Contact:

Salway Evangelical Church, Forest Approach, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 9BW

020 8505 9619

Copyright © 2019 Salway Evangelical Church based in Woodford, Essex

Who's Who

Our Pastor & team of Elders are responsible for the spiritual direction of the church, including the Bible teaching. 

Staff:

Ian Rees

Pastor

Where do you come from?

I was born in Shoreham, Sussex, grew up in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, and fell in love with village life in Somerset where we lived for 14 years when I was first a Pastor and where our children were born. That makes me a southerner by birth, a Yorkshireman by upbringing, and a West Countryman by adoption! How long before I become a Londoner?

 

Married?

Yes, since 1984 to Lynn, a true Yorkshire lass. She works in the breast screening programme based in Romford. 

 

Children?

Three: a boy and two girls, all over 21, not forgetting one granddaughter.

 

From the West Country to London? Isn't that a bit of a culture shock?

To London via Northampton, actually, so less of a shock to the system. But no real problems. We like Woodford and enjoy London, and church folk have helped us settle easily. 

 

How did you become a Christian?

Long story. I was an atheist by the time I was at university. Turning from that had several stages in the summer of 1980. It was:

  • Undermined by the realisation that the universe cannot have sprung from nothing all by itself;

  • Demolished by asking questions about who Jesus Christ was and reading the Bible;

  • Buried when a friend was killed in a motorbike accident and I started praying for her;

  • Forgotten altogether when I realised that praying had changed me: I had put my faith in Jesus.

 

 

Personal Motto?

"That now, as always, I should honour Christ with the utmost boldness by the way I live." (Philippians 1:20)

 

Give us an idea of your interests outside of church work?

Occasional photography, walks in London, playing the piano, reading, going to the cinema - all things I manage to do occasionally. I love France, have an irrational attachment to the Denver Broncos (American Football), am moderately incompetent at DIY (I have a hate-hate relationship with drilling), and used to ski.

 

Favourite Music?

Too many to mention - and it depends on what day it is. We got to go to see the mighty Bellowhead in concert last year and they were just fantastic, so they would be near the top.

Ann Burgess

Family & Community Worker

Where do you come from?

Well broadly speaking, planet Earth... Oh, you want narrowly speaking? I was born in the North West (Bolton) and my formative years - aged 10-19 - were there (on the Wirral); but in between we moved to Kent and then to Shropshire, so I feel I have roots in various parts of England. 

 

Married?

Yes! For nearly a quarter of a century to Peter who is a keen cyclist and a telecom engineer in his spare time - not wait... other way round! I think I may need to start planning a party - cycling with not be the theme... although we did leave our wedding on a tandem.

 

Children?

We have three: Mark a graduate, Esther a student and Piers who is wrestling with public exams at school!

 

What does your role in Salway involve?

The main aim is to support families and young adults in the church and the surrounding community, however that is needed. Sometimes people need help with big issues, but it is often opportunities to strengthen couples in their relationships; to encourage parents in their vital role, and to offer practical support, for example in helping parents and children settle happily at our Pre-School, enabling parents build a friendship network... or simply lose baby (or Christmas!) weight etc.. etc. 

My goal is to show and share the relevance of faith at all ages and stages of life, whatever we're grappling with; I am always available to chat about the "Big Questions", and I facilitate groups for those who want to learn more. In other words, my job is varied; you may just as easily find me organising a fun trip out with a group as having a deep conversation about the meaning of life!

 

How long have you been in this part of London?

I moved to the South East when I became a student, and moved into London when I graduated. I came to Woodford when we got married in the early nineties. The kids were born and brought up here. 

 

So how did you become a Christian?

Both my parents were Christians and they read us Bible stories, and explained about God’s love and care. I trusted in God in my simple way, so you could say I was a believer even at that young age. When I was nine, my Dad died and it was then that we really saw God’s love and care in action, providing in practical – and even miraculous – ways for us in our sadness and need. Life became very different: we had to move to a different area, find new friends, go to new schools, but God helped us in everything.  When I was a teenager, I definitely tried to make my mark on the world by being a bit of a rebel; faith became less important and my social life was top of the agenda. But once I graduated, I realised that if God was real, I had better start having better priorities. I joined a large church in the City, and began to really listen. I joined a group that read and discussed Mark’s Gospel, an account of Jesus’s life in the Bible. In studying that little book with others, I saw Jesus in a new light – he came off the page and met me! That’s really what the Christian faith is to me: meeting with Jesus and journeying together through everything life throws at you.

 

What have you learned in your faith?

Oh dear, the more I go on, the more I feel I have to learn! One great thing to realise is that faith isn’t really about knowing loads of stuff, but it’s having confidence in someone else who DOES know! I guess faith for me is more about growing attributes: learning patience, graciousness, confidence in God, etc. One great joy that faith gives me is the certainty of being with my Dad again – what a catch-up that will be!

 

Personal Motto?

I instinctively want to answer “Look confident – they won’t realise you know nothing!” but as I’ve just ‘fessed up… We chose for our wedding  a Bible quote that we thought then was an important foundation for our lives, and it’s one we go back to quite often:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

What do you enjoy outside church work?

I love getting together with the family, and spending time with friends – making new friendships is a delight! Peter and I try to explore London and Essex whenever we can; it usually involves a little lunch and hopefully less cycling. Onesie evenings should probably be mentioned, although they are so unglamorous.  I enjoy being creative, cooking, meals out and theatre – even though I don’t go often. I’ve discovered the pleasure of sharing the children’s passions with them, such as rock music, comedy, art, movie nights… still struggling with “Made in Chelsea”, skateboarding and gaming, though!

