Message from Rev Dave Bonny
As I sit to write to you for the first time, I am very aware that at this point we are really strangers to one another. Although I have been through the process of beginning in a new Circuit or role on a number of occasions, this always feels like a very strange time. I suppose you are feeling the same way, wondering what on earth the Conference has sent to you now!
Yet I am heartened by the proverb that strangers are simply friends we have not yet met, and my hope is encouraged by the Celtic Christian belief that we meet God in both friend and stranger. In the coming months we will be less strange to one another, and I hope we will be met by God through the words, actions and gifts we offer one another.
Who am I?
Peter Bates suggested that I should introduce myself to you so that the strangeness may be eased. What would you like to know?
The basics: I’m 65 years of age, and was born in Liverpool in 1957. I trained as a teacher at Chester College (now the University of Chester) and began my career in Kidderminster and Stourbridge, and later in Ilkeston. I was a lay worker at Littleover Methodist Church in Derby and then two years later in the Witney and Faringdon Circuit in Oxfordshire, before training as a Presbyter at Hartley-Victoria College and the University of Manchester. I have served in the Guildford Circuit, Aldershot Farnborough and Camberley, Walsall and East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire Circuits and was for 10 years Chaplain to Woodhouse Grove School in West Yorkshire.
I am married to Chris, forty years and counting, and together we share three children and three grandchildren. The children live in Branston, Bridgwater and Fleet in Hampshire. We share in grandchild care as well as having some caring responsibilities for my mother and Chris’s brother. We also live with two dogs, Leila and Alfie, who will bark excitedly if you come to the house and then lick you to death if given the opportunity.
I have been part of the church since my birth, and have been a committed Christian since I was 10 years old. I have been part of many different kinds of churches, and I suppose my beliefs and practices are a bit eclectic. I believe that Christians are pilgrims; we are on a journey, and so we need curiosity and openness in order to discover where God is taking us and what he wants of us. While this may mean that we are sometimes uncertain about what is required, that uncertainty can open the door to things we hadn’t imagined – like a second move in a year and finding ourselves in Newark, wondering what it is going to be like and what it is going to mean.
So, Hello! This is me. And I’m looking forward to discovering your stories and responses as time goes on. Dave Bonny