Meet the team

Meet the team


Matt Barlow

Hi, I’m Matt and I was appointed Lead Pastor here in Jan 2020. Along with my wife Josie, I was one of the founders of the Light Church and have helped lead the church in my spare time for most of the life of the church. In 2019 I felt the call from God into full time church leadership, and stepped down from a 21 year epic journey at Christians Against Poverty, which included 14 years as CEO.

I’m passionate about leading a church that teaches the way of Jesus and places Jesus central to everything. I believe that compassion and justice must be at the heart of every Jesus centred church. I’m passionate about raising up leaders, with an ever growing commitment to those from less privileged backgrounds. I believe that servant leadership is 100% where it’s at, even though it can be a challenging path to walk.

I've got two teenage kids who I love spending time with, eating great food and discussing hot topics. When I'm not busy with church, you'll find me on my bike, cooking, baking, building fire, camping, walking my dog and enjoying craft beer. Generally not all at the same time.

Rachel Dawson

Hey! I’m Rachel, the Assistant Pastor with oversight of the 0-18’s ministries here at The Light Church. About 7 years ago God broke my heart for children and young people to know Jesus, and called me out of a career in costume for film and tv. Since then I’ve been working to serve His awesome heart and vision in this area, and have been blessed to lead a children’s charity in Bradford, and most recently a team of gifted public speakers at Christian charity Transforming Lives for Good (TLG.)

My heart is to come alongside children, young people and families and invite them to encounter the living God. Support them as they discover and unpack their unique giftings, and help set them up for an exciting lifelong God-adventure.

When I’m not serving in my role, I’m hanging out with my lovely husband Joe (who is all kinds of wonderful), running, or enjoying food with family and friends.

Leadership Team

Tarzan Almas

I am Tarzan and I have been married to Jyotika for 37 years. We have 3 grown-up children, Tom, Sabrina, and Preeya. I am a proud granddad of 5 grandsons, Elijah, Josiah, Asher, Isaac, and Jesse.

Having served God as a social worker here in the city, I love to use those skills and experience in serving as the pastoral care coordinator for the church.

I’ve been involved in a number of church leadership teams and am honoured to serve here at the Light.

I enjoy a blessed life which includes walking, swimming, serving God’s people, developing my understanding of scripture, and playing with my grandchildren.

Josie Barlow

I’m Josie and married to Matt and we have 2 teenagers - Eve (16) and Jed (14). I wasn’t born in Yorkshire but I love Bradford and have lived here for 21 years.

At the age of 10 I felt a call to help people living in poverty and this alongside making God visible have been the guiding values of my life ever since, working overseas in the Dominican Republic, working for Christians Against Poverty for 19 years and now in my role as Manager of Bradford Central Foodbank which is hosted by The Light Church.

In 2008 John, Lizzie, Matt and I again teamed up to found The Light Church. During the last 12 years I have been on the leadership team for 8 years, on and off at various times. On a more personal note, I love having dinner with friends, being creative with food, paint, fabric, words, and stories. I love walking in our bluebells woods by the river, up Shipley glen to the trig point, riding my mountain bike, and playing tennis.

Steve Restrick

I am married to the lovely Emma, and we moved to Bradford 4 years ago after our honeymoon in Skiathos. We have been part of The Light Church family for 3 years. Emma works at CAP as a Debt Advisor; I run my own business as a Gas Engineer.

I’ve helped plant, lead and pastor churches for over 20 years, and am delighted and humbled to be serving God again in leadership.

I love the outdoors, walking or motorcycling in the countryside. Emma loves baking, and spending time in worship. We enjoy quality time with friends and family.

Helen Watts

Hi, I’m Helen. I’ve been part of The Light Church for 10 years and a follower of Jesus for 30 years. I’m a neuro Physiotherapist and particularly love working with people recovering their movement after stroke. When I’m not working I like to ride one of my bikes around this hilly part of Yorkshire or cook tasty food for friends. And I love being a favourite Auntie to Cicely and Theo.


Kate Hart

Hi! I’m Kate and I’ve been part of the Light Church since 2014. I’m married to Pete and we have two children: Noah (2) – an energetic power ball obsessed with trees, and Isobel (1) – a cuddly and agile little smiler who loves to chew wellies. Having trained and worked in primary education, I went on to do a Masters in Global Development and Education. I still work in this sector, which included a year working in Zambia. We live in Baildon, having moved from Leeds, in 2017 and love our neighbours and community here.

Pete McMahon

Hi, my name is Pete. I’m husband to Marie-Elisabeth and father to Lucy. We moved up to Bradford two and half years ago when I started working at CAP and have been part of The Light Church since then. Before moving to Yorkshire, I studied Accountancy and Finance, working in accounts for a while. I then went on to study theology in London and worked for three years as the Assistant Pastor at a church in Highbury. In my spare time, you’ll most likely find me playing/watching/reading about sport (most notably Plymouth Argyle and the Green Bay Packers) whilst listening to country music. I also love the theatre (especially musicals) and am always up for playing a board game or two.

Peter Snell

I’m Peter and Bradford has been home for a few years now. I grew up on the Isle of Wight, studied at York Uni, then moved to Bradford for the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Intern programme. This then led me to work for CAP in NZ for four years, where I met my wife Eilidh, easily recognised by her delightful Edinburgh accent.

I’m now back working for CAP UK, leading and developing a team of speakers that serve the church by inspiring them around God’s heart for the poor whilst sharing the vision of CAP. Cycling, coffee and sugar are a few of my favourite things, and I live in Baildon, dangerously close to 2 chippies, a Chinese and a KFC.

Hi I'm Florence, married to Dennis and mother to our three girls, Lumba, Faith and Jasmine.  I'm originally from Zambia and now live in Baildon. 

I work for the Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust as the Medical HR Advisor. 

I have been part of The Light Church family since 2016.

I enjoy sight seeing, exploring Gods creation and cooking.

Hi I'm Carol and have been part of the Light Church since it began. I have always loved the heart of the church - Loving God, Loving people and growing to become more like Jesus. 

I worked in the Civil Service for 31 years before moving to Christians Against Poverty where I've worked for almost 15 years. 11 years as a Debt Advisor and currently advising new clients how they can get Debt CAP’s help.

I have one son Sam and two beautiful grandchildren Martha and Heath who are such a wonderful blessing. 

I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy walking, visiting new places and eating good food - my absolute favourite being Thai.