Richard Bolam


I am a teacher and have been for twenty eight years. I am married to Julie and have a son called Samuel and a daughter called Anna.

Spare time: reading, running, orienteering and spending time with my family.
Favourite Bible verse: I have a few Bible verses but the one I keep coming to is Jeremiah 29 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, give you a hope and a future.”
Favourite food: I really like Chinese food with sweet and sour coming out on top.
Favourite holiday destination: Crete.
Influential book: The book that most intrigues me is “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” which, forty years after reading it I still find amazing.

Read more about Richard’s story here.

Jan Cross


I have been married to David since 1975, I have three children and three grandchildren. I work as an Office Manager for a local accountancy firm.

Spare time: I love to paint – I prefer acrylics or pen and ink, but I also use watercolours; I enjoy photography, particularly photographing landscapes and close up flora and fauna.
Favourite Bible verse: Ephesians 3: 20 – “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory….”
Favourite holiday destination: Cape Town, South Africa; my favourite place in GB is the west coast of Scotland
Favourite food: a plate of chilli or a home cooked Sunday roast with crispy roast potatoes.
Favourite book: ‘Nine O’clock in the Morning’ by Dennis Bennett, after reading this book I asked God to fill me by His spirit and so I started my Christian journey.

Hilary Hannan

Leadership Team

I am married to Ronnie, have 2 grown up daughters and am now a proud grandmother to Poppy. I was brought up in a Christian home and gave my life to Jesus when I was 14. After travelling around while Ronnie was in the RAF we came back to settle in Colchester in 1989 and I started to worship at Orchard and have been here ever since. There have been many ups and downs at Orchard but I have always felt it to be my spiritual home. I teach in the Sunday School and am part of the Welcome team.

I work for Beacon House, a Christian charity that supports  homeless people in Colchester. I find this both challenging and rewarding. Meeting people there, often at their lowest point, reminds me that Jesus came to save the whole world and that he loves each of us the same. The passage that inspired me to work at Beacon House is Matthew 25, v34-46, and it reminds me that what I do for the guys who come to us I do for God and that is truly humbling.

In my spare time I love to sew and am interested in all things textiles, I am also a fair weather gardener and enjoy walking and reading.

My vision for Orchard is to share the good news of Jesus with the local area and for the Church to become the hub of the community.

One of my favourite verses is Colossians 3:12-14 from The Message,  “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” I feel that God is really speaking to me and I know I don’t achieve it but it’s what I aim for.

John Cuthbert

Leadership Team

I was born in Colchester in 1946. I had a career as a painter and decorator for 50 years including a 5 year indenture. Met my soul mate Christine in 1967 and have been married for 48 years,we have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. I had an encounter with Jesus when i was 5 years old [another story], i did not make an commitment to Jesus until i was 45 years old, in 1991 i was baptized. Since then we have been home group leaders, and have done a lot of evangelism and outreach even as far as Antwerp in Belgium. Christine was part of a singing group and recorded a C D to raise money for Kids Behind Bars in the Philippines. I was a Sunday school teacher for 14 years and assisted with Christine in many other outreach program’s. In 2011 I was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and had major surgery, but through all of this i had lots of prayer, and the presence of Jesus never left me.

Main pastimes- reading history,science fiction/fact, crosswords,and playing indoor bowls with and against Christine in different teams.

Favourite Book– The ragged trousered philanthropists by Robert Tressell i read this when i was 16 and often refer back to it,thought provoking at the very least.

Favourite film– The Searchers starring John Wayne,a complete unexpected ending.

Favourite bible verses– Joshua 24 v15 But for me and my house we will serve the Lord

Matthew 10v8 Freely you have received freely give.