“I like to visualise the Clarendon Centre as an aircraft carrier, launching different missions for furthering the kingdom of God in Brighton”
Dan Sweetman is facilities manager at CCK and his primary job is managing the Clarendon Centre, where our Sunday meetings take place. Dan is passionate about spreading the good news of the gospel across the City, and also leads the North Hove Zone with his wife, Adrienne. They have two daughters together; Keziah and Emery. Dan chats to Emily Sneyd about his role, and why he is so excited to be part of the Church in the City of Brighton and Hove.
E.S : Hi Dan! First of all, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
D.S: Well, I was born and bred in Brighton, and was blessed enough to grow up in the Church! My background has always been in IT- it’s not something I studied, but I enjoyed it so I worked up to being an IT manager for a while.
Then, a few years ago I felt God prompt me to work abroad for a year, so I ended up in Missouri, U.S . I worked with a Newfrontiers Church out there. I had a really great year and developed my faith, but it certainly wasn’t easy and was painful at times as God dealt with issues in my heart. My time there ended abruptly when my application for renewal of my Visa was denied, and I was forced to come back to Brighton. I was recently engaged, but my fiancée, being the amazing woman of God that she is, was happy to follow me back to England. In hindsight I can see that God was calling me back to Brighton and it was all part of His plan for my life.
Adrienne and I got married when I returned and then I got a job managing buildings and selling office space. This was an interesting time as I learnt a lot of new skills that have been invaluable in my role in managing the Clarendon Centre.
E.S: That’s quite a journey! Tell me a bit about your job- What does it involve?
D.S: I like to visualise the Clarendon Centre as an aircraft carrier, launching different missions for furthering the kingdom of God in Brighton. The Centre itself is influential because of it’s visibility in the city- It’s a fantastic tool for our mission as it gets different groups of people into the building as well as being able to offer an outstanding space to hire out for meetings and events.
The largest part of the job is our Sunday meetings; we run three services each Sunday so much of the week is spent gearing up to these big events. Another large part of my job is developing new business for the Centre and offering a great service to clients for when they want to hire out the Centre for events. Closely associated to that is overseeing the events themselves; doing the preparation, clear-up and then re-setting for the next event- it’s a lot of work! We are a relatively small team, but the team fires on all cylinders and are doing a phenomenal job. The catering and hospitality side of things is also huge for the department; Church-run events such as the Alpha and Beta courses, serve three-course meals and I again oversee a fantastic catering team.
E.S: That sounds like a lot of responsibility! How would you say your job feeds into your passion for the Church and for the city of Brighton?
D.S: I’m in a privileged position in my role; I am able to see what CCK is doing on both a macro and micro level. On a macro-level, it is seeing how the Church can serve the city as a whole; for example, for the Brighton Marathon in April, we are reducing our three Sunday meetings to just one evening meeting so that over 300 volunteers from CCK can serve at that event. On a micro-level, it is serving our smaller, local communities with the 'Zone meetings' that we have, and in the Small Group meetings that make up the Zones, as well as all the other activities that build community. We’re reaching out to the people who don’t yet know Jesus in such a multitude of different ways. I’m really enjoying being part of the plan for Brighton, and actively engaging the community around us. We’re not fully there yet, but God is helping us to achieve this. I enjoy being part of the grand scheme as well as getting my hands dirty.
D.S: Jack Bauer! Ha. He should be everybody’s influence (E.S: for the sad individuals who are not in-the-know, Jack is the invincible counter-terrorist agent in the TV series, 24). I enjoy war movies and I love Band of Brothers, I’m also looking forward to the new Series of Pacific.
E.S: Well, with your hectic job, you must enjoy your weekends! - What would be the ideal day off for you?
D.S: Well, it’s not overly exciting, but ideally I’d be sitting down, drinking a cold beer and reading a good book, maybe by John Grisham or James Patterson- something easy to read.
E.S: That sounds like exactly what you need! Thanks very much Dan, I hope people realise just what an asset to CCK you are.