Alison Butler grew up in Timperley in Cheshire, where her parents were very involved with Timperley Methodist Church.
Alison’s early recollections include attending a huge Sunday School, performing in the church’s annual pantomime and singing in a musical ‘Christmas Evening ’ for the Wesley Guild.
Singing became important; Alison found she had a voice that moved people which she describes as a ‘privilege’ and a ‘gift’. She got confirmed at 13 and after leaving school, went to Edinburgh University to study philosophy. She joined the University MethSoc which met after evening services at Nicolson Square Methodist Church. Here she explains the influence this had on her.
Faith at Uni 2.50′
Alison met her husband Chris at University. They both got jobs and settled in Edinburgh and in the late 90s they had two sons. As her children were growing up, Alison got increasingly involved in voluntary work, and when in 2008 the four Methodist congregations in the city centre decided to merge, she took on the role of Chair of the Mission Group. In this extract, she explains what this involved and how it led to Methodist heritage work at a national level.
Merging congregations 2.10′
A combination of factors drew the family to Oxford in 2017, one of which was to chance to take up the post of Mission and Heritage Officer at Wesley Memorial. Alison applied and got the job. Here she recalls her first impressions of the building – entirely different to Timperley or Nicolson Square – and the feeling of belonging that her role gives her.
First impressions 2.20′