Meet The Team

Network Leaders

Stuart and Irene Bell

Founding Network Leaders

Stuart and Irene founded the Ground Level Network over 40 years ago. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. They are also the Senior Pastors of Alive Church. Their ministry takes them across the world and they have been widely used by God to bring renewal in regional and national settings.

Paul and Jeannie Benger

Ground Level Team Leaders

Paul is married to Jeannie and together they are the Lead Pastors of IKON Church, a church they started in 1987 that currently has 5 campuses. Paul is the Ground Level Team Leader and His passion is to “build relevant contemporary churches and inspire a generation to do the same”. Paul obsesses over the question “who’s next?” His hobbies include golf, reading and vinyl records. They have 3 Children Nathan, Joshua and Sam and a growing number of grandchildren.

Our Teams

Paul Benger

Paul is married to Jeannie and together they are the Lead Pastors of IKON Church, a church they started in 1987 that currently has 5 campuses. Paul is the Ground Level Team Leader and His passion is to “build relevant contemporary churches and inspire a generation to do the same”. Paul obsesses over the question “who’s next?” His hobbies include golf, reading and vinyl records. 

Stuart Bell

Stuart Bell is the Senior Pastor of Alive Church, a growing multi site church with several locations in the UK. He is founder of the Ground Level Network, a network of around 80 churches and Partners For Influence UK, a group of leaders representing influential churches and ministries across the UK. Stuart is actively involved in a number of national leadership forums and is an international speaker and teacher often working into both America and South Africa. Stuart has written four books.

Married to Irene, Stuart has three children and 6 grandchildren.

In 2016 Stuart was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Lincolnshire.

David Jones

In addition to chairing the Directors & Exec Team of Ground Level, David is the senior leader of City Church (Great Grimsby & NE Lincolnshire). He also chairs the board of Directors for CARE (Christian Action Resource & Enterprise) a charity located in NE Lincolnshire, dedicated to relieving poverty, hardship and distress to those in need in the local community. David is married to Ann-Marie; they have three grown up children and six grandchildren, and is an avid follower of F1 motor racing.

Nigel Collins

Nigel is married to Judy; they have 5 children and 4 grandchildren and one foster child.

Although born and raised in Mablethorpe, Nigel has travelled extensively whilst working and training firstly as a marine engineer and latterly as a director of a family manufacturing and engineering service company.

Nigel is Pastor of Hope House Church – Mablethorpe, initially juggling this alongside his family business but now working full time for the Church. The Church is increasingly involved in tackling coastal deprivation.

Serving on the Ground level Executive Team, Nigel brings his experience of a business background and pastoring in a small rural community.

Nigel’s hobbies are local history and anything engineering.

Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins serves as a Director for Ground Level, and is part of the team overseeing the Leadership Engine – Ground Level’s leadership training course.

He is part of The King’s Church in Nottingham where he works full time. Mark has a desire to see individuals and churches released into their full potential in God. He also wants to see unity and partnership across the church and oversees the churches together in Arnold, and is part of the Nottingham City Prayer vision team.

Alongside all of this he enjoys cycling, playing tennis, following Arsenal and being with his family (Sarah and two grown up daughters)

Claire Bell
Claire serves as a Director for Ground Level. She is a Senior Leader of Ashwood Church in North Nottinghamshire along with her husband Matt Bell.  Claire is passionate about church in the community.  She is a worshipper, encourager and loves helping people and growing teams.
Claire loves hospitality! Meals around a table with friends, cooking and eating - doing life with people.  One thing you should know about Claire is she loves coffee!
Richard Tucker
Richard serves as a Director for Ground Level. He is Senior Leader of Powerhouse- Christ Church in Doncaster. He has a passion to build and see unity across churches of all denominations and currently chairs the 'One Heart One Voice' network in Doncaster. Having spent a career in financial services, he intends to use this experience to be used in Kingdom ministry. 
He is married to Clare and has three daughters. His hobbies include DIY and travelling with his family.
Richard's favourite quote is from John Wesley "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can"
Helen King

As well as being a member of the Ground Level Team, Helen is the Senior Pastor of Riverside Church in Southwell. Married to Andy, who is part of the Senior Leadership Team and Worship Lead at Riverside, they have two grown up children, Grace and Toby.  Helen is dedicated to building dynamic church community, developing confident disciples and seeing lives transformed by Jesus. She also loves mountains, a good cup of coffee (or preferably two!) and walking her crazy beagle in the countryside.  


Pete Atkins
Humber to Wash Connection

Pete and his wife Kath lead Threshold, which is a Ground Level church, and he is part of National Fresh Expressions leadership community. Pete and Kath are in the later stages of converting a grade 2 listed barn which is their home and the heart of a prayer-based community in Bardney, Lincolnshire. Pete loves doing ‘barn time’, which is the continued practicalities of making it fit for purpose. He’s often to be found out walking in various parts of the county. Pete and Kath have five grown-up, married children and ten grandchildren so far!

Paul Bedford
North Connection

Paul Bedford leads Hope House in central Barnsley, a growing and thriving church serving the local community; connecting real people to a real God in real life. Paul serves Ground Level by leading the North Connection of churches. Paul is also a part of the Groundlevel Team. Locally, he works alongside Barnsley Central Council. He has a passion for creating community, building team and training emerging leaders. Paul runs marathons, enjoys history, motorcycles and his very old sports car, and he paints (pictures not walls). Paul has two adult children, Robert and Megan, both are involved in Hope House life.

