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 presently stationed in the Hants Surrey Borders Circuit as well as serving as one of the Assistant Chairs of the South-East District.

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



Rev Julie Underwood

Rev Julie Underwood

I am a Supernumerary Methodist minister who has been invited to work part-time for a year with the St Mark's Crescent congregation from September 2017.

My home is in Staines where I live with my husband, Malcolm, and we are frequently visited by our 3 children and 7 grandchildren, so it is not a quiet place!

I was ordained in 1999 and served as a circuit minister in three circuits — Richmond & Hounslow, Woking & Walton, and Sutton — before "sitting down" (in Methodist parlance!) in 2014. During my training and travels I have been involved with a few of the Thames Valley churches at various times and I look forward to perhaps renewing "old" acquaintances as well as meeting and sharing with new folk.



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.



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.



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 — in particular Woodlands Park, where he is working alongside Sonia.



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!