The Parish of Sandal Magna

The Parish of Sandal Magna
St. Helen's and St. Paul's Church
Serving Sandal, Walton and Portobello in Wakefield UK.

Who am I and where do I fit in? 
Phil Asquith

Who am I and where do I fit in? 
Phil Asquith

When were you born and where?
I was born in Bradford on 
16th October, 1972

Do you have any interesting family memories?
I remember the first time 
we went camping as a family. The girls were little and we hadn’t been on holiday together before. Linda and I (complete amateurs at camping) had zipped our sleeping bags together. In the middle of the North Yorkshire countryside, in the middle of the night, Rochelle screamed out “my eyes are broken!” I woke up and sat bolt upright, Linda sat bolt upright and then woke up. It was the first time we had spent the night in the countryside and she wasn’t used to proper darkness. That memory still makes me smile now.

Who influenced you most in your life?
One of my earlier mentors was our old choir master when I was a child. He took a lot of time out to help people and helped me realise I enjoyed music. He also taught me to drive and we spent a lot of days driving round the Yorkshire Dales.
A later major influence on me is my wife, Linda. When we met, I was a pretty restless young man working in a video games arcade and had no real clue what I wanted to do with my life. She really helped me and supported me, helping to pick me up when things went wrong.

How did you come to faith?
I was born in a Christian family and was brought up to go to church, I was in the choir and an active part of the church. As a young man, the lure of nights out and loud music took over for a little while, but I soon found that deeply unsatisfying and missed the church family and a more meaningful outlook.

How do you occupy your time?
I enjoy playing guitar and singing as well as spending time with my family and just being at home.

What recent experience of God stands out?
I’ve recently been thinking much more about my faith and relationship with God over the past couple of years, after a bit of a health scare and changing jobs quite a few times, as well as the kids becoming adults…It’s been a real time of change and I’ve felt my faith grow and deepen through this time.

If there was one thing you would change in the world what would it be and why?
I would like to change how success is measured. So much of our society is based on how much money you have and your value as a person is often equated with financial success. There are so many more important things in life than the contents of your bank account and these should count for more.

Share something you get excited about in your life?
I am really excited about a lot of the music I am making at the moment with Andy Hodson. We have started a duo called A Handful of Fools, and we have an EP out called All You See Is Sound (available on Itunes and Bandcamp). Yes, I know this is a shameless plug. 

We have got through to the grand finals of a songwriting contest, run by a charity called ‘Official Top Ten Nights’. It is a charity that works with mental health and suicide prevention. There were over 700 entries and we are in the final 10. The final is in Camden, London on the 9th of December. There will be an album released of all 10 finalists – more news to follow! Please pray and wish us luck with the finals.

What is your favourite film, play, work of art, piece of music, band, book or all six?
Favourite films are the Star Wars ones – apart from the prequels. The original Star Wars was the first film I saw at the cinema and that whole experience has stuck with me.
Favourite play is Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s just so silly and a little bit naughty and the music is fun too.
Favourite work of art is a piece by Bob Bailey and currently on my living room wall. It’s a charcoal drawing of Selby Minster and for some reason I absolutely love it.
Favourite piece of music is Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf. It’s a ridiculous over-the-top song about a man who falls off a motorcycle when driving to his girlfriend’s house. I love the theatrical spectacle of it. I know the song really well and how it should sound. I like to use this song for testing out speakers and setting them up properly.
Favourite band is a tough one. I love Iron Maiden, and Kate Rusby: two ends of a very wide spectrum! At the moment, I am really enjoying Newton Faulkner and a band called Gizmodrome.

Who would you like to spend time with?
I love spending time with my family. They are all really good people to be with. I also love spending time with Rob & Caroline as well as fellow musicians such as Andy Hodson and Andy Owen.

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© Sandal Magna PCC 2016.
Registered Charity Number 1131795.


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