Revd Paul Willis
Team Rector; joined the Benefice on 5th May 2015
My wife Gill and I came to Loddon Reach in May 2015, having spent nine happy years in High Wycombe. We enjoy nothing more than sharing in the lives of our three lovely grown-up daughters. We live in Shinfield, and have been made to feel extremely welcome by congregations and community alike.
I grew up in Sunderland (someway north of the Watford Gap!), leaving home in 1973 to join RAF Music Services as a trumpet player, and spent 25 enjoyable years travelling the world playing music. As well as music, sport has also played an important part in my life, particularly football, rugby, squash and cricket, all of which I'm now pretty much reduced to watching because of dodgy knees!
Revd David Little
Team Vicar joined the Benefice on July 27th 2016.
Very much enjoying my time here in Loddon Reach so far. Previously I was living in Caversham and working at St Barnabas Church, Emmer Green so I have not travelled far (though sometimes it seems like it). My two grown up boys like this area as well, one has enjoyed the fishing and has made a promotional video of Spencers Wood Carnival. Whilst the other is getting in training for University and enjoys the various and excellent hostelries that this Benefice has to offer.
I grew up in the wonderful Roman/Georgian city of Bath where I worked as a press photographer. And I still enjoy taking pictures especially black & white ones which was where I started. Sport is also a passion of mine though a rather static one at present. Since ordination in 1994 I have also worked in Chaplaincy, first as a Chaplain to the Metropolitan Police and also as a Prison Chaplain for 16 years.
Have already met some great folk here and looking forward to meeting more.
Revd Chris Leslie
I came to St Mary’s, Shinfield, from Greyfriars Reading in 1999 for a three-month placement as part of my training as a Lay Minister (otherwise known as a Reader or LLM). This was then extended and became permanent when I was licensed in 2000. Just before the Benefice was formed I was ordained in 2005 after training at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. I have continued in the role of NSM/SSM across the Benefice since then.
I am involved on various Diocesan activities, being on the Diocesan Synod, the Board of Patronage, and some other committees; and, as well, am involved with the training of LLMs.
My wife Jean and I have three daughters and seven grand-children, and live opposite St Mary’s Church.
Revd Cath Spence
SSM (part time)
Cath is an SSM (self supporting minister) member of the London Reach team. She has a full time job outside the benefice working at Oxford university during the day on the transfer of brilliant ideas from academia to industry. She is also a wife to Cameron, mum to two teenage boys and step-mum to three boys in their 20s. This all keeps her well connected to the reality of life!
Cath has a particular interest in working with young people and currently has responsibility for the team that runs the Tea Service at Shinfield each month. She hopes to work in the benefice to develop youth work activities to serve the needs of our community here so if that is of interest to you, please get in touch.
When she's not working or busy in the benefice she loves making music and is a member of a band (Magic Beat) which plays events locally and she loves skiing and kayaking.
My name is Michael Dexter Elisha and I live with my family in Hyde End Lane, Ryeish Green.
Academically I attended Clarks College, Leicester and have attended courses at technical college and the Open University.
Like many young men I served in the Army for two years as a National Serviceman, after which I spent many years in the motor trade and I was a member of the Institute of Metal Finishes. A subsequent career was as the owner of an art gallery in Gloucestershire with a branch art shop in Reading.
For the past 47 years, I have been an active member of St Mary’s congregation in Shinfield and a Reader for some 30 years. My vision for the future is to do all possible to promote the Good News of Christ and encourage others to do likewise.
I have been the Parish Administrator at the Benefice now for nearly twelve years and have worked alongside many clergy and congregations. I thoroughly enjoy my job and never tire of supporting and working alongside individuals that want the best for others. Over the years there have been many challenges as a growing Benefice and none more so than now, with all the new families moving into the area.
I am married to Jonothan and have two daughters - one of eighteen and one of sixteen. I have lived in the village of Spencers Wood for the last nineteen years.
I studied Theology, Religious Studies and Education at the University of Surrey and have worked for Kent Police HQ, Business Link and most recently Loddon Reach Benefice.
Previously I have worshipped outside the Benefice for many years where I have been a PCC Secretary, Churchwarden and member of the PCC. I am now a member of the St Michael & All Angels congregation in Spencers Wood but very much enjoy worship in all of the churches across the Benefice.