Stanborough Park Seventh-day Adventist Church to welcome new pastor

Pastor Jacques Venter with Pastor Ivana Mendez (left) and Pastor Karin Wieczorek (right)

Pastor Jacques Venter with Pastor Ivana Mendez (left) and Pastor Karin Wieczorek (right)

First published in News by

A newly-arrived pastor is soon taking up his post in the New Year leading an international team of five - consisting of three ministers and two volunteers - at a Garston church whose 600-plus members are made up of more than 30 different nationalities.

Pastor Jacques Venter has replaced recently-retired Pastor Paul Clee as Senior Minister at Stanborough Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Albans Road.

Having grown up in the coal mining countryside of Mpumalanga in South Africa, Pastor Venter, studied theology at Helderberg College, graduating in 2000.

After working as a minister in South Africa he and his wife, Lara, decided to seize the opportunity to come to England to work, arriving at the end of 2007. Since then he has continued his studies part time and is about to complete an MA degree in Youth Ministry and has pastored Adventist churches in Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Welwyn Garden City.

He and Lara, a teacher, have two daughters.

Associate Minister, Swedish-born Pastor Karin Wieczorek, arrived at the beginning of 2012 having been working in Adventist churches in Australia for some years.

A fluent English speaker she also speaks Spanish and Polish as well as her native Swedish and has lived in America, Spain, Australia and England. Married to a Polish Seventh-day Adventist minister, who is currently extending his theological studies, she has two children and lives in Watford.

The third member of the Pastoral Team is Pastor Ivana Mendez who arrived in the autumn as the Intern Pastor.

Currently working 3-4 days a week as a church pastor this is her first appointment since qualifying as a minister.

The daughter of two doctors living in Slovenia, her husband is in his final year of theology studies and is planning to work as a Seventh-day Adventist minister too.

Like the Venters she also has "great expectations" for 2013 with her first child being due in February.

Completing the international flavour to the team are two "student missionaries", Pavle Milanovic from Serbia and Charlotte Rashleigh from Brisbane, Australia.

They are part of a large number of Adventist young people around the world who take up short-term posts within the denomination on a voluntary basis, in return for accommodation and an allowance. Pavle and Charlotte help out with church-based activities for the members as well as those for the local community.

Of his new appointment, Pastor Jacques, as he prefers to be known, said: "The lord has blessed us so far with a wonderful spiritual journey in England as part of our own life journey.

"We look forward with great excitement to joining the Pastoral Staff, Church Leadership team and members of Stanborough Park Church.

"To be part of the vibrant life of The Stanborough Centre excites us and we also hope that God will work through us as we minister his love and care to the citizens of Garston and the wider community of Watford."

Comments (12)

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5:55pm Fri 21 Dec 12

andyandyandy says...

Deluded by medieval superstition. Very sad in this day and age.
Deluded by medieval superstition. Very sad in this day and age. andyandyandy
  • Score: 0

11:15am Sat 22 Dec 12

Hornets number 12 fan says...

They have made a fortune out of it!
They have made a fortune out of it! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Sun 23 Dec 12

LSC says...

"people around the world who take up short-term posts within the denomination on a voluntary basis, in return for accommodation and an allowance."

Isn't that usually known as a 'job'? I get an 'allowance' for going to work and it pays for my accommodation. Does that make me a volunteer too? I mean, nobody forces me. Can I avoid paying tax too?
"people around the world who take up short-term posts within the denomination on a voluntary basis, in return for accommodation and an allowance." Isn't that usually known as a 'job'? I get an 'allowance' for going to work and it pays for my accommodation. Does that make me a volunteer too? I mean, nobody forces me. Can I avoid paying tax too? LSC
  • Score: 0

8:48am Mon 24 Dec 12

garston tony says...

Typical, a simple story about a church getting new ministers and the anti religious vultures descend.

Andypandy, whats sad in this day and age is people with ignorant viewpoints like yours.

Hornet no12 who is 'they'? Are you talking about the three people mentioned in the article in particular or church ministers in general? Because, some US TV evangelist apart, I'm yet to find any minister who is rich. Indeed almost all the ministers I meet and see and know arent well paid, have the same financial problems as anyone else, work well in excess of the bog standard 40 hour week including well into nights and of course weekends. If you are financially motivated then becoming a minister is not the career to choose!

LSC the clue is that they are students and this is a short term thing. You're attacking work experience kids who are being given accommodation and a token amount of spendo for a few months. Good job LSC, score one for the atheists.Well done, have you given yourself a self congratulatory pat on the back yet? Woo hoo, YEAH, go team non believers. Give me an A. Give me a T. Give me a H. Give me a E. Give me a I. Give me an S. Give me an T. What have you got, NUMPTY!! Yayyyyy. Whats your next big project? Is it going to your nearest pre-school and nicking the kids dinner money and ripping the heads of their teddies?

