New reverend for Maidenhead's United Reformed Church

Will Taylor

Will Taylor

New reverend for Maidenhead's United Reformed Church

Rev David Downing

The new reverend of the United Reformed Church in West Street has been announced as the Rev David Downing.

The 46-year-old will take up the post in August and has already visited Maidenhead to get a feel for the area.

He will also preach at Marlow United Reformed Church, where he will have his formal induction on Saturday, September 3.

Mr Downing, who originally comes from Sevenoaks, Kent, started his working life at Barclays Bank, which involved several trips to Le Havre and Monte Carlo.

An opportunity came up for him to work in Paris for the bank for nine months.

At the same time, he was given the chance to join the church.

Having had an interest in becoming a minister, he sent out some applications and was given an interview.

Aged just 26, he wasn’t sure he was ready to take up the position but went along to the interview process anyway.

He said: “My friends suggested I should go along.

“I did not think I would ever get selected. Then I just kept being called back as the interview process went on.”

He was offered the position of minister at the Central URC in Derby on the same day that Barclays offered him the Paris job.

He opted for the church, and later moved to another church in Derby, where he worked for 11 years.

He will move to Maidenhead from Derby with his fiancé, whom he will marry at the church in November.

The last minister at the church was Rev Owiny Laber, who left in November 2013.

Discussing his new home, Mr Downing said he was enthused by the attempt at regeneration in Maidenhead and intrigued by the introduction of the Crossrail service.

He spoke to members of the church and children in the congregation over the course of his interview process.

“I need to walk around, and get to know what Maidenhead is like,” he said.

“I spoke to some of the children. They asked me questions like ‘what was my favourite pizza topping?’ and ‘what was my favourite dinosaur?’.”

He intends to preach on the first and third Sundays each month in Maidenhead, and the second and fourth Sundays in Marlow.

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