Community-minded Sue flying the Salvos flag in her small village
BY LAUREN MARTIN
We all know that COVID-19 has changed things. In all areas of life. For the Church, including here in Australia, it led to a great questioning, with many parishioners not returning to the pews when lockdown was finally declared over.
Sue Peacock was one such Christian. The grandmother from the small village of Menangle, on the south-west outskirts of Sydney, had met The Salvation Army’s Major Darren Kingston at a National Day of Prayer and Fasting at the beginning of 2020. His story really impacted her and what God was doing through his work as an evangelist and with the Macquarie Fields Salvation Army home church model.
“For many years, I have thought home churches have so much more to offer to be effective in ministry in the community,” she said.
When COVID hit, and church communities couldn’t gather, God began stirring her heart.
“I was starting to feel that perhaps we weren’t expressing building the kingdom of God by staying inside the walls of [the] church … [I contacted Darren Kingston], and he supported me in starting up a home church in my house.”
Sue has been an active member of her community for decades. Now a widow, she and her husband had produced a monthly newsletter called the Menangle News for 30 years and hand-delivered it to letterboxes throughout the town, which has a population of about 2500.
When her husband passed away, Sue felt like she needed more community, so she joined the local Rural Fire Brigade. Her heart is for chaplaincy, and she’s undertaking The Salvation Army’s Foundations in Chaplaincy course, which she hopes will help her minister more effectively in her village.
“I have always been called to build community,” she says. “We need one another. I almost feel like I am the chaplain to the Menangle township.”
“I just want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in my community.”
Sue is well and truly ‘flying the Salvos flag’ in Menangle. During the Red Shield Appeal, she walked the streets, collecting donations and chatting with neighbours and community members. Members of Macquarie Fields and Liverpool Salvos have come out to support her and joined in prayer walks of the village.
Her little home church grew to about six people, but some dropped off, and it’s now on hold. “I feel that we don’t need another Sunday morning church,” she says. So, Sue continues to attend her local Anglican Church and is getting involved in her community and listening to the Holy Spirit to see where she is guided.
One place God has led her is at the local retirement village. “They have a Bible study on a Monday afternoon, so I joined that,” she says.
With her links to The Salvation Army and her passion for community, Sue Peacock is a presence of the Salvos in her small town: “I just want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in my community.”