MEET THE STAFF

This page is about the circuit's current staff. You can find out which ministers have been appointed to the circuit (and its predecessors) from 1815 to the present day. There is a checklist in Our Circuit's History.





Rev Sonia Hicks

Rev Sonia Hicks Sonia worked as a Bank Clerk for four and a half years before training for the Methodist ministry at Queen's Theological College, Birmingham. Sonia and her husband Conrad (who is also a Methodist minister) were then stationed to the High Wycombe Circuit for two years followed by four years in the Watford Circuit.

In 1998, the family went to serve in the Jamaica District of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas. Having job-shared whilst in the UK, both were appointed as Superintendents in neighbouring circuits. Sonia was assigned to the Manchioneal Circuit with pastoral charge of five rural congregations.

After five years, Sonia and her family moved to Ireland where they spent nine years working in the Dublin North Circuit in the Republic of Ireland.

Sonia and Conrad have three adult children: Nathan, Olivia and Nyasha. Nathan is currently working as a Cover Supervisor in an East London primary school. Olivia is completing a doctorate in Comics Studies at Dundee University. Nyasha is a Modern Language teacher in a Birmingham Academy.

Conrad is the Director of Global Relationships and leads the World Church Relationship Team for the Methodist Church in Britain.

Sonia is the Superintendent Minister with pastoral charge for Ledger's Road, Burnham and Cookham Rise Churches.



Rev Margaret Dudley

Rev Margaret Dudley Margaret worked as a teacher first in Guildford and then Thanet between 1978 and 2002, finishing as Head of Faculty. This time included seven years in Whitstable as a full-time Youth and Community Worker, and as leader of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme in the area.

Through school and youth work, she qualified as a badminton coach and later as a fencing coach! After a career break to enable her to care for her mother, she returned to teaching in 2007, this time in a secure training centre.

Margaret is single with one surviving sibling. She and her sister Jennifer are both religious historians who share a lot of interests including a love of Guiding and for visiting Malta, which is an annual activity.

A lifelong Methodist, Margaret has held many posts in her various local churches and circuits, plus a time as District Secretary for worship among young people. Margaret has wide ecumenical experience, and has been heavily involved in leading and working in ecumenical youth projects. She has worked in town and city chaplaincy, and provided pastoral care in schools. After responding to the call to become a minister, she trained for the Methodist ministry at Wesley House in Cambridge. Margaret completed her training while in the Thames Valley Circuit, and was ordained and welcomed into full connexion at the Methodist Conference in Birmingham in 2014 (see the July / August 2014 Smaller Churches Newsletter — pdf download).

Her hobbies include playing the keyboard and "prayerful painting" (which uses art and creativity for healing). Since coming to the Thames Valley she has joined the Trefoil Guild and enjoys regular Guiding activities.

Margaret has pastoral charge of the congregations at Windsor, Old Windsor, Eton Wick and Colnbrook & Poyle.



Rev Anne Ellis

Rev Anne Ellis

Anne was born in the UK and was one of the first members of her family to go on to higher education reading successfully for a degree in Mathematics at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

A gap year was spent in South Yorkshire in the heart of the coalfields, working as a lay volunteer where she went down to the coalface of Houghton Main Colliery and saw first-hand the conditions of mining families prior to the devastating miners' strike of 1984-85

A career in education beckoned, and Anne studied for her Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Bath, taking her first teaching post at a local comprehensive school. Anne and her husband, Owain, spent two years in the Netherlands. Anne decided to fulfil a long ambition to learn how to touch-type and started a course at the prestigious Schrovers Instituit. Supply teaching offers at the British School interrupted progress, and Anne was eventually thrown out for poor attendance! An offer to work for the Dutch Education Department in a new scheme to provide English-medium education within a Dutch Comprehensive school followed. She set up the Mathematics and Computing department, and the Parent Teacher Association, in the fledgling 'English Section' at Wolfert van Borselen School in Rotterdam. The former 'Engelse Afdeling' is now known as Rotterdam International Secondary School comprising 47 teaching staff and 200 students.

Return to the UK saw a move to Scotland and to motherhood. Various moves followed as Owain's work dictated with a family home established in South Wales in the late 1990s; Anne and Owain became members of Chepstow Methodist Church.

Anne contemplated a return to teaching while also exploring and producing creative and alternative worship (precursors to 'Fresh Expressions'), and youth worship, with a small team in her local church. Foundation Training at Wesley College provided a structured environment for vocational discernment with placements within local church ministry, prison and university chaplaincy. Visiting and sharing with those in prison in particular, brought home the need to show, tangibly, the love and compassion of God; a recognition of one's own vulnerability; and the need to build and grow communities where God's all-inclusive love is made real.

Ministerial training was undertaken at St Michael's College, Llandaff, alongside Anglican ordinands during which Anne completed her MA in Theology and Ministry at the University of Bristol. MA research led to an invitation to be part of the Gender Justice Committee, which she went onto Chair. Anne chaired the Gender Stakeholder Forum under the interim Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) interim architecture, and then became a member of the EDI Committee at its formation in 2015. Anne joined the Council of the Central Finance Board (CFB) in 2017 and became a member of on the Joint Council on the Ethics of Investment (JACEI) in 2018. Anne has a continuing passion for matters of social justice and social inclusion.

