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".
PAUL KEEBLE. Paul and Judith have lived in the inner-south part of Manchester since 1980, raising a family and as part of a local church. His Urban Presence role included work with Urban Action Manchester, M13 Youth Project, Network, ChangeMakers, Prayer Network, Image, Barnabus, Mosaic Justice Network (ongoing) 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 has worked in various ways with Street Pastors nationally since its early days and helped to introduce it in Manchester in 2004. He was a trustee and volunteer with the Manchester City Centre project from 2011 to 2019. 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 since 2019 has co-led a Social Justice course at the Nazarene Theological College. In 2021 he joined the enabling group of the Greater Manchester Movement for Recovery, mapping and linking church responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. He has recently published 'Going the Distance - 25 years of Urban Presence'.