The Reverend Alistair G. Bennett - Minister
Alistiar was inducted as Minister of Christ Church on Friday, 13th May, 2016
Alistair joins us from the Scotish Boarders district and the parish of Bowden and Melrose where he has been minister for the past thirty plus years.
Alistair is joined in Bermuda by his wife Judi.
The Reverend Derek Lawson - Interim Moderator until 13th May, 2016.
We wish Derek and Moira well as they leave us after about 14 months during our vacancy.
Derek has been appointed Interim Moderator by the International Presbytery of the Church of Scotland to guide Christ Church through the process of choosing a new Minister.
Derek was born in Dundee, Scotland, and grew up in the congregation of Dundee Parish Church (St Mary’s) where his father was Session Clerk for many years and where Alan Garrity served as Assistant Minister when he was training for the ministry.
He studied law at Dundee University, graduating in 1969 and moved to Edinburgh to begin his apprenticeship. There he met Moira, who worked as a secretary in the same law office, and they were married in June 1971. Later that year they moved to Dundee where Derek began a 23 year association with his father’s law firm, finally becoming its senior partner.
In 1994 he retired from the legal profession to undertake training for the ministry. He graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (Honours) Degree from St Andrew’s University in 1997. He was ordained and inducted to the charge of Redgorton and Stanley (just north of Perth) in 1998. While there Derek served twice as Clerk to the Presbytery of Perth and was also its Moderator for a year. He also served on the Church of Scotland Legal Questions Committee. In 2011 he and Moira retired to France where they are now involved with the local Eglise Protestante Unie de France. Additionally he has recently been appointed Depute Clerk of the International Presbytery.
Moira has always been very active in the congregations with which she’s been involved, having been a Sunday School teacher, a member of the Guild, run Flower Arranging classes and organised an annual Flower Festival, and been a District Commissioner in the Girl Guides.
Moira and Derek have two children:
Paula, who is married to David, and lives in Edinburgh, with their two children, Alexa (aged 2y8m) and Morgan (aged almost 6m)
Iain, who’s unmarried but living in Tayport (near Dundee) with his girlfriend, Kirsty, and their dog Rosie.
Mrs. Elizabeth Parker - Church Administrator
Elizabeth Parker, known to most of us as Liz, was born in Bermuda on July 24th, 1948 to Ralph and Winnie Fairs. Married to Geoff Parker, the couple has two sons, Geoffrey Jr. and Douglas, and one grandchild. Liz first started working as Church Secretary in January 2000. The job is so varied that no two days are ever the same. Her duties include filling in the Baptismal and Burial Registers, updating the database, ordering supplies, sending out minutes for the Kirk Session and Congregational Board, renting out the Halls, keeping the Minister up-to-date with Church happenings and the list goes on! The Congregational Board has now changed her job title to Church Administrator. In addition to being Church Administrator, Liz is an Elder on the Congregational Board (Fabric Committee), is on the Social Concerns Committee and has been the Flower Convener for many years. She was the first to be elected by the Kirk Session as the Church's representative on the Presbytery of Europe, representing Christ Church as Presbytery Elder. Liz has also been involved with the Bermuda Junior Service League as President and with The Garden Club of Bermuda.
Mr. Ron Campbell - Choir Director
Ron Campbell has been our Choirmaster since the fall of 2009, and began singing in Presbyterian churches as a teenager under the direction of his voice teacher and mentor the late Samuel D. Shie. He made his professional singing debut with the renowned choral group Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians at age 19, and toured the USA and recorded with the group for two years. Ron then studied vocal performance at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory where he was an assistant to Dr. Earl Rivers, head of Ensembles and Conducting, and from where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. While in Cincinnati, he sang with the May Festival Chorus under the baton of the late Robert Shaw and Music Director James Levine. While an undergraduate, Ron studied for three summer sessions at the Brevard Music Center where he was a leading member of the Janiec Opera Company, and where he studied under the respected oratorio conductor, the late Dr. Mary Nell Saunders.
Ron pursued a successful solo career singing with orchestras and opera companies throughout the USA, and held the prestigious position of North Carolina’s Visiting Artist for four years. While in North Carolina, he completed his Master of Fine Arts at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance at UNC – Greensboro. Ron also sang and recorded with the professional choral ensemble Bel Canto Company under acclaimed choral clinician David Pegg; and served as a professional musician for various Presbyterian USA congregations in both North Carolina and Ohio.
Ron is a former Conductor of the Bermuda School of Music’s Chamber Choir. Bermuda audiences will recall his past performances as guest soloist with the Bermuda Philharmonic; playing Moralès and Dancaïre in Carmen for the Bermuda Festival; and starring with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, and Tevye in Fiddler on a Roof.
Mr. Oliver Brugada-Grant - Organist
Originally from England, Oliver has been our organist since 2006. He studied piano at Madrid Conservatoire and later at both Bath Spa University and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has performed in London, Bath, Chester, Manchester, Derby, Nottingham, Madrid and Bermuda. Concertos include Rachmaninov's second piano concerto with the Bath Philharmonic and later with the Derby Concert orchestra. He also performed the Liszt Piano Concerto #1 with the Chester Philharmonic orchestra. Since September 2006, Oliver has taught piano at the Bermuda School of Music.
Mr. Randy Bakabak - Sexton
Randolph Bakabak, known to us as Randy, was born in Banate IIo in the Philippines on November 10th, 1958. After completing High School in Manila, Randy attended Lyseum University in Manila, where he studied for a BSc. in Business Administration. He soon moved to Saudi Arabia and then Bermuda in 1987, where he worked at various hotels. He applied for the position of Church Sexton and has been with us for a number of years. He is married and the couple have a teenage son. Randy enjoys the work at the Church and, while he was brought up Catholic, enjoys our services each Sunday.