A keen artist, working primarily with acrylics on canvas, Anne likes to paint abstracts, to read trashy novels and watch sci-fi series on Netflix.

Anne has pastoral charge of St Andrew's Slough and Hampshire Avenue Methodist Churches.



Rev Carmel Ieraci

Rev Carmel Ieraci Born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia, I came to a deep understanding of faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord in my teens. As my personal faith grew and was challenged, so too a strong call to Christian ministry developed. I served the local Church in various leadership roles, evangelism, and as a lay Bible teacher with Bible Study Fellowship International in Australia, Italy and the UK. My role with BSF also involved pioneer work in Rome where I concurrently served as a volunteer youth leader at Ponte Sant'Angelo English-speaking Methodist Church.

It was during my time in Rome that God's call from lay to ordained ministry intensified, and in 2010 I came to England to discern God's call. With the support of the High Wycombe Circuit my call was tested. Presbyteral formation ensued at Wesley House, Cambridge during which time I read for an MA in Theology.

Prior to moving to Maidenhead in the South East District, I completed a five-year appointment in the Southampton District with pastoral responsibilities in Andover within the Kennet & Test Valley Methodist Circuit.

My personal interests include: spending time with family in Australia; travel; Nordic walking; reading and music.

Carmel will have pastoral charge of High Street, Maidenhead, St Mark's Crescent and Woodlands Park.






Deacon Andy Packer

Deacon Andy Packer Andy was born in Okehampton (Devon) where he spent the first 30 years of his life. His father was a carpenter and both grandfathers were farmers, hence his love of being outdoors. He is married to Lynn and they have two daughters, Leanne and Maxine. Lynn (in Andy's words "the better half of our partnership") was born in Rainham (Essex). In 1983/4 she spent a year at Cliff College before training in Family and Community Care in Plymouth.

Andy's career includes working as a Builder's Labourer (while learning a few skills), as a Cheese Factory Operative, and for ten years at a Builder's Merchants where he qualified as a Wood Machinist ... and a few other things!

Andy Packer and his family

In 1992 he left his beloved Okehampton and Dartmoor and trained for the Diaconal Ministry at Westhill and Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham. He came to the Thames Valley after completing ten years in the Peterborough Circuit after previous appointments in Telford (Shropshire) and Bristol.

Andy was brought up in a strong Methodist tradition. However, his involvement with a number of denominations over the years has emphasised for him the importance of being "Christian". He has been involved with youth, schools, Chaplaincy, community, outreach, all with a strong ecumenical basis.

Andy describes himself as easy-going, friendly, open, reflective, someone who enjoys meeting people and always ready for a laugh. He loves the "great outdoors" including walking, photography and bird-watching. He loves watching sport when possible, especially rugby union and cricket. He is also a follower of Man U.

Andy is concentrating his efforts on outreach in the community. Initially this was in the Chalvey and Manor Park areas of Slough, but has now been extended to include other parts of the circuit.



Lay Pastor Joshua Wilson (Josh)

Lay Pastor Joshua Wilson (Josh)

Born in Reading on 29th February 1968, a Leap Year's Day baby, father of two, husband to one wife, married for over 25 years, entrepreneur, businessman, community activist and preacher of the gospel … Lay Pastor Joshua Wilson has a passion for the positivity that comes from understanding Christian principles and a self-imposed mission for challenging some of the stereotypes we are fed by the media and our society in general. As a black man, he refuses to be confined to the proverbial box that perhaps some of you will seek to attach to this profile – he maintains that "measure of any man must be the content of his character". He went to Grovelands Infants School, Upcroft Junior School, and Denefield Secondary School where he became its first Head Boy.

Interests and Associations

Ordained as Minister, he is the founder and current Senior Pastor of Spiritual Care & chairman of the football club Bethel United FC who play on Saturdays in the Thames Valley Churches Football League. His father and late pastor of Bethel United Church, Elder Lester Wilson, is his source of many an inspired thought and Josh has gone on record having said "there are few men who ever lived he respects more!" 2013 saw the passing of his father — the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.

Josh is also a keen pianist (not especially gifted — but keen none the less) and used to play the trombone in the South Berks Concert Band.

It is hoped that the God-inspired work being carried out by the Methodist Church throughout the Thames Valley Circuit will continue to reach wider and wider circles; address stereotypes and social injustice, whilst encouraging and maintaining spiritual growth, particularly amongst the younger generation.

He simply states where doctrines can sometimes be used to separate believers:

"We all need spiritual care!"

Josh is a Lay Pastor with High Street Maidenhead.



Pauline Poole

Pauline Poole Pauline joined the Thames Valley Circuit in 2019 in the role of Circuit Administrator, working alongside and supporting Rev Sonia Hicks.

Semi-retired, she worships at St Mary's, Hitcham, where she co-ordinated the Young Church for many years.

She is the Benefice Administrator in Eton Wick and Boveney, and has been Parish Administrator for Hitcham Parish. She is currently Secretary to Churches Together in Burnham and Taplow, and brings a lot of experience to her new role.

She was integral in the setting up and running of The Well@Lent Rise, which for some years has been working closely with Burnham Methodist Church.

Pauline has two grown up daughters, Jamie and Hannah … and is looking forward to planning Hannah's wedding next year!