Clifford Bygrave, Chair
Clifford Bygrave is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a Chartered Tax Adviser and Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He has been a Trustee of the Friends for a number of years, having held the office of Treasurer for over 20 years before becoming Chairman of the Trust. He is a member of the Methodist Church, the National Treasurer of the Boys’ Brigade, and a Non-Executive Director of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Nic Pestell, Secretary
Nic heads up the Private Client Team at local law firm, Machins, specialising in wills, trusts and estates. Nic is married to Louise and they have three 'grown-up' children. Nic and Louise are also both actively involved in Grace Community Church Bedford, their home town, where Nic serves on the leadership team. When managing to find some spare time Nic enjoys many hobbies including music, sport (supporting Luton Town and Chelsea),skiing, shooting and restoring classic cars.
John Spurgeon, Treasurer
John joined the St Mary's family on starting an academic course next door, not long after the inception of 'The Friends' under Lord Hill. He can recall forming a guard of honour with the choir as the Queen and royal family annually attended for matins when visiting Luton Hoo. Having a fascination for our built and natural heritage, fostered through maps, he naturally entered local government as a planner and recently retired from his work with major applications and projects. He is keen to see St Mary's move forward with fine worship in a superb building. His interests of choral singing, walking and cycling, scripture distribution, meteorology, visiting the UK, heritage railways, organ music, The Hatters and visiting relatives (especially younger ones) makes life rather hectic, but you may as well do it while you can!
Andrew Beale, Communications
Andrew has been involved with Friends of Luton Parish Church since 2014, and a Trustee since 2016. He is the Managing Director of Beales Hotels, a family business that dates back eight generations to 1769 (www.bealeshotels.co.uk) and Chair of Youthscape, the large Luton Youthwork charity (www.youthscape.co.uk). St Mary’s Church has been a big part of Andrew's life for over a dozen years, playing the cello on stage, fundraising for the young people of the church, trying not to fall asleep in church finance meetings, organising Church walking weekends, and loitering in disreputable curry houses with assorted St Mary’s menfolk. He describes the church as "an amazing building filled with brilliant people, in the prime position in Luton and a place blessed with the ability to change lives". When not doing any of the above, he can be found messing about on the River Great Ouse in his boat, or walking and climbing in the Alps. He lives in Hertfordshire with his family.
Trevor Askew, Executive Committee
Trevor spent his working career with Barclays Bank, mostly in Luton and with various roles. After taking early retirement in 1997 he became self-employed providing financially orientated services. Married to Elizabeth and with two sons, Trevor has lived all but 4 years of his 48 year married life in Luton. He joined the committee of the Friends in about 1988 to help preserve and keep relevant the only Grade 1 listed building in the town. Interests include being a season ticket holder at Luton Town, a pastime which helps to build resilience to disappointment and despair. He also enjoys playing snooker, cycling, fishing, gardening and being a Grandad.
Nicki Denton-Masih, Executive Committee
Nicki is an Associate Solicitor in the Private Client department at Machins, Dunstable Road. She joined the firm in 2008. Nicki is actively involved with her local church in Kempston and also acts as Trustee for the Kempston Net Charitable Trust, helping isolated individuals in the community. Outside of work, Nicki spends lots of time reading, painting and being with friends. Mainly Nicki is an avid equestrian. Many hours are spent training her horses for showjumping competitions which see her travelling around the UK most weekends, with husband Markus part of the support crew.
Anthony Moss, Executive Committee
After 36 years working in the Energy Industry for Centrica plc and its predecessors, Anthony now spends a lot of his time seeking out things that need doing at St Mary's. Along the way, he has become one of the Churchwardens. He is a jack of many trades, not necessarily master of any of them! He has been a member of the church since 2002 when he married Catherine, who is on the ministry team at St Mary's. He has a vision for the church building to be a welcoming place, open during the day for the people in Luton. A place where people can go for friendship, some stillness in the midst of their lives, to reflect on spiritual things, or just to admire the beauty and heritage there. It is a place that he feels should be "given back" to the town in which it stands. Anthony has many interests and enthusiasms which include astronomy, modern classic cars, music of all kinds, watches, butterflies and playing with tech and computers to name just a few!
Revd Mike Jones, in attendance, representing St Mary’s Church
Mike has been vicar of St Mary’s since 2012 and is best known in Luton for being the vicar “who got run over and had a car lifted off him”. Mike loves coffee, food and working with people from different cultures. He has had a varied career working in Christian ministry in a council estate, a village, suburbia, a city & now a town centre in England and also Greece. Before that he worked as an instructor in a school and in finance. Mike enjoys the life and vibrancy of Luton and is married to Ruth who is an Interior Designer & teacher. They have two children – Alex who is studying an Open Uni degree and Chris who is at school.
Revd Andrew Gardner, in attendance, representing St Mary’s Church
After a long career in ‘High Tech’ and having been part of Soul Survivor Watford Church since it started, Andy made the short journey up the M1 and is now Curate at St. Mary’s Church in Luton. He is married to Joanna who is a teacher, has two grown up sons and enjoys hill walking and Scuba diving (but not both at the same time). Andy studied Physics at university and has recently completed a Theology degree at St. Mellitus college. He is passionate about helping young people be the best that they can be and is looking forward to bringing his experience in both business and church leadership to the Friends of Luton Parish Church.