Find out more about the team who lead and contribute to Sanctuary First.
Albert has been a member of various General Assembly Boards and Committees including Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2012/13. He studied theology at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and was parish minister at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland Bo’ness for 34 years where he led a multidisciplinary team of creative people working to effect transformation in communities at a local, national and international level.
He is founder of the Vine Trust, an international relief organisation working in the Amazon and Lake Victoria, and co founder of Sanctus Media. Albert’s ministry has included blogging, broadcasting, and developing digital media as a communication tool for churches.
In April 2016 he was appointed leader of Sanctuary First as a Pioneer Minister to explore new ways to create and sustain opportunities for those disconnected from church to be sustained in their Christian discipleship though the use of digital technology.
“History has taught us that it is through creativity and diversity that God has renewed the worship of his people. We are called to be pilgrims moving from imagination to expression, from expression to action, and from action to reflection; a picture of incarnation, which surely must be at the centre of all Godly communication and authentic worship.”
Julie has been part of the Sanctuary First team as a volunteer for a number of years. She prepares our statistical reports and reviews our data to see where we can make improvements to the website, media content and communications. You won’t see Julie but she is quietly there in the background managing the small things.
“Sanctuary First is a great resource for people in Scotland but increasingly also for those who access and connect with it across the world”.
James is a consultant writer and editor with a love of poetry, theology, story and language. He devises, develops, proofs and edits worship and resource material for Sanctuary First.
“I am hopeful, energised and excited about the future of the church — which has new opportunities to renew, refocus and refine what it means to be (as Henri Nouwen would say) ‘Wounded Healers’ today.”
Laura is a student training for Full Time Ministry of Word and Sacrament. She came to Sanctuary First on placement and stayed as she is interested in how a worshipping community can grow and develop in the digital space. She brings with experience in communications and marketing from the retail sector.
She love animals and most of her time outside church is spent either at the stables with her pony Cheeko, walking her Bearded Collie Pup or sitting with her cat Missy. She feels that being in their presence brings her closer to God.
“I love the energy of animals as it is so calming and healing. My dream is to one day open an animal/human therapy centre.”
Pete Phillips is Research Fellow in Digital Theology at Durham University and Head of Digital Theology at Premier Digital Media. He’s a Methodist Minister and married with three grown up children and an aged Westie! Pete is excited by all things technological and is keen to explore how digital and theology might work together to create a realistic and authentic expression of online church. Pete is working in a research and advisory capacity with Sanctuary First.
Morven is an artist and illustrator based in Edinburgh with a background in marketing. She has worked in various marketing environments and has previously volunteered with St Andrew's Parish Church, Bo'ness. She is helping Sanctuary First with creative work and marketing guidance.
“I am hopeful about the future of the Church and how digital technology can help us reach a wider worldwide audience.”
Jack is a photographer, filmmaker and designer. He works freelance with Sanctuary First on visual content, making short films and social media video material and designing some of the images you will see on the site. He started working with Sanctuary First after meeting Albert Bogle and being asked to make a short film about Breaking Bread. Since then he has been working more closely as part of the Sanctuary First Production Team, most recently, working on the Secret Chord Sessions recording project.
“It’s been great fun being part of the team, Albert never fails to raise the bar, with the projects Sanctuary First takes on often being a challenge for bigger enterprises never mind our small group, yet this is how innovative stuff comes into being. Creatively speaking, it’s good to not be able to rest on one’s laurels too much.”
Jane has been married to Jim for 29 years and they have two grown up sons. She is active in her home church of Allan Park South, Stirling and enjoys art and being involved in community life.
She is part of Sanctuary First because she strongly believes that the Church needs to actively reach outwards into our communities to connect in whatever way they are wishing to engage.
“Young people now, and many older ones too, live much of their lives ‘online’ and we need to provide a modern loving expression of Church to meet them there — I love that this is what Sanctuary First is focused on being.”
Jim is actively involved with both music and the church, playing in his local church band and developing ways to connect with young people through music. From helping them in his local community with music by teaching musical instruments to showing the next generation of young people how to record, set up and create their own music. Jim has been playing and writing songs now for several years, with an impressive back catalogue of original songs he’s not short of a song to sing at the right moment. He prefers to collaborate with others in bands, and with other soloists finding the harmonies and new sounds a collective can achieve rather than be centre stage himself.
Erick thoroughly believes that creativity is sustainable. As human beings, it’s one of the few tools we have that enables us to continuously develop and grow and become who we are meant to be. Through this process of creative restoration, healing communities are organically cultivated. Sanctuary First is a good example of this and so he is thrilled to form part of the movement.
“It’s much more than ‘online church’ or a website with a multitude of resources. It’s a family of creative-out-of-the-box-free-thinking-philosophers that seek truth in all we strive for. I have benefited immensely by engaging in the creativeness of others and I’d urge you to do the same as you scan through the website.”