The United Benefice of Silsoe, Flitton and Pulloxhill Churches
The Vicarage, Fir Tree Road, Silsoe.
Rev'd Dave Bell
I was born in Liverpool but moved during my school years because of my fatherís job. Early schooling was in Cardiff where I regularly attended Sunday School and gained a passion for sport, particularly rugby. We then moved to Weston Super Mare for my sixth form studies and started to play the great game of hockey!
I was always determined to become a teacher and studied Physical Education at Bishop Otter College in Chichester. During my first teaching post at Worthing I coached gymnastics and it was while I was organising a gym competition that I met Kath who had trained at Bedford College and was teaching in Farnham. We were married and later set up our first home in Flitwick.
When I changed jobs as a Head of PE and we moved to Tring, where Saskia our first daughter was born and after a brief spell there, we moved to Chesham where our second daughter Lydia was born in 1992 and our son Tim in 1995. The Church had been a consistently important part of our lives but it was only during baptism preparation for Lydia that we both realised that we were not doing the things that we really wanted to do with your lives. This followed with us moving to Milton Keynes and as teachers we were able to find jobs, initially as a job share between us.
It was through my association with my local Church that I decided to be ordained and take up the ministry, training part-time via the Oxford Ministry Course, teaching during the week and spending weekends away in Oxford studying. My curacy was with the Stantonbury Partnership where I was both a full time teacher and curate and I became Chaplain to the Milton Keynes Sea Cadet Corps.
I then became a Team Vicar in the Watling Valley Partnership, which involved the Church of England, together with the United Reformed Church, Methodist Church, and Baptist Church and reflected many different styles of worship. It gave me the opportunity to explore the breadth of worship styles and to understand the importance of a Church being open and welcoming to its congregation.
I was attracted to this role in the Benefice because it enables me to develop and apply my own ideas and initiatives in a rural environment. I am excited by the challenges as well as the opportunities that having the responsibility for the life and work of the Church in the Benefice brings. I am keen to work with the three different Parishes to help people to nurture their Christian faith and ultimately help the churches grow numerically, spiritually and in servanthood. I want to define and articulate Godís vision for the development of the whole benefice and develop worship that fits in with a whole variety of ages and styles.