Owen is the Lead Pastor at Beacon and with the support of his fantastic wife Pauline, has led the church here for 8 years.
Q. What is the biggest impact that Beacon has had on you?
Pauline: I think I can answer this for both of us (I could be wrong) but I would say in our personal walk with God and our growth and development in Him.
Owen: Yes, coming to Beacon has impacted our growth in faith more than anything else.
Pauline: [mumbling] so you’ve just said what I said.
Q. What would you love to see happen in the church this year?
Pauline: Well I want to see more growth to be honest but I’ve wanted that for the last 8 years! I’ve seen the church grow spiritually and people have grown a lot personally, but I do still desire numerical growth. Not more than personal growth – I would still prefer a smaller church where people are growing personally than a larger church where they’re not - but I do want to have my cake and eat it, so I want both personal and numerical growth.
Owen: My prayer is to see growth as well but I want to see all the new marriages growing, I want to see all the babies well and healthy and to see the youth group really establish itself.
Q. So, you’re both big on marriage and you make a big deal of encouraging and supporting others in their marriages. To show how well you know each other, can you describe each other using one word?
Owen: That probably is true! So, Pauline’s fun, I’m moody and the combination of that is always interesting.
Pauline: They say opposites attract, don’t they?!
Pauline: Although the most honouring and honest answer would be ‘sacrificial’.
Q. What was the highlight of the sabbatical period?
Owen: There were a number of highlights – I loved spending time with Pauline, going to the badminton championships with Rhianna, going to the football with Yas, I loved our trip to the States…
Pauline: There’s nothing spiritual in there dear. It was a sabbatical, not a jolly. You make it sound like you had a four-month holiday!
Owen: Those were my highlights though! We did the marriage course again, I loved that. I enjoyed listening to an audio version of Pilgrims Progress with Pauline…
Pauline: I wasn’t meant to have a sabbatical but ended up having one anyway after breaking my leg! I think my highlight was sharing Owen’s sabbatical! I loved being with him. I didn’t like all the pain but there’s always a silver lining!
Q. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?
Owen: Father. I could say other things but that’s the first thing that comes to mind.
Pauline: Probably faithful. It sounds like a twee answer but I think of all the stories in the Bible where God was faithful in the good and the hard times.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Owen: I can’t think of one piece of advice…
Pauline: I can, I think it was from you!
Owen: Oh, let’s hear this! Can I take my own advice?
Pauline: I think it’s the order: when you say to put God first, your marriage second, then your kids, then the church. That encompasses an awful lot doesn’t it in that one sentence? When you think about the reality of life when you do that.
Owen: I’ve been given lots of bits of advice over the years. For example – ‘don’t take yourself too seriously’ - and although I hear that, what helps me to do that is more Pauline than me.
Pauline: [chuckle] I excel in that!
Owen: I can’t remember who gave me this advice but ‘you can’t really do much alone’. So somewhere along the line I learned that you need other people.
Q. What is the most daring activity you’ve ever done?
Pauline: Swimming with crocodiles!
Owen: Who swam with crocodiles?
Pauline: That was you! Don’t you remember?
Owen: Ohhhh! I jumped into crocodile infested water to save Daisy!
Pauline: No you didn’t! You were in the water with the two girls when Daisy jumped in and nearly drowned!
Owen: Oh, yeah, right. No, I didn’t do that. Sorry. But I did go into crocodile infested waters. There was a sign that said ‘crocodiles’.
Pauline: We were near a stream or a lake or something in Australia and there were warnings about crocodiles and even though I’m a much better swimmer than Owen I made him get in with the girls! The current was really strong and when Daisy saw the other two in the water with Owen, she ran up and just jumped straight in!
Owen: I was holding Rhianna and Yasmin in each arm…
Pauline: He was juggling the girls and we watched horrified as Daisy jumped in and disappeared under the water. I was absolutely beside myself and even though he couldn’t see her through the darkness, Owen found her arm and scooped her up out of the water.
Owen: But that’s not the daring bit. The daring bit is that I went into crocodile infested waters in the Northern Territory - which sounds really great. But I don’t do really dangerous things normally.
Pauline: I don’t think I’ve done anything really dangerous, have I?
Owen: What about the death slide? You hated that!
Pauline: Yeah, but that wasn’t dangerous.
Owen: But you were fearful…
Pauline: That’s true, it was dangerous to me. I like to stay at theme parks until they close but the family all wanted to leave - so they said if I wanted to stay that I’d have to do the death slide. I was up there for about 40 minutes…
Owen: Yeah, she was up there for ages! All she had to do was drop! It was a sheer 10 foot drop that then went into a slide.
Pauline: But there was a tunnel as well that was really dark… Not quite as daring as going into water where there’s potential to be eaten by crocodiles!
Q. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever bought?
Owen: I buy lots of ridiculous things! Especially presents for Pauline! When I went to America…
Pauline: [starts laughing]
Owen: …I went to the biggest shopping mall in the world; the Mall of America, and I was looking for a gift for Pauline and I got her some Yankee candles only for Emma Arnold to tell me on my return ‘oh you can get them in TK Maxx’!
Pauline: Every present he’s bought me! The candles were semi decent except for the fact they were green and purple and weird.
Owen: And we could have bought them around the corner so they weren’t very American.
Pauline: And when you went to South Africa you bought me that necklace with a tooth on it that men wear! And someone else we know had bought his wife this really nice beautiful necklace.
Owen: I am absolutely rubbish! I also bought her a Jane MacDonald CD!
Pauline: That went straight to the charity shop!
Pauline: I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything ridiculous! They’re all worthwhile presents or things that I *need*.
Q. Where would be the best place to take a family holiday?
Owen: Anywhere where there is a beach, proper shopping and the sun – that’s all it takes to make my family happy. I might not do any of those things but as long as they’re happy.
Pauline: What we have found from personal experience is that the best ones are where you do things together. Having an apartment or a place where you all stay together and do activities together is what really makes a holiday for us.