Jean Peel | St Margaret's Churchwarden

I have lived all my life on the outskirts of London having been born in Croydon and then lived in Shirley and Beckenham. After leaving Bromley High School, I went to Philippa Fawcett Teacher Training College and then taught junior age children for 6 years. Chris and I married in July 1967 at Christ Church Beckenham, where we had both worshipped for many years. I was confirmed at Christ Church in 1962 and am very grateful for the teaching and support of the team there. Whilst we lived in West Wickham, I was District Commissioner for Beckenham East Guides and really value both my time as a Guide and also the years I spent as a District Commissioner.

We moved to Halstead in 1973 when Annabel was almost 3 and Rupert 9 months. We quickly found opportunities to be part of St Margaret's - Chris becoming churchwarden, both of us running the Sunday School and joining in with the many and varied activities of that time. Our children went to Halstead Nursery and then Halstead Primary School and through this we made many friends and took part in Church, school and village activities. I returned to work when the children were small firstly supply teaching and then working part-time at Dunton Green Primary School.

Just as our children were going to Secondary School, I started working for Barnardo's as a Community Fundraiser and after 10 years I joined Marie Curie Cancer Care as the London and Southeast Regional Manager. Chris and I enjoy living in Halstead, sharing our garden, entertaining both local and distant friends and when time allows, travelling to different parts of the world.

Becoming churchwarden is both a privilege and a challenge as, like the rest of the Church of England, there are many challenges facing us. I hope to be able to encourage varied activities across the United Benefice and to encourage a wider age range of support that will take the Christian Faith on over the coming years.