A church for all nations

Jon Watts


I am privileged to have a long Christian Baptist heritage going back to the 17th century including the family of William Carey the missionary pioneer to India, and a long line of pastors. Brought up in rural Bedfordshire among a Strict Baptist family, I first studied practical Agriculture. Having rebelled as a teenager, I was converted at Agricultural College through the witness of a fellow student.

God clearly called me to the ministry and after a theology degree at London Bible College (now London School of Theology), I spent 20 years ministering in Greenford, N.W. London, before responding to God’s call to move to Sheffield in 2003 to lead Rock Christian Centre.

It has been a wonderful privilege to lead this multi-cultural, inner-city church as it has grown and developed in exciting ways spiritually and numerically. The church has birthed many outreach projects including: Burngreave Foodbank; The Lighthouse project reaching homeless and addicts; Burngreave CAP debt centre; Rock Welcome Church; the Word4Weapons gun and knife amnesty bin etc.

In 2016 the church was able to purchase our own site on Spital Hill in the heart of Burngreave and in 2022 we moved the church services to these newly renovated buildings which have become our church and community centre. We look forward to how The Lord will continue to ‘build His church’ physically and spiritually in inner-city Sheffield.

I am also privileged to chair ‘Together for Sheffield’, an exciting charity that is impacting the city for Jesus in multiple spheres. I am also a trustee of ‘Kinetic Network’, a charity that seeks transformation through reformed theology and charismatic experience. I also work with City Vision, a movement that is promoting Kingdom transformation in cities across the UK and Worldwide.

I am married to Tricia and we will be celebrating 40 years of marriage in 2023. We met as students when she was training to be a PE teacher in Bedford and we were both involved in student outreach with UCCF. Tricia has retired from part-time teaching and is now our ‘Youth & Families Pastor’ and an Assistant Manager for Burngreave Foodbank. Tricia is also the Street Pastors Coordinator for Sheffield. We have 3 adult children; 5 wonderful grandchildren; and Barney a large, but loveable Dalmador dog! Hobbies include – Restoring our old house & DIY; cars and motor sport; gardening and family history.