The Revd Simon Marshall, Team Vicar of St Michael’s
Simon Marshall has been part of the team in the Solihull Parish since 2005 and is the Team Vicar of St Michael’s Church and the Priest for the Junction. He is married to Sarah and they have three children.
Simon has a particular interest in the use of poetry and art in prayer and worship, and in the music of the Taizé Community. He is also keen to explore the links between ‘simple living’, minimalism and Christian discipleship.
Simon is a musician and song-writer and his main instruments are guitar and bass. He enjoys playing in a worship setting (when duties allow!) and also in the folk-rock band ‘Eve & the Garden’.
Simon is a writer whose poems have been published in several journals. He is a co-leader of a ‘Forest Church’ group and, in that role, he has contributed to several books on the subject of Christianity and Pagan Spirituality and Nature Spirituality.
The Revd Sue Chandler, Associate Priest
Sue joined the parish as a children’s worker and is a colleague of Linda Hicks, our Director of Children’s and Families Ministry. She helps to run the Praise and Play Group, Messy Church, Junior Growth Group and to lead the First Communion group each year. She also leads the Open the Book Team. Sue finds working with children and sharing the good news of Jesus’ love for them and their families, a great joy and privilege.
Having worked in the parish for several years, Sue began to experience a calling to ordained ministry, being ordained as a self-supporting deacon in 2009 and serving her time as a curate in the neighbouring parish of St. Margaret, Olton. Having been there as curate, and later as Assistant Priest, Sue began to feel that God was calling her to work as Associate Priest in Solihull Parish, whilst continuing in her role as children’s worker. She was licensed in July 2020. In her spare time Sue enjoys reading, particularly detective novels, and watching ‘whodunnits’ on television. She claims that she can normally spot the culprit before the final credit’s role! Most of all, she loves spending time with friends and family, particularly her children and grandchildren.
Linda Hicks, Director of Children’s and Families Ministry
Having initially worked as a Children’s ministry volunteer, Linda had a change of direction following the birth of her children and, instead of returning to a career as a Solicitor, joined the Solihull Parish as a part time Children’s worker and now works full time as the Director of Children’s and Families ministry. The role is hugely varied and exciting and includes overseeing weekly sessions of Praise and Play for parents and under 5s, monthly Messy church (it’s church but it’s messy!) and weekly Oasis sessions where parents meet for friendship and support.
Linda oversees the various forms of Sunday church for children and families around the Parish, regularly leads assemblies in schools and organises seasonal activities like Journey to the Stable and the Easter Journey. Linda also runs the annual First Communion course and the Junior Growth groups that follow on afterwards and regards it as a joy and privilege to be able to share the love of Jesus with the children of Solihull. Linda became a Reader in 2018. In any spare time, Linda enjoys spending time with her family, reading and discussing books with her book group and enjoying the outdoors.
Suzette Maguire – Church Army, Pioneer Minister
Suzette arrived in the parish as our Pioneer minister in November 2019, having been admitted into the office of evangelist within the Church of England and commissioned as a Church Army officer in July 2001. This is Suzette’s fifth ministerial post and her third Pioneer post.
Before she became a lay minister Suzette worked for the NHS and as an NNEB trained nursery nurse.
Suzette is married to David, also a Church Army officer, and she has two grown-up step-children, six grandchildren and six Godchildren. Suzette came to faith through being a Godparent. She is also a trained and experienced spiritual director who is passionate about people developing their own relationship with our loving God.
As well as spending time with her family and friends, Suzette loves good coffee, waking up without the alarm clock, reading, writing, long distance walking, seventies music, folk music, and hamsters – she has three rescue-hamsters at present.
Christopher Thomas – Director of Music
Christopher Martin Thomas studied at Bristol University, Berliner Kirchenmusikschule, Cambridge University and Kings College London. Formerly Music Director at St John the Baptist, Keynsham, and vocal coach at St John’s Junior School, Christopher held similar church appointments at Waltham Abbey, St John’s Hyde Park, St Mary’s Wimbledon and Holy Trinity Geneva. Chris is also active as a composer and lecturer. He took up the post at St Alphege in November 2021.
Paul Evans – Verger
Paul is part-time verger at St Alphege Church. His role includes preparing the church for services and also a pastoral element in welcoming and encouraging those that use the church.
Paul has many years of experience working in caring environments which is useful in the nurturing aspect of his current role. It is imperative in the role to present a friendly face to visitors and worshippers to encourage their faith to grow. Paul works as part of the team to encourage people to grow in faith, and also works closely with our many volunteers, without whom the church could not operate.
Viv Dobson – Parish Safeguarding Coordinator
Viv has been working on safeguarding in the Parish since 2016.
She has been worshipping in the Parish for over 30 years and has worked closely with the choir, Sunday schools and the Junction and youth during this time.
She can be contacted directly on all safeguarding matters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07960 783636.
Chris Carrington – Reader
Chris has been a Reader in Solihull for 20 years ministering at St Helen’s Church.
He is married to Jenny and they have 3 grown up children.
Chris is passionate about Christian Discipleship and Homegroups.
He also helps to lead a Parish Men’s Group.
Chris retired two years ago and enjoys walking, gardening, music, reading and good food!