Local Face: Heather McIntyre

  |  Published: Dec 1st 2010
Heather McIntyre

A Lancashire lass, Heather spent the first 18 years of her life living near Preston, before going off to study at Durham University. There she spent her time attempting to master the French language, dabbling in Italian and playing lacrosse. Whilst at university, the family home moved to Surrey and it was there, at the local church youth group, that she met Alistair, whom she married a few years later.

Heather’s studies took her to both Italy and to France, where she taught in a lycée for a year and, following completion of her degree, she taught in Hounslow and then in Basildon, before escaping the rigours of French teaching to start a family. The family moved around with Alistair’s work as a hospital physician and in 1993 found themselves in Prestwood after Alistair took on a new post at Wycombe General Hospital. Their three children, now 24, 23 and 20, have nearly all flown the nest – one still returns with his washing from university from time to time and the other two live and work in London.

You may well be wondering what this has got to do with Wendover, as Heather still lives in Prestwood. As the children were growing up, Heather became increasingly involved in the life of the Baptist church in Little Kingshill where she found herself not only leading the children’s and young peoples’ activities in the church, but also running all the main stage sessions at an annual holiday club in Great Missenden called Lighthouse, which attracts over a thousand children each year.

Heather soon began working in over 10 local primary schools as a volunteer, taking assemblies, helping teach R.E. and running craft clubs and found great satisfaction in helping children understand the Christian faith in a way that was fun and relevant to their lives.

As a result, Heather began to pursue some theological training at Spurgeon’s College, a Baptist training college in South London. Very early mornings travelling bleary eyed around the M25 were compensated by stimulating lectures! As Heather grappled with the art of writing essays once more, she began to think that God might be calling her into full-time Christian ministry. Her church encouraged her in this and she survived rigorous interviews, a few years of arduous assignments and assessments before becoming an associate minister at Little Kingshill, following her ordination in 2007.

However, Heather began to wonder whether the time was coming when she needed to spread her wings and move from the church she had been in for the last eleven years and in July 2009 took the step of putting her name on the list of ministers looking for a new pastorate. At this time, Wendover Free Church had just begun their search for a new minister. They contacted her and so began the process of interviews. Heather led an all-age service at the Free Church and a couple of other services. When the church membership voted unanimously to call her as their minister she was sure that this was where she was meant to be and she was inducted on January 30th 2010 as minister of Wendover Free Church. Although she continues to live in Prestwood, she can be found in Wendover most days, either in her office in the Christian Centre or out and about getting to know people here.

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