Colin Davies is the development director at Hope City Church in Sheffield, a rich and varied role as part of the leadership team of this 1500-strong church. He is currently working on the relocation of the church from its home at the Megacentre just off Park Square in Sheffield, to the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley on the Sheffield- Rotherham border. This is an exciting and challenging £10m project which will deliver wide- ranging benefits for the Sheffield City Region.
Colin was 13 when his family moved to Sheffield back in 1981. He clearly remembers the journey into Sheffield sitting in the back seat of his dad’s mid-blue Ford Consul driving down Brightside Lane in what seemed like slow motion. Having grown up in the idyllic surroundings of a small rural village in North Lancashire, was mortified as he journeyed into Sheffield through what at the time was a depressed Don Valley, well before the advent of Meadowhall. Dilapidated and disused factories told the sad story of industrial decline. Suddenly the promise of being able to attend World Snooker at the Crucible seemed suspiciously like a devious ploy to get him to his new city!
He remains ever thankful those first impressions were not where it ended- his journey as a lover of all things Sheffield had only just begun. These days Colin likes to think of himself as an adopted Yorkshireman, proud of his accent,sprinkled with the occasional smattering of bygone days lived on t’other side of t’ Pennines.
Colin now lives in Rotherham with wife Dawn and has twins who have recently left home.
Hope City Church
Having worked in the business support sector and the voluntary sector for most of my working life, I now work for my local church, Hope City Church in Sheffield. It’s a church that I have been part of for 27 years and am proud to call family. In a world where we desire a sense of belonging, I have found this both in my faith and in my church.
As a student of Silverdale School, although I had an intense dislike for Cross Country running, it meant we could get out and experience what Sheffield had to offer. From the spectacular views into the City from Ringinglow to the muddy leaf-trodden trails descending into the Limb Valley, I fell in love with Sheffield and the Peak District.
Yes, I’m old enough to remember the Millhouses Lido. We loved to go and play for hours in this public outdoor pool, which is sadly no more. It was like being on holiday. I specifically recall once misjudging the depth of the water when jumping in. It looked about 2 metres deep but in reality, it was only up to my knees. As a result, I hit the bottom with a thumb and the shock waves rattled through my skinny little frame: ouch!
In 1991 I met my wife, Dawn in a school hall in Hackenthorpe: romantic or what? Of course, she wasn’t my wife at the time. Over 26 years later, I still remember that glances across the room and the thought that “I’m going to marry that girl!”. I’m glad the feeling was mutual. Last year we moved to a new house and not long after this our 21 year twins moved out leaving us with a much quieter home. It’s good though strange to be in this new stage of life, but we’re enjoying the reinvention.
Sheffield’s community spirit
Sheffield, whilst seemingly overlooked from time to time, is a wonderful place with people who you would truly describe as being ‘the salt of the earth’. Although there’s so much about the past that reminds me of our great city, for me I see a future of promise and opportunity. Sheffield is an exciting place to live and work: it’s a place of industry, sport, culture, leisure and community. I know so many excellent people who share my own love for our city. It’s not just about being fond of it, it’s about being part of a solution; being part of creating the future. It’s a practical expression of love for Sheffield and its people. It’s not limited to ‘charity’, but about being the best we can be in faith, business, family and community. I’m looking forward to many more years as part of this community.