing awareness of a call to a wider role led him in 1991 to return to College to prepare for this new ministry. He completed a B.A. in Theology and Pastoral studies in 1994 and focused his dissertation on "An Alternative Approach to Urban Ministry". During that time took the opportunity of studying 'Urban ministry' and 'Church Planting' in Chicago and Los Angeles respectively. In 2001 he completed a course of postgraduate research (MPhil) "Rediscovering effective principles for urban church models and mission with particular reference to Manchester City Mission 1837 - 1914". Derek continues to deliver urban ministry modules at UG and PG level at the Nazarene Theological College in Manchester.
Derek and Maureen continue to live and worship in inner city Manchester, where they have raised their family of three children (now adults), Hannah, Micah and Rachel. "Urban Presence" is something that they continue to practice by their commitment to live in an urban community.
In 2013 Derek published "Speaking the Unspeakable: Who Cares about the Working Classes".
Originally from Hastings, Nigel moved to Manchester in 2001 to help with a NewFrontiers Church Plant. He worked for the Boaz Trust for several years as their Housing Manager and Pastoral Support Worker and developed an understanding of working with asylum seekers and refugees and those of other faiths. He has helped run the ‘Encountering the World of Islam’ Course at the Nazarene Theological College and is a Trustee with ‘Word of Life’. After the death of his first wife Nigel remarried in 2016 and with his new wife Violette leads the cross-cultural The Way Community Church, part of FourSquare Pentecostal Church.
PAUL KEEBLE. Paul and Judith have lived in the inner-south part of Manchester for over 35 years, raising a family and as part of a local church. His Urban Presence role has included work with Urban Action Manchester, M13 Youth Project, Network, ChangeMakers, Prayer Network, Image, Barnabus and a number of local churches. In 2002 he helped set up community organisation 'Carisma', a grass-roots response to the gang violence issue in the inner-south area. Carisma ran an annual 'Peace Week' for ten years and set up 'PeaceFM', a local community radio station. Paul helped to introduce Street Pastors in Manchester, and has worked in various ways with Street Pastors nationally and locally since its early days. He also is a part of several informal networks across the city, and does a lot of linking, supporting, encouraging and prompting with various people and places. In 2013 he completed an MPhil degree, 'Mission-With', researching aspects of mission in the urban context. A Mission-With book was published in 2017. More info here). In 2015 he became a trustee of the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation (MJR), a new national charity, and in 2019 co-led a Social Justice course at the Nazarene Theological College.
HANNAH BATCHELOR. Since 2004 Hannah and her husband Dave and children Grace (11) and Ben (9) have lived incarnationally on the Troydale Estate in North Manchester (back where she grew up) as part of the missional community Living Stones. Previously Hannah studied in Liverpool for a degree in Theology and spent 6 years in a church planting team in Stepney, East London. Her ministry focus is young people, currently through running a Homework Club on the estate and developing work in local schools (through partnership with education charity TLG and Scripture Union) to support children who struggle and are potentially on the path to exclusion.
TRUSTEES. Urban Presence is a Registered Charity (no. 1069404). The Urban Presence Trustees receive regular reports from Derek and Paul and the Associates and meet with them several times a year officially, as well having frequent informal contact. We also have an all-day Strategy Meeting each year.
TRUSTEES. The Urban Presence Trustees receive regular reports from the Associates and meet with them several times a year officially, as well having frequent informal contact. We also have an all-day Strategy Meeting each year.
L to R: Dr Dwight Swanson (Chair), Gordon Flear (Secretary), Dr Tim Craft (Treasurer), Hannah, Nigel, Tom Skinner (former associate), Derek, George Carter (trustee), Paul.