Pete and Helen
Pete and Helen Davies are moving to join, and eventually lead, the Marlow congregational team. Complete Life asked them all about it…
Us - moving to join the leadership team in Marlow? There’s a surprise! And no-one more surprised than we were - but it was a nice surprise, of course!
Helen Pete and I were both raised in the kind of family that only did Church at weddings and funerals, maybe the odd christening - we only became Christians ourselves just before we got married, around 1985. To cut a long story very short; my Mom, Dessie Horton had been a Christian around eight years and been praying faithfully for me, then for some reason (!) I decided to go into WH Smith and buy a Bible. I started to read it and received a wonderful revelation of Jesus; God was so gracious because Pete met Jesus in a dream only a few weeks later.
My Mom knew Jenny West from a Bible week they had been on, so she phoned her and asked her to get in touch with me (I had only just moved down from Birmingham and didn’t know anyone in Maidenhead), and then Jenny and Peter brought us to River Church. We thought it was all a bit strange, people waving their arms around and stuff, but we loved the music (especially when that petite redhead played the piano! (Sheila)); and the people seemed friendly so we stayed!
We had our girls not long after that; Jos is now 20 and at Birmingham University, back to her roots! Katie is 17 and at Henley College. Through the years we have done all sorts of ‘jobs’ at River, children’s work- including holiday weeks! Leading small groups of various types; counselling, coffee making, and being part of the Maidenhead congregation leadership team. My particular interest has been helping people to get into the Bible – and leading the Nourish bible study group was my main focus for a while.
Last year I was privileged to do the Radical Network course run by Ichthus Fellowship in London. It was amazing. I loved it and was really envisioned and energised to do more for God at the end of it, I thought that would be to do with small groups and Bible study but it seems the Lord had other ideas!
Pete Christen prophesied over me in April 2006 that the Lord was taking things out of my hands and organising circumstances to lead me the way He wanted me to go - that He had cleared the way. In August 2006 I was told that I was to be made redundant, and could take early retirement - totally unexpected, but great timing for us. I had been with my company for many years and was already feeling the need for the greater freedom for us that this promised. We were both really excited at what God was doing but still had no idea exactly where it would lead us.
Our thoughts ran along the lines of developing small group study material, leadership development, etc. – things we had experienced and enjoyed in the past but we kept getting prophecies about leadership and shepherding. Even so, being asked to consider leading Marlow congregation took us by surprise. We had never seen ourselves as congregational leaders. But the more we prayed and talked, the more things seemed to fall into place, and we quite quickly became certain that it was the right thing for us to do and so were very happy to accept. During the next few months before we begin leading we’ll be joining Andy Read and the team to find out how things work and get to know everyone. Although we were surprised at how many people we know already. That’s what comes of being around River for so many years!
Our vision for church has always been of a gang of friends having such a good time together that people can’t help but be drawn in. Everyone is looking for hope, purpose and joy in their lives and Jesus has that life in abundance God is good at bringing ‘suddenlys’ into our lives, opening doors that we don’t even see! At first we were really surprised that God was putting us in Marlow - but we have become more and more confident that it is where He wants us to be and so we know He will equip us for the role. Our testimony is of His incredible grace over our lives and that’s our starting point as we take on this exciting new challenge!