Elders:

Paul Norris

Salway Elder

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Highams Park…so, apart from my university years in Nottingham, I haven’t got far.

 

Tell us how you became a Christian:

Growing up in a Christian family, I learned from a young age that God loves the world (including me) so much that he sent his Son to deal once and for all with the problem of sin that separates us from God and that because of the death of Jesus on the cross, we can have eternal life and be accepted by God forever. I believed this for myself when I was quite young. When I got to university I was faced with the opportunity to turn my back on Christianity, but bought a Bible, which I read cover to cover, joined a local church and was persuaded once again that living life with Jesus is the only way to live.

 

Where will you be at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning?

I work in South Kensington in the finance team of a cancer research institute.  So I will be at my desk there or, more likely, in a meeting.

 

How did you come to be part of Salway?

After university, I returned to the area and started work in London but settled in Woodford and quickly felt at home at Salway, where I found plenty of opportunities to get involved – youth work, music group, homegroups and in other ways.

 

Any favourite Bible texts you try to live by?

We are works in progress and God hasn’t finished with us yet (Philippians 2:12-13), but we can be confident that we are forgiven and accepted through God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:1-2) and that spurs us on (Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:23).

Paul Watkins

Salway Elder

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Woodford Bridge so not very far  away from Salway.

 

Tell us how you became a Christian:

Having attended Sunday School from a young age I was familiar with all the stories but it was not until I was a bit older (around 11) that I realised that I needed to respond to what God had done for me through his son Jesus and put my trust in him.

 

Where will you be at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning?

Probably at my desk in St Albans where I am a Director of a Software Company but then I could be visiting one of our customers almost anywhere in the UK or Overseas.

 

How did you come to be part of Salway?

Having grown up at Canfield Chapel in Woodford Bridge we moved to Woodford Green when we got married and started attending Salway just before our daughter was born in 1998.

 

Any favourite Bible texts you try to live by?

Proverbs 3:5-6 have been special to me since I was a teenager, and in recent years I have come to appreciate the Sermon on the Mount more fully and the challenges it presents to us and the way we live our lives in relationship with God and those around us.

 

What about your personal interests?

Church, work and family combine to keep me pretty busy but I do enjoy getting out on my bike and exploring the country lanes in Essex during the warmer months. I like to spend time walking in the mountains if I get the chance or to spend time with a good book and often have several ‘on the go’.

 

Phil Albon

Salway Elder

Where did you grow up?

Woodford Green

 

Tell us how you became a Christian:

As a youngster I remember hearing about Paul’s escape from Damascus after his Damascus road experience and how God provided for him despite having been enemy number one of God and his people. That was quite a basic understanding of God and his love for mankind which has gradually grown over the years since.

 

Where will you be at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning?

Usually in Wickford, Essex at my desk as FD of an IT insurance software business.

 

How did you come to be part of Salway?

I was born there (well down the road from the Church) and was taken along by my parents and continued through my youth. I went away to University but returned afterwards to work in London.

 

Any favourite Bible texts you try to live by?

The ten commandments albeit as Eph 2 v 8 – 10 says works are the outworking of our transformed relationship with God not the reason for it; Gen 12 v 2-3 like Abraham we have been blessed and should want to be a blessing to others; Col 3 V 10 – we are being renewed …  (i.e present tense …  a work in progress ) – we should desire God gets on with this. (I also like Gal 6 v 2 but struggle with that as am often time poor).

 

What about your personal interests?

I used to play more sport than I have time or energy for now and am a follower (from a distance) of Spurs but enjoy spinning, swimming, watersports and golf when I get time. Also holidaying in the peace, tranquillity and beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

 

Richard Williams 

Salway Elder

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Woolston, Southampton – not far from Thorneycroft’s shipbuilding yard and the site of the Supermarine factory (which was famous for the design and manufacture of the Spitfire).

 

Tell us how you became a Christian:

I had attended a local church in Woolston from as early as I can remember, but I had little understanding that being a Christian and going to church were not the same thing.  Quite soon after moving to London I was invited by a fellow student, who was a keen Christian, to come along to evening services at St Helen’s in Bishopsgate.  These were a revelation to me – I heard clear gospel preaching which showed me the grace and mercy of God, and I met people who were passionate about following Christ.

 

Where will you be at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning?

Possibly doing the weekly shopping with Jan (my wife).

 

How did you come to be part of Salway?

I came to London in 1975 to study at University.  In 1976 I moved to South Woodford and was dragged along to Salway by fellow students who assured me that I would find it to be a welcoming church, though a bit different to what I was used to.  They were correct on both counts.

 

Any favourite Bible texts you try to live by?

The church’s motto for 2016 was this: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2).  We will fail at all aspects of the Christian life until the worship of Christ Jesus is our number one priority.

 

What about your personal interests?

I do some support work for an organisation called “Pastor Training International”, which exists to train pastors in countries where the church is growing beyond the resources of the national church.  As a hobby, I have a lifelong interest in Astronomy, although it waxes and wanes somewhat (a bit like the Moon but over a longer period).  Since “retirement” I have, inevitably, spent more time in the garden, but I am far from being an expert – do not ask me to name any of the plants!  I have also been researching the family history, but have so far failed to discover any links with royalty.