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Jewel Ahimube

Jewel lives locally and has been involved with Narthex since it began. She is passionate about supporting individuals and families on their journey to change. She is a committed volunteer at one of our Foodbanks and enjoys her interactions with all those who come.

She is also one of the Churchwardens at St Johns Sparkhill and with a beatific
smile on her face, Jewel is always enthusiastic about welcoming everyone, whatever their background and circumstances.

David Bower

For David Bower, two years in Sri Lanka as a volunteer after university was a formative experience, making lifelong friendships and significantly impacting his priorities in his subsequent life back in the UK. Leading a Christian youth group in Knowle, where he was brought up, also embodied a major part of the ethos of his life.

A career in telecommunications ended up taking him around Europe where he learnt about another part of the world. After retirement he spent many years helping with an educational charity that worked in predominantly Muslim countries of the world, which opened yet another global experience for David. He is now a trustee of various local community charities and organisations in the Solihull area and has a particular, some may say inexplicable, interest in charity governance. His interest in Narthex came after spending a whole afternoon at a conference talking about it with Revd. John Self, the inspiration for the formation of the charity. David is married to Ann.

Toby Crowe

Toby is the vicar of St John’s Church, which is where Narthex began and where it is still based today. He moved here in 2021 after living for nine years in Solihull. He has been a trustee ever since, and took on the role of Chair in 2023. He has a passion for seeing Sparkhill become an even better place to live – not just through the work of well-meaning outside agencies and government, but by the efforts and community-spirit of its people, coming together to change their lives and the lives of the people around them. He firmly believes that Narthex can be a significant part of this movement for justice and change, and wants it and St John’s to be places where people of all faiths and backgrounds form deep and lasting relationships with one another. He says that he is excited by all that Narthex is becoming, that being vicar of Sparkhill is the best job in the world, and that he’d rather live here than anywhere else – and he means it!

Geoff Holt

Geoff feels privileged to have been a Trustee of the Charity and part of its growth and development since it was first established over 20 years ago in 2003.

He and his wife Joy chose to come to Sparkhill in 1994, living just round the corner from the Church where Narthex is based.  Having lived locally for all this time he very much sees himself as part of the local community, in all of its rich diversity.

He also serves as Churchwarden and Treasurer of St Johns Church Sparkhill, where Narthex is based.   Before retirement, he worked as Lecturer at Aston University, teaching Leadership, Management and Sustainability.

On the Board of Trustees he is Champion for HR and Finance matters, and values our great team of staff and volunteers, who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of those we serve.

He believes we are at a crucial point in Narthex’s journey as we seek increasingly to support  people in their own journey out of poverty and crisis.

Jamie Walsh

Jamie moved to Knowle 32 years ago with work and has been an active member of Knowle Parish Church since. Having served on the PCC for 12 years and in that time have chaired the Fabric Committee for a period and well as serving on various Committees

Jamie has been involved with the Foodbank for some 10 years organising collections at Tesco store in Knowle which involves seeking volunteers from Church Members to cover the three-day collections together with emptying the permanent collection point and transporting to the Foodbank. Through these activities he has seen the need for Foodbank grow and how this has developed to meet these needs.

Jamie is 68, married to Margaret for 46 years and they have two children and two grandchildren. As for hobbies he along with his daughter have held Season Tickets at Aston Villa for the last 25 years so they are a regular at the games. This along with gardening and DIY (normally at one of his daughter’s homes) keeps him occupied.