Richard Wightman is Senior Pastor of New Life Church, Milton Keynes, which he has led since 2003. During that time the church has grown from about 175 to over 850 people, and the church now regularly sees more than 100 professions of faith each year.
Before working full-time for the church he spent 22 years working for the railway industry. Mid way through that career he managed nearly 1,000 station and on train staff in the West Midlands. By the end of that career he managed the passenger business of Network Rail, the national infrastructure owner and operator, and directly managed an income of £1.6bn each year.
Richard’s goal is to love and follow Jesus, and to advance the kingdom of God wherever the opportunity lies, inside and outside the church walls, and through all denominations and church groupings. He wants everyone to encounter Jesus for themselves, choose to love and follow him, and to work out their calling and use their gifting to advance God’s kingdom.
Richard is passionate about equipping church members to be effective ambassadors for Christ in their workplaces, families and communities outside the church walls. He is also passionate about developing leaders in the church and training church leaders to lead well, bringing to bear the skills he acquired in the railway industry.
Richard has worked hard at helping the poor. He developed and chairs the Winter Night Shelter charity in Milton Keynes, providing up to 1,600 bed nights for up to 30 guests each night, and working with an army of 900 plus volunteers. The church he leads also runs a Foodbank and a Speaking English group, and is looking to develop further opportunities to serve the community.
His leadership skills are also used as a director of his family of churches, Catalyst, a sub-grouping of newfrontiers, a family of something over 3,000 churches worldwide. He also chairs The Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership and a charity working on parenting and fathering initiatives in the Middle East and the UK.