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Paul Bowes: Coventry

Paul Bowes Paul was born in the East End of London during WW2. An actual 'cockney', as I was born within the sound of Bow Bells, although I am told they may not have been working at the time! (a war was on). My father was a Baptist Minister in the area (he was born in Durham), my mother was a Londoner. An older brother - George, with a Phd, who became a Professor Emeritus, Biology (Botany) at Florida Uni (retired). My father left the Baptist Church to join and become the London City Missionary to the Jews in East London in 1949 where he served for 30+ years. With his new position the family moved to Plaistow in West Ham with my new sister Dawn. That is where I spent my formative years. I gave my life to Jesus as a small lad of 7 years old. My siblings also became Christians. The home was quite poor but happy.

My brother and I went on to Plaistow Grammar School, he followed the science route and I developed my artistic skills and went to Art School in Waltham Forest. After that I went to the Central School of Art and Design in London but did not enjoy the course as it was more Industrial Design than Furniture Design which was what I wanted to do. I left disappointed and got a job as a Static Guard for three years (not recommended!) while I looked around for something better.

I had a breakthrough when I cried out to God one night to 'get me out of here'. "I'll go anywhere you want me Lord" _- and He sent me to Coventry! I got a job as a trainee 'Clay Modeller' (Industrial Sculptor) with Rootes Group in their Design Studio. During my 34 years of uninterrupted work (one redundancy in 1983, left one job on a Friday and started another on the Monday), I worked under the banner of Chrysler, Talbot, Peugeot, Austin Rover, Rover, MG, LandRover, Mini, developing my skills as a modeller in clay, and working alongside some famous skilful designers of cars.

During my time in the car industry I started Christian Unions in the workplace at Chrysler (the JLR Whitley Plant), and also at Gaydon from where I retired in 2003. In 1972 whilst at Whitley (Chrysler) I met Angela who became my wife. We both were worshipping at Durbar Avenue Free Methodist Church in Foleshill. We have three children - Anna married to Ian, two boys and runs a succesful pub in Talybont-on-Usk. Jon, married to Jo with little Elsie, he works on websites from home. Tim who is married to Laura, and is a professional drummer/teacher. I was an elder at Meredith Rd Baptist Church for some years but was living outside of Coventry in Leicestershire (cheaper housing). Angela and I both felt that the right thing was to live where you worshipped. So we tried to move back near our church. The Lord had other plans for us and we ended up in Binley Woods but still commuting into Coventry to worship. Then we met the others in Binley Woods who shared the vision of living where you worship and we began to plan to start a church in Binley Woods. It became an LEP (Local Ecumenical Partnership) and it is still growing and developing after 27 years, and I am on the Leadership Team.

Having retired with an interest in art (painting) and classic cars - I have had two Marcos sports cars, the latest is a Marcos Mantula Spyder V8, I felt the Lord prompting me to start a men's group with all the retired guys in the area that I knew, + some ex colleagues from my work. We went out for meals at lunch times and visited places of interest, mainly with an engineering theme. This has developed with a life of its own and meets regularly at a local pub throughout the year with the modellers, engineers and designers invited. I also felt the need for the men of the church to become encouraged and developed spiritually, so joined with some men from our village who worship at St. Marg's in Wolston and started a Men's Breakfast with a speaker each month which has been running for nearly 5 years.

With some like minded friends from other Coventry churches we are seeking to broaden the connection between the Coventry Men's groups and bring them together to celebrate our great God in a focused way, and build them up in the Lord through a project we have called 'EMPOWER'. Early days yet on this, but just waiting on the Lord to see where it leads. I have benefited personally from my connection to CVM over the last few years, and trust that this coordinating role will be a benefit to what we are already doing as well as furthering the mission of CVM.

 

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Partnerships

  • Hope
  • Global Adventure
  • Care
  • Restored
  • New Wine
  • Who Let The Dads Out?
  • Sorted
  • Armed Forces Christian Union
  • Naval Christian Fellowship
  • Naked Truth Prayer
  • Compassion
  • Covenant Eyes
  • Care For Ex-Offenders
  • Premier
  • Christian Golf Society
  • GAMserve
  • Frontiers
  • Engage
  • Mission Direct
The Message