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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 9 Summer 2009
Tony Waller

Tony Waller

If you are reading this issue of Outlook because it dropped through your letterbox, then the chances are it was thanks to St Marys Church Elder Tony Waller. Tony, who combines a deeply held faith with a willingness to take on the practical side of church life, has spent many hours sorting Outlook for delivery since its launch. He does a similar job with the Christian Aid envelopes and any number of other church and community tasks around the parish. "Youve got to go to people where they are," he says, "and not approach them as if youve got all the answers and they havent." From a Christian standpoint, doing Gods work is "perfect freedom." So too is "loving my neighbour as myself." Neither, he says, is in any sense burdensome.

A former housemaster and Maths teacher at Woodbridge School, Tony retains the bustle of the classroom or school assembly. This is so even though he has been retired for many years. Whether its helping with an event, giving someone a lift or cycling to take a service, he appears to relish the hands-on side of being a parish elder and active member of the church. The same applies to his wife Jean, a member of St Marys Choir who is also involved in numerous parish activities; "Were equally committed," he says. "Being a St Marys elder," he adds, "makes you part of the ministry team and you develop your ministry in whatever direction you seem to be pulled." Official duties include taking services once a month at three local care homes, administering the chalice at Holy Communion and leading prayers during the Sunday service.

Standing up in front of a class and taking school assemblies not to mention being in charge of 60 boarders as a housemaster have continued to stand him in good stead as a practising Christian. He currently helps to lead two Emmaus groups and was in charge of a Lent group in the run up to Easter. "You dont have to be an expert," he says of the discussion and Bible study these groups involve, "You just have to be able to facilitate and make things happen."