David and Suzette Maguire will be joining us to work as Community Ministers in Great Denham and West Kempston from the end of January 2015. They have been married for almost 15 years, with two grown-up children and five grandchildren. They have joint hobbies that include walking – they have walked Hadrian’s Wall twice while living in the North East! – and visiting coffee shops, and separate hobbies that include gardening and wildlife (David) and friends and writing (Suzette).
With a combined total of 29 years in Christian ministry, both Suzette and David are members of the Church Army Mission Community. Church Army people and projects share their faith through words and action in a variety of situations across the United Kingdom and Ireland: bringing hope, helping people live life to the full and transforming lives and communities with the Good News of the gospel, in whatever way is appropriate to where they are based. (See www.churcharmy.org.uk)
Suzette and David have been working in North Tyneside for the last 5 years and have been ‘building community’ on new estates in an old pit village called Shiremoor. As a part of this they have been Community Ministers in a coffee shop, Coffee Plus, set up by the local Church. (See ‘Coffee Plus.’ on Facebook.) The most important thing they learned there is the importance of listening: “We knew that listening was going to be important when Coffee Plus opened – we didn’t want to go in with our own agenda and assume what was needed, so we had to listen to see what was really needed. However, the importance of listening has been underlined for us several times over. We even know of a Doctor’s surgery who has been recommending people to come to us for a listening ear.”
So, what about Great Denham and West Kempston? “Well”, says David, “we are looking forward to our move south but, with our recent experiences, we are loath to list what we will be doing in our new post other than initially we will be exploring the local area and listening to what is needed. We are open to whatever might happen after that!”