It’s a shame but it long ago ceased to be a surprise that atheists display the exact ignorance and other traits they claim (incorrectly) people of belief have.
Typical, a simple story about a church getting new ministers and the anti religious vultures descend. Andypandy, whats sad in this day and age is people with ignorant viewpoints like yours. Hornet no12 who is 'they'? Are you talking about the three people mentioned in the article in particular or church ministers in general? Because, some US TV evangelist apart, I'm yet to find any minister who is rich. Indeed almost all the ministers I meet and see and know arent well paid, have the same financial problems as anyone else, work well in excess of the bog standard 40 hour week including well into nights and of course weekends. If you are financially motivated then becoming a minister is not the career to choose! LSC the clue is that they are students and this is a short term thing. You're attacking work experience kids who are being given accommodation and a token amount of spendo for a few months. Good job LSC, score one for the atheists.Well done, have you given yourself a self congratulatory pat on the back yet? Woo hoo, YEAH, go team non believers. Give me an A. Give me a T. Give me a H. Give me a E. Give me a I. Give me an S. Give me an T. What have you got, NUMPTY!! Yayyyyy. Whats your next big project? Is it going to your nearest pre-school and nicking the kids dinner money and ripping the heads of their teddies? It’s a shame but it long ago ceased to be a surprise that atheists display the exact ignorance and other traits they claim (incorrectly) people of belief have. garston tony
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Wed 26 Dec 12

LSC says...

Tony, I would agree with you that in certain religions the money, or more usually the power and respect, are perhaps motivation, but not the modern church of England so much.
Historically it was very different of course!

I also agree priests work very hard and must find themselves with some extraordinary and unusual situations, and their vocation means they can't shy away from them. I respect them for that.

But I was merely pointing out that working in exchange for physical rather than spiritual reward is a 'job', and doesn't make you a volunteer as we generally use the word.
Tony, I would agree with you that in certain religions the money, or more usually the power and respect, are perhaps motivation, but not the modern church of England so much. Historically it was very different of course! I also agree priests work very hard and must find themselves with some extraordinary and unusual situations, and their vocation means they can't shy away from them. I respect them for that. But I was merely pointing out that working in exchange for physical rather than spiritual reward is a 'job', and doesn't make you a volunteer as we generally use the word. LSC
  • Score: 0

12:18am Thu 27 Dec 12

Bumbleb33 says...

LSC, getting a small living allowance doesn't make their role a job. These young volunteers who have left their families and homes and willingly give their time to serve in the church and community, still need food and toiletries....their accommodation may be covered but these extras are not.

Being given 'pocket money' to buy a can of beans and shower gel isn't extravagant, it's a human necessity and completely realistic.

And if you're still not convinced, why not wander over to Stanborough Park and spend some time with them, find out more about where they've come from and what they do...maybe in doing that you'll realise how very easy it is to cast assumptions when you don't know the person inside.
LSC, getting a small living allowance doesn't make their role a job. These young volunteers who have left their families and homes and willingly give their time to serve in the church and community, still need food and toiletries....their accommodation may be covered but these extras are not. Being given 'pocket money' to buy a can of beans and shower gel isn't extravagant, it's a human necessity and completely realistic. And if you're still not convinced, why not wander over to Stanborough Park and spend some time with them, find out more about where they've come from and what they do...maybe in doing that you'll realise how very easy it is to cast assumptions when you don't know the person inside. Bumbleb33
  • Score: 0

8:24am Thu 27 Dec 12

garston tony says...

LSC you have successfully defeated your own original comment!

If the situation was for these two 'oh, I need somewhere to stay what can I do for accommodation and to get a token amount of money? I know I'll become a student missionary' then you would be right this would be a job. But if you think that you obviously have no idea what the situation is!

I'm going to make what I believe is a pretty sound guess here that being young people they are probably still living at home and have either just completed or are mid way through education (that’s the usual norm for student missionaries). As such they already have a home and do not need to do this to meet their accommodation needs. Im also pretty confident that they could earn far more financially staying at home and working in a local store or retaurant so money is not their motivation either.

Their motivation is therefore clearly not physical, they wont be leaving when their time is up with any physical gain but I'm sure they will have a spiritually rewarding time whilt there.
LSC you have successfully defeated your own original comment! If the situation was for these two 'oh, I need somewhere to stay what can I do for accommodation and to get a token amount of money? I know I'll become a student missionary' then you would be right this would be a job. But if you think that you obviously have no idea what the situation is! I'm going to make what I believe is a pretty sound guess here that being young people they are probably still living at home and have either just completed or are mid way through education (that’s the usual norm for student missionaries). As such they already have a home and do not need to do this to meet their accommodation needs. Im also pretty confident that they could earn far more financially staying at home and working in a local store or retaurant so money is not their motivation either. Their motivation is therefore clearly not physical, they wont be leaving when their time is up with any physical gain but I'm sure they will have a spiritually rewarding time whilt there. garston tony
  • Score: 0

11:24am Thu 27 Dec 12

LSC says...

I stand by my last paragraph. As you are aware, I am a fully qualified engineer; as you are also aware, my full time JOB is running a charity, that mainly deals in education. Now, I could go back into engineering and probably earn double what I currently do.
But I love my job and chose to continue. That does not make me a volunteer. It probably makes me a bit of a mug, but it is a job, nothing more.

