Dr David Carr

The Rt Rev Dr David Carr has gone from marketing for the Professional Football Association to founding the largest church in Solihull and receiving the OBE from the Queen


I’m senior pastor of the Renewal Christian Centre in Solihull, an overseer for the Free Methodist Church in Europe, Archbishop for the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, and the Bishop Abbot of the Order of St Leonard. Before this I was the marketing director for the Professional Football Association in PFA Financial Services. I’ve authored five books and been happily married for 44 years, with three children and four grandchildren. I started Renewal Christian Centre with four people in 1972, which has now grown to a congregation of more than 1,600. The church helps 4,000 people each year through community projects. Working with Solihull Council, our Helping Hands food bank delivers emergency parcels to 3,000 adults and children.


At the age of 71, my role now is to give oversight and encouragement to leaders at various levels. I mentor, counsel, and train chaplains, and I’m a chaplain for a large group of hospitals in the Midlands. I’m also chaplain for Birmingham Bowls Association. I am a governor of Lode Heath school and a patron of King Solomon Business Academy, Birmingham.


We have nine different councils of churches in the borough and it would be good to see more visible unity. I would like to see a broken society mended; there is much confusion and fear out there and it would be great if we could all be less concerned with our own well-being and more for those who are disadvantaged.


Meeting the Queen when I was presented with my OBE meant so much to me because I think the Royal Family is one of the most stabilising factors in our community. Politics changes, but the Monarchy remains consistent.


By wearing your heart on your sleeve you must expect people to abuse it, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. If I had my time again, I would always go with my gut feeling about things and not allow people to talk me out of it.


I was born in Stirchley, grew up in Birmingham and went to Bournville School. I’ve now lived longer in Solihull than Birmingham, but I still see myself as a Brummie that’s emigrated! We Brummies are down to earth and tell it as it is. We’ve developed a beautiful city and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it because I think we can sometimes put ourselves down.


I play bowls for Solihull Sports Club, Solihull In-Door Bowls Club, and Birmingham Bowls Association. I’ve also played for Warwickshire In-Door County. I chill out watching documentaries or history programmes and walk the dog. I find studying the Bible considerably relaxing.


Having a personal faith in God has taken me from being a frightened young boy with dyslexia from the streets of Birmingham to a very privileged position. All that I am I put down to my faith.