Irene Bell

Irene Bell, alongside Stuart is the Senior Pastor of Alive Church, a growing multi site church with several locations in the UK. Irene and Stuart are the founders of the Ground Level Network, a network of around 80 churches and Partners For Influence UK, a group of leaders representing influential churches and ministries across the UK.  

Married to Stuart, Irene has three children and 6 grandchildren.

Joy Blundell

Joy Blundell is part of the Ground Level Team and leads the strategic objective “Influence” which is about equipping churches to empower people to lead and influence in every sphere of life.  Alongside her husband Paul, Joy is Location Pastor of Alive Lincoln North. She has a heart for the restoration and transformation of cities through the mobilisation of the local church. Joy and Paul have been married for 19 years and they have two children. Joy loves fresh air, walking in the hills, eating good food and drinking wine with friends.

Howard Williams

Howard Williams is the Assistant Pastor of Alive Church. He is passionate about seeing the local church take its position as the hope of the world, and developing ways to see the church multiply. Howard is married to Claire and they have 3 sons.

Dan Hargreaves

Dan has been married to Jo for over ten years and together they have two sons, Hudson & Smith. Dan is passionate about bulding a vibrant, fun and Jesus centred church right at the heart of the community and is a pastor of Alive Church and along with his wife leads the Lincoln South location; as well as sitting on vision core team and heading up the Astonished Mens conference where he loves seeing Men step into their God given destiny. He loves adventure and challenges from climbing Kilimanjaro, running marathons and completing an Iron man. He is a big footie fan and avid supporter of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Dave Bell

Dave Bell is the worship pastor for Alive Church Lincoln and he is also the lead singer for the band The Moment. Dave is a songwriter, author and is passionate about sharing his story of hope and helping lead the church in worship. He is married to Sarah, and has 4 miracle children. Dave is a part of the Awaken worship team and sits on the Ground Level Team.

Nathan Benger

Nathan is a Pastor at IKON Church. One of his primary roles is as youth pastor where he oversees the vibrant IKON Youth across all IKON campuses. Nathan is passionate about reaching the next generation with the message of Jesus. He is married to Debbie and they have one son called Zion. Nathan loves football and plays at a semi-professional level, if given the chance he will let you know he played with Jamie Vardy.

Phil & Jo Thorne
East Connection

Phil has been part of Ground Level since 1991.

Along with his wife Jo, they are Connection Leaders for the East region, covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Phil and Jo have been church leaders and church planters for more than thirty years and are currently serving as Senior Pastors for Alive Church, based in Norwich. They are passionate about the Church rising up to its potential, working in unity and seeing Kingdom transformation. Phil and Jo, have two adult sons, two chihuahuas and two classic cars.

Matt & Claire Bell
Midlands Connection

Matt and Claire Bell are Senior Leaders of Ashwood Church – Nottinghamshire.  They are both passionate about Jesus, His Kingdom and seeing His church flourish!  Married for nearly 25 years, Claire and Matt have 2 grown up children.  They have both been involved in leadership for many years, taking the Senior Leadership role in Ashwood in 2013, and becoming the Midlands Connection Leaders in 2021.  Matt loves mountain biking, building Lego and great food!  And Claire loves creating great food, encouraging people and going to the gym!  They both love hanging out with people, and living life to the full!

Jason Gibson
Jason serves as Operations Manager for Ground Level, overseeing all the day-to-day running of the organisation as well as looking after the finances and all the logistics that make our events and operations happen and run smoothly. 
Jason and his wife Teri are Life Pastors of Alive Lincoln South, and in his spare time Jason enjoys cycling, DIY, cooking and spending time with his three young children.
Steph Sargent
Steph is the Events Coordinator for Ground Level and Awaken. Steph oversees the bookings and volunteers of all Ground Level events as well as some of the logistics that helps our Events run smoothly.
Steph loves a good crime drama series and along with her husband Tim and 2 daughters, they love to be outdoors whether it is camping or going on adventures. 
Lucy Buckley

Lucy is the Executive Assistant to Paul Benger and Network Liaison Officer.

Lucy is part of the leadership team at IKON Church along with her husband Dave, overseeing IKON Alpha and new people connections. They have a son, Reuben. Lucy’s Mastermind subject would be food, she once applied for Masterchef and is working on perfecting her signature recipes! 
Bukola Ebenezer Sodeinde
Bukola is the Finance Assistant of Ground Level Network.

Bukola has more than 15 years of experience as a finance expert and is known for his meticulous attention to details and unwavering commitment to financial integrity. In his previous roles he played a crucial role in implementing streamlined accounting processes which not only improved efficiency but also enhanced the overall financial health of the organisation he served. 

Bukola is married to Naomi and they have 3 Children.
Rebecca Harrison

Rebecca is the Assistant Administrator for Ground Level.

Rebecca is an active member of Alive Lincoln North and serves on a number of teams. She has fond memories of going to Grapevine as a little girl and ONE Event as a teenager.
Rebecca loves to read and can oftern be found curled up in a blanket, lost in a gripping novel.
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