People who volunteer, as we tend to use the word, get NOTHING physical in return. They might get a 'feel good' factor, or maybe just a reason to get up in the morning, but accomodation in Watford is not cheap, so just to get that in return for your efforts is a JOB.
I stand by my last paragraph. As you are aware, I am a fully qualified engineer; as you are also aware, my full time JOB is running a charity, that mainly deals in education. Now, I could go back into engineering and probably earn double what I currently do. But I love my job and chose to continue. That does not make me a volunteer. It probably makes me a bit of a mug, but it is a job, nothing more. People who volunteer, as we tend to use the word, get NOTHING physical in return. They might get a 'feel good' factor, or maybe just a reason to get up in the morning, but accomodation in Watford is not cheap, so just to get that in return for your efforts is a JOB. LSC
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Bumbleb33 says...

Who's to say the church is renting somewhere for them? Very often in church communities the members will offer spare rooms and open up their homes to volunteers.

You can search for the negative all you like, but your arguments are really quite ignorant LSC. These are just a couple of young people trying to give a little something back to society without starving in the process...

Let's just hope you don't work in the voluntary services, there'll be a lot more first world problems if you do!
Who's to say the church is renting somewhere for them? Very often in church communities the members will offer spare rooms and open up their homes to volunteers. You can search for the negative all you like, but your arguments are really quite ignorant LSC. These are just a couple of young people trying to give a little something back to society without starving in the process... Let's just hope you don't work in the voluntary services, there'll be a lot more first world problems if you do! Bumbleb33
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Thu 27 Dec 12

LSC says...

"Let's just hope you don't work in the voluntary services, there'll be a lot more first world problems if you do!"

Well you quite clearly aren't reading what I post, otherwise you would know that I do exactly that. I currently have well over 100 volunteers working for me, to a greater or lesser degree. I don't give one of them food, accomodation or money.
I also employ a small number of staff, who, unlike the church, are taxed on their wages, as I am.
"Let's just hope you don't work in the voluntary services, there'll be a lot more first world problems if you do!" Well you quite clearly aren't reading what I post, otherwise you would know that I do exactly that. I currently have well over 100 volunteers working for me, to a greater or lesser degree. I don't give one of them food, accomodation or money. I also employ a small number of staff, who, unlike the church, are taxed on their wages, as I am. LSC
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Bumbleb33 says...

So, LSC , bearing in mind that these young people are volunteers from overseas, how would you propose they feed themselves for the duration of their stay?
So, LSC , bearing in mind that these young people are volunteers from overseas, how would you propose they feed themselves for the duration of their stay? Bumbleb33
  • Score: 0

9:29am Fri 28 Dec 12

garston tony says...

LSC I take it you'll have heard of the VSO - Voluntary service overseas? Where youngsters go abroad and use their skills to improve the lot of others. Notice the title contains the word Volunteer, but guess what they are given accommodation and spendo to cover their basic day to day needs. Shock horror, please LSC contact them directly this instant and demand they remove the word 'volunteer' from the title of their organisation and all their literature.

They'll laugth at you of course, just as who ever is reading this discussion probably is too.

It is perfectly possible and indeed in many cases reasonable to be a volunteer and get some sort of support to help you with it. In this instance, as with many many others, that assistance is somewhere to sleep and a little spending money. Its not like they already live in Watford or surrounding area, they have come from other countries to volunteer at this church. And from my own personal experiences I know that if someone volunteers to work overseas accommodation and meals at the very least provided by whoever has organised the trip or the host.

If you truly don’t get this then you need to investigate the definition of volunteering. However I suspect strongly that you're refusing to acknowledge that they are volunteers as that would not sit well with your quest to have a go at religion at every possible opportunity no matter how tenuous the link may be. And that is getting all rather pathetic and tiresome.
LSC I take it you'll have heard of the VSO - Voluntary service overseas? Where youngsters go abroad and use their skills to improve the lot of others. Notice the title contains the word Volunteer, but guess what they are given accommodation and spendo to cover their basic day to day needs. Shock horror, please LSC contact them directly this instant and demand they remove the word 'volunteer' from the title of their organisation and all their literature. They'll laugth at you of course, just as who ever is reading this discussion probably is too. It is perfectly possible and indeed in many cases reasonable to be a volunteer and get some sort of support to help you with it. In this instance, as with many many others, that assistance is somewhere to sleep and a little spending money. Its not like they already live in Watford or surrounding area, they have come from other countries to volunteer at this church. And from my own personal experiences I know that if someone volunteers to work overseas accommodation and meals at the very least provided by whoever has organised the trip or the host. If you truly don’t get this then you need to investigate the definition of volunteering. However I suspect strongly that you're refusing to acknowledge that they are volunteers as that would not sit well with your quest to have a go at religion at every possible opportunity no matter how tenuous the link may be. And that is getting all rather pathetic and tiresome. garston tony
  • Score: 0

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