I am John Burland, the Circuit Administrator for Leeds North & East Circuit. During the current pandemic I work three days a week in my office at home on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I have been in this role since February 2019 which is a very varied job. Being an administrator is an important role in order to keep things functioning but not necessarily more important than other church roles that we support such as Presbyters and other Lay Workers.
Whilst on a daily basis the role is a standard job like any type of office administrator role, it has a spiritual aspect by being more of a vocation than a job. In describing my work to others I would say it is providing a service to the Circuit, using the strengths and qualities I possess such as organisational ability, time management, financial acumen and computer expertise, but also the role of evangelism and apostleship in serving the community within the Circuit.
The work is very varied ranging from accounts to plan making, meeting minutes and agendas to preparation of service sheets, newsletters and posters. But all this is to provide a facility to assist ordained Ministers and others in the Circuit. From April 2018 to March 2021 I also worked as the Administrator for the ONE Opportunity Programme in the Yorkshire West Methodist District.
Outside of work I am a book and theatre reviewer for our local paper in the North Leeds area, and I enjoy fellwalking and photography plus I have run a number of marathons over the years and taken part in long distance walking competitions. I am also a keen genealogist and have traced my paternal family tree back to 1520 in the villages of Thorner and Barwick where two of our churches in the Circuit are located, so starting work here was a little bit like "coming home to my ancestral roots".