Our HPP Board Members
Chairman: Revd. Bill Stillwell
I’m a semi-retired Methodist Minister with two grown-up daughters, and I was privileged to be in at the start of HPP. At that stage I was the Chair, then stepped down for a while to have general input on things such as the Prayer Tent and Publicity , but here I am again, back in the Chair! My wife Jan is also very active in the enterprise. None of us involved at the start really knew anything much about the technicalities of mounting a dramatic production, but we gathered a hugely committed team together under the expert guidance of James Burke-Dunsmore – and here we are today!
Board Member: Jacky Chong
I became a Roman Catholic before my marriage to Paul, over 50 years ago. We have four married children, and our eleven grandchildren keep us busy and grounded! I regularly attend St. Michael's and All Angels Catholic Church in Leigh Park. I love Passion plays and was privileged to go to Oberammergau's play in 2010, and though I don't speak German, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of their wonderful play.
I was delighted to join HPP's 'Future Group' for the first Havant Passion Play, as the Roman Catholic representative. I had no intention of acting, I don't do that sort of thing! However, James is very persuasive and I absolutely loved my part as 'Mother 1', leading in the donkey, ably assisted by my twin grandsons, Joseph and Isaac. It really was a most memorable time, one that I look back on with great fondness and emotion.
Vice Chair: Margaret Hackett
My first introduction to the Havant Passion Play came at a fundraising barbecue back in September 2014. I was told that if I got involved it would change my life forever. In January 2015 I agreed to be part of the forthcoming production as Stage Manager, and then asked myself, "What have you got involved in?" Previously, I had stage managed several musicals but never an open-air production.
I have found the productions fulfilling, and have made several good friends.
Treasurer: Linda Stimpson
I am a member of Denvilles Ecumenical Church, having been so since the church was formed some twenty years ago. My background is in the Church of England. I am treasurer for the church, the usual fate for an accountant.
I live in Fishbourne, though I used to live in Denvilles, and I still have links with Havant, through church, friendships and organisations. I think I know every pothole on the A27!
I joined Havant Passion Play not long after the company was formed, volunteering to be the treasurer. Although I had no intention of performing in 2015, I found myself running half way across Havant Park and beating up Jesus in my role as a temple guard! It was an experience that I shall treasure for the rest of my life.
Board Member: Jan Stillwell
My involvement with HPP started very much on the periphery, just supporting Bill with his madcap idea, but gradually I have been sucked in and have found the experience very rewarding. I have friends who still talk about their experience of watching the 2017 performance and the effect it had, and still has on them and their faith.
I’m no actor but I am very happy to offer what abilities I do have to help behind the scenes, and it was because I have some, albeit limited knowledge of data protection and safeguarding through other things I’m involved with, I was co-opted on to the Board.
I am a retired nurse and worked in the NHS for many years, which helped me to hone skills at appearing to glide effortlessly across the pond whilst madly paddling under the water, skills which came in handy when I took on the site manager role for the 2019 play!
Board Member: Carolyn Owens
I am Chair of Governors at Leigh Park School, and I have produced and directed the Leigh Park Community Nativity Play (with live camels!), and Cinderella and Aladdin as community panto. I am married to Jonathan Jeffery and we have three children, all of whom have been involved in the previous HPP productions. HPP has been great for making new friends, challenging myself and learning new skills. Working with James has encouraged and enabled me in my community theatre roles.
Board Member: Pam Ewing
Although nominally a Christian all my life, my faith was strengthened by the worship at St John's Church in Rowland's Castle, (although I live in Emsworth) which I have attended for about 27 years - ending up as one of the music leaders, and a churchwarden.
I came across the Havant Passion Play because my mother attended Havant Methodist Church while she lived briefly in Havant, and I met Geoff Paffett and Bill Stillwell, whose enthusiasm for the project was very persuasive. Having no acting skills, I was pleased to have a small role in the 2015 production, with the best line in the play - 'He is not here - he has risen!' as one of the 'shining people'. I continued my involvement as part of the 'costume department', and had a few more lines in the 2017 production, as the apostle Thomas - a character very easy for me to identify with. In 2019, as one of the High Priests in the Temple, I had a very different role as one of the bad guys.
I had no excuse not to be nominated onto the Board of Trustees of HPP when asked by Jacky, although I don't think I pull as much weight as the other Board Members. But I value the opportunity to be part of a the team telling the Greatest Story Ever Told to the people of Havant and beyond.
Board Member: Deacon Laura Evans
Having been stationed to the area as a Methodist minister in 2014 I became involved with HPP almost by accident the following year. As a Deacon my role is primarily focused on building links between the church and the community, so when Bill Stillwell invited me to a rehearsal it seemed like a good idea to find out more. I left that rehearsal with the part of ‘Temple Guard 2’ and have been involved with HPP, albeit largely on the periphery, ever since! The family atmosphere is such that I don’t seem to be able to keep away.
Board Member: Ann Brown
Co-opted Member: Revd. Jonathan Jeffery
I am Vicar of Leigh Park and Warren Park and I have acted in HPP’s 2015 , 2017 and 2019 productions. I have also been involved in community panto at St Clare’s Church, Warren Park, and see great value in community theatre. Being involved with the HPP play workshops, rehearsals and performances has challenged and deepened my faith as well as proving great fun!
Co-opted Member: Deb Henning-Vears
I am a Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England, and also Musical Director for All Saints’, Catherington and St. James’, Clanfield. 2019 is my first year on the HPP board.