Sunday January 14th was a momentous day for Grays United Reformed Church. Having welcomed Rev’d Dave Coaker to lead morning worship and communion, to ‘preach with a view’ for our 50% ministerial position, and subjected him after that to an interesting question and answer session, we decided unanimously at the evening’s church meeting to invite him. We were delighted that he accepted the post.
Dave leaves his current position in Lancashire at the end of February, and hopes to begin his ministry in Grays on March 4th, 2018. We were pleased to meet his wife Rita, who has a new job in London, and young son Mark, who has a change of school to anticipate.
Members and friends of the church were please to receive a detailed letter from Dave before Christmas, outlining his journey into ministry and telling us about himself. Maybe Dave himself would have been surprised to find how nervous some members of the congregation were feeling on January 7th, but that letter meant he was not a complete stranger.
Some of his family still live in Lincolnshire, where he was born, and his studies led him into engineering until his late twenties, when the call of the church led him to theological studies. His involvement in the Church is wide and varied, and we look forward to collaborating with his leadership and vision.
The current tenants of the Manse will be moving on, but until the house is spruced up, the Coaker family will ‘camp’ in our bungalow.
Let us not forget the formal Induction Service, when we greet our Synod Moderator Paul Whittle, and have a chance to thank our wonderful Interim Moderator David Rees for his prolonged engagement with and commitment to our church family.