Our Staff Team

In addition to the Minister, our Staff Team is made up of hard workers making a real difference in their area of ministry.

Keith Ponsford – Interim Minister 

Keith joined the staff team in December 2016 as Interim Minister to help undertake some of the workload in the absence if our minister Andrew due to ill health.

Keith is married to Jacqui, Father to three and a Grandad to seven, Keith has plenty to keep him busy.  Having had the privilege of being raised by loving Christian parents he grew up in and through the local church.

The three prominent qualities that Keith has clung to throughout his ministry are: A passion for accurate teaching of God’s word in life applicable ways.  A desire to inspire and lead teams of volunteers to embrace a central vision of seeing lives changed.  The desire that the local church actively engages the local community through meeting the communities perceived needs in a very real and tangible ways.

Andrew Gardiner

Andrew Gardiner – Minister

Andrew is currently away from work due to ill health since May 2016.

Andrew is married to Katherine and they have three grown-up children. They trained together at Moorlands Bible College and came to Plymouth in 1994 for Andrew to take up the position as Youth Director at nearby Mutley Baptist, and have stayed in the city ever since! They have been at Hope since May 2003 and simply LOVE being part of a thriving and loving church family like the one here.

One of Andrew’s great joys is leading the wonderful staff team at Hope, and helping each member develop their potential, and work to their strengths.

He is an ardent football supporter and also he loves nearly any sort of music. Andrew has an extensive CD and vinyl collection, but still (very sadly) has a preference for 70’s pop ‘n’ rock!

He is passionate about preaching God’s word and encouraging people to put their faith in Christ. Other passions in church life are for the freedom and power of the Holy Spirit to be more & more evident in every area of our fellowship, and for the church to raise up and train its own leaders from within.

Andrew has an MA in Evangelism. His favourite Christian writers are Leonard Ravenhill and AW Tozer.  He regularly attends New Wine leadership conferences and is happy to be tagged with being both evangelical and charismatic…. one of his favourite Bible verses is: “Our gospel did not come to you with simply words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction.” 1 Thess 1 vs 5.

Karen Ponsford

Karen Ponsford – Operations Manager

Karen has been attending Hope with her husband, Kevin, since 2006.  They are the proud parents of Alfie, born in 2014.  They also have a chocolate Labrador called Rolo.

She feels very blessed to be part of such a fab church family.

Karen also enjoys being a part of the Creche team of leaders, having lots of fun and cuddles with the babies on Sunday mornings.

Occasionally she can be heard on her saxophone playing in the Hope Big Band and ‘Hot Jam’.

Her passion is to see the church family use their gifts and talents to serve God, the community and each other.

Alice WardAlice Ward – Administrator

Alice is married to Jonathan and has two sons. She has been regularly coming to Hope since 2008. If she has any spare time she likes to spend it on craft projects or baking.

At church Alice has helped out at toddler groups, organised the coffee rota, been part of the soup run food preparation team and been involved with the children’s work on Sundays.

She has worked in the office since April 2011 and generally works on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


Kathryn Dixon –  Youth and Children’s Ministry Team Leader

Kathryn has been attending Hope Baptist Church since 1999. In 2009 she married Philip and together they now have a son called Joel, who has transformed family life in an awesome way.

Kathryn has served as a volunteer youth leader at Hope over the years, whilst working as a Veterinary Nurse. Kathryn continues to work as a Veterinary Nurse once a week at a local Veterinary Hospital as well as leading Hope’s Youth and Children’s team.

Kathryn is passionate about seeing God at work, transforming the lives of children and young people as well as those who work with them. She is excited to see how God is moving and will continue to move within the youth and children’s work at Hope.

Tom Watson – Youth Worker

Tom is a born and bred Plymouthian.  His wife, Lizzie, also grew up in Plymouth but they didn’t meet until their first term at university… in Cardiff!  Nine years later they married and they have been attending Hope since 2015.

Tom is a qualified primary teacher and has worked in several primary schools across Plymouth.  Over the years, Tom has heard God calling him to fulltime ministry and in 2017 Tom responded to that call in applying for the youth worker role at Hope.  Having been involved in youth work for many years as a volunteer, he has had the joy of seeing teenagers develop and grow in their love for Jesus.

He is excited to see young people discover Jesus for the first time and for them to see how Jesus is alive, relevant and interested in their lives now.

A keen sportsman, Tom misses being younger and fitter but will enjoy playing and watching a variety of sports when he can. He likes knowing quirky facts and has plenty of time for good puns.

Lily Allen

Lily Tobin – Children & Families Outreach Worker

Lily moved from Torquay to Plymouth to start her job as the new children and families outreach worker in April 2013! She is very excited about her role here as she is filled with passion to help grow the church. She works with 0-7 year old’s which is an age range she worked closely with throughout her life for example, as an intern at Brixham Baptist Church, through work experience at schools and nurseries, through various church work and through tutoring.

She married Mark Tobin in August 2013 and loves married life (so far!), especially when she  gets to sew in her new sewing corner.

She is thrilled to be on board the wonderful staff team at Hope, and to be a part of the church’s vision for this community. She cannot wait to see how the church and the community as a whole will develop over the coming years.

 MaddieJackson300x200Maddie Jackson – Trainee Youth Worker

Maddie moved to Plymouth from Malvern at the end of August 2015 to start her training with SWYM and working at Hope. She works with our 7 to 18 year olds. Having always lived so far away from the sea she is sure that the novelty of being so close to it now will never wear off.

She did a year and a half of youth work at her home church in Malvern before moving to Plymouth and has a real passion to see young people know that they are valued.

Outside of work Maddie loves rock climbing, kayaking and just being outside in (almost!) any weather.