Ex-city broker to lead Norwich church
Former high-flying London insurance market broker Rev Tom Madders is set to become the new pastor of Norwich Central Baptist Church (NCBC) in January. Helen Baldry reports.
Born and bred in Essex, Tom grew up in a Christian family but didn’t come to faith until his early twenties when he and his wife-to-be Jo were planning to get married. Tom said: “Jo wanted a church wedding, but I didn't want to make promises to a God I didn't believe in, so we were at a bit of an impasse. A local Baptist minister suggested that I should do an Alpha course to see if it changed my perspective. It did, and the following year not only did Jo and I get married, but I found myself exploring a faith of my own.”
Tom and Jo joined a local village church where he was baptised and encouraged to get involved in serving the church and the community.
Tom worked as a London Market Insurance Broker for 12 years, a job he thoroughly enjoyed. As he grew in his faith, he became aware that God was calling him into full-time ministry.
He left his job in the City in 2016 and started studying theology at Spurgeon's College in South London. He graduated three years later with First Class Honours and has been the Associate Minister at Billericay Baptist Church for just over five years, including a year as Acting Senior Minister.
Tom said: “I can't wait to get started in my new role at NCBC. I'm really looking forward to getting to know my new church family and making new friends. Jo and I, along with our son Timothy, are really excited about this new chapter of our lives, and although we don't know the area at all we already feel very 'at home' here, which can only be an affirmation that this is the place that God wants us to be.”
“Leading a city church is going to be a new experience for me, and some aspects will be outside my comfort zone, but I'm confident that God has called me to work alongside the wonderful people at NCBC and as long as I rely on Christ for guidance and strength he will equip me for the work that lies ahead.”
Tom is looking forward to engaging with the universities and supporting the student community. He also has a passion to encourage families to come and explore their local church. He said: “Church is a place where love and joy exist in abundance, and after the past couple of years I think we could all do with experiencing some love and joy. So many people have struggled with the various challenges that have resulted from the pandemic, and it has been a very dark time. Jesus told us to let our light shine, and I hope that we at NCBC can find ways to do just that here in Norwich and the surrounding area.”
In his spare time, Tom enjoys spending time with friends and family. Jo and Timothy share his love of the outdoors, and after spending the majority of their lives in the Billericay area they are looking forward to branching out and exploring Norfolk. The family often watch cricket together, and Timothy and Tom enjoy playing too and hope to discover opportunities to play in Norfolk.
Tom said: “I enjoy most sports and outdoor pursuits, and I also love reading - preferably in a comfortable chair, next to an open fire, in a quiet corner of a local pub with a good pint!”
Pictured: Tom, Timothy and Jo Madders.