Alan Bowell

Finance Manager

I am a Lincolnshire lad by birth, but have lived in Nottinghamshire since I married Alison in 1982, shortly after becoming a believer. This is almost, but not quite, long enough to be accepted as a local in the town where I have lived since. We have a son, Philip, who works as a freelance Graphic Designer in Cheltenham. In fact this website is one of his designs.

With a degree in Chemical Engineering, I worked in energy conservation for a subsidiary of the National Coal Board, before moving into IT, eventually becoming Deputy IT Manager. Then in 1993 came redundancy and seven months of unemployment. With an eight year old son and a wife to support this can be quite a test of faith, one I think I passed.

After a brief spell working in IT as a freelance contractor, a change of direction (and the need for a regular income) saw me become a bookkeeper and Office Manager for a small firm of shop-fitters. My employer, who was a friend, thought that my years as treasurer of my church would be enough experience for me to be his company’s bookkeeper. He was right. Redundancy, again, led to me joining (within a week) a medium sized haulage firm as the company accountant.

By 2008 I was becoming restless and unsettled, and felt that I should be working in a Christian environment, but where? Such opportunities are few and far between, especially on your doorstep, since I felt no desire to move from the town where I lived and worshipped. So we prayed, as you do, and shortly afterwards my church’s notice sheet carried an advertisement for a Finance Manager for CMJ. So I applied, had an interview, and the rest, as they say, is history. And just for a change I could leave a job voluntary rather than through redundancy! Looking back, I know God was in all of this. If I hadn’t been made redundant in 1993 and again in 2002, I would not have learnt bookkeeping and accounting to a level sufficient for me to do my current job for CMJ. So He was there, although there were times when it didn’t feel like it.

In 2009 Alison and I visited Israel for the first time, and this had a huge impact on us both. God has given us both a heart for the Jewish People, Israel, and the work of CMJ. Since then we have been back twice, taking our son both times. We hosted a Shoresh tour in 2011, and in 2014 went with friends from work and a local fellowship. It was on this latter trip I had the privilege of baptising my son in the river Jordan. There was not a dry eye in the house.

Alan Bowell
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