New Staff Member!
Poppy Balding 

NAME: Poppy Balding
ROLE: Church Administrator 
RESPONSIBILITIES: Everything and then some! No, wait! ...err... Project Admin, Communications and some general admin.
CONTACT: poppy .at. citychurchcambridge.org.uk (but remove the spaces and replace the .at. with an @).
MY STORY: I grew up in Surrey, attending my local Anglican church (or, perhaps more accurately, their Sunday School) and I'll quite happily tell you that I grew up knowing God as my Father and Jesus as my friend, because I can't ever remember that not being the case. But, in my mid-teens, doubt as to whether that was enough crept in and I had a chat with Jesus just to make sure I was really a Christian.

I came to Cambridge in 2004 to study Maths with Physics (switching to just Physics) at Queens' College. I first came to City Church on 16th October 2005, tagging along with some guy called Simeon. I stayed because I got to help put the chairs away.

After graduating I did a gap year in the church office as part of the FP scheme (now known as ‘ID’), spending my time co-writing and performing the team rap, hiding under the desks whenever anyone approached our office, generally having fun, occasionally doing Daniel Goodman's work, and sometimes being useful. I then faced the choice as to what to do next, and an idea I'd had as a teenager surfaced – I started looking for jobs as a school Science Technician.

Thanks to a Saturday morning phonecall (that I had to get out of bed to answer!) from a church friend who'd seen a suitable job advert, I applied for and got a job as a Senior Science Technician – an incredibly enjoyable job for anyone who likes science but enjoys a broader range of science than can be found in 'proper' science jobs. I always say the job was "allowing people to blow things up, but not too badly". (I made sure I got to blow things up too, all in the interest of writing the risk assessments...)

I joined the church staff 20th April 2017, after effectively working an 8 year apprenticeship on the side (I never quite left after my gap year; I've been sticking my finger into pies ever since!)

  • Physics graduate
  • Wife of Phil
  • Ex School Science Technician
  • Projectionist extraordinaire
  • Multi-crafter
  • Jack of many trades, master of some


Describe yourself in one word: I asked around. Pick one of: diligent, tenacious, funny, caring, exuberant.

Morning or evening person? Morning. Sort of.

Indoors or outdoors? Indoors. Unless there's water or people to watch.

Book or film? Book. Always.

Evening in or out-on-the-town? Evening in.

Snow or beach? Either, so long as I'm suitably equipped.

Introvert or extrovert? Introvert who likes being around people. Just give me regular breaks from interacting with them.

What is your favourite drink? Squash. I get through gallons of the stuff!

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us? Standard 'family' food (pasta bake, quiche, curry, enchiladas, ...), in sizable quantities; my family's love language is food. My personal favourite is oven-baked jacket potatoes, with chilli and cheese.

I am going on vacation, where would you recommend? The Channel Islands – Guernsey is lovely.

What was the last movie you went to see? A Walk in the Woods. I think.

Favourite film: Parent Trap. The recent one.

Favourite book (fiction): The Morning Gift - Eva Ibbotson (I return to any of Eva Ibbotson's books time and again)

Favourite book (non fiction): Face to Face - Anna Goodman

What has life taught you? Everything is way more fun if you make an effort, get involved and whole-heartedly take the opportunities you're presented with. Even (especially?) if it's well out of your comfort zone.