Local Face : David Wales

  |  Published: Dec 1st 2008
David wales photo

David has come a long way to settle as Rector of the parish of Weston Turville. He was born in Accra, Ghana (then called the Gold Coast), and grew up in various countries; UK, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He attended 8 schools in 6 countries. Despite such restless beginnings David has lived in Weston Turville for some 19 years with his family: Janet his wife (born in South Africa) and their two children Christopher and Roslinn (both born in Zimbabwe).

After graduation from Rhodes University, in South Africa, David worked for Internal Affairs in Zimbabwe (and concurrently did his National Service) where he ended up as Senior District Officer in Lupane. For most of their time in Lupane the civil war was progressing so they feel they have had more than their share of armed conflict. David and Janet lived way out in the bush, cooking on a wood burning stove, drinking borehole water and keeping their perishable food in a paraffin deep freezer. The population density was low and when they came to England for David's ministerial training in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, they saw more people in the first three hours of landing in England than in the entire year before.

Following training David was ordained in Zimbabwe becoming the Rector of Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Famona, Bulawayo. He was also Anglican chaplain to the large psychiatric hospital and to a home and school for the intellectually handicapped in Bulawayo. They were in Famona for about six years when, for family reasons the Wales family, returned to the UK. After a couple of years at Linslade they made their last move, to Weston Turville.

David thoroughly enjoys being a parish priest. All clergy find the vocation has its darker times and there is never enough time to do all one would like. (His school motto translates as 'so much to do, so little done'.) This is balanced with the sheer joy of celebrating God's love in word and sacrament in the church and out of it. He deeply appreciates the work of the assistant priest, the Rev'd Susan Fellows, Church Wardens, members of the Parochial Church Council and congregation past and present. The whole business of proclaiming the mighty works of God, in word and deeds, is a team effort.

Whilst at Rhodes David studied Biblical Studies and Psychology and these two subjects have remained his abiding interests and passions. He did further study in the latter through the Open University and maintains the OU is a marvellous seat of learning; if he gets the chance, he does rather encourage people into the OU.

David's reading tastes tend towards the classics of English literature being a fan of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and D. H. Lawrence. Apart from the News his television favourites are good murder mysteries.

The ecclesiastical parish of Weston Turville is much larger than the village. The parish bounds with Bedgrove, Aston Clinton, Stoke Mandeville and Wendover. The fields could one day fill with houses instead of sheep. The church and community study the possible developments with great interest. So the details of the church's mission and ministry could change but essentially it remains an invitation to all to . 'Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are they who trust in him!' (Psalm 34 verse 8 ).

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