Almost four months after getting here, new Cambridge Corps Salvation Army leaders, Scott and Aimee Noakes, couldn’t be more delighted.
They arrived in January, taking over the ministry from predecessors, Karen and Shaun Baker. The children have settled into school and Aimee and Scott have a deep sense of wellbeing after marking their first Easter here.
“Scott and I really enjoyed Easter celebrations with our new church family and community,” said Aimee. “We have seen first-hand the generous heart of our local people and are grateful for the opportunity to be part of this vibrant community.”
It was last October when the couple heard their first placement after completing their two-year training period at the Salvation Army Training College in Upper Hutt was to be Cambridge. After having lived in both Wellington and Auckland, they had hoped for a small town in the North Island.
“We wanted to go somewhere relatively small,” said Scott, “somewhere rooted in community. Cambridge is perfect. I was keen on somewhere that was quite rural.”
Scott and Aimee both grew up in Army families, Scott’s family serving Fiji and Aimee’s in big city New Zealand. The couple have themselves worked for the Army, Scott as a youth pastor and Aimee a children’s worker. That experience will serve them well as they continue the work of Karen and Shaun, who established a chaplaincy relationship with Cambridge Primary School.
Once they have fully familiarised themselves with the community and its needs, the Noakes are open to changing things where they see a need.
“There will be some changes as we adjust to the post-Covid need in the community, and we want to find other ways in which we can help people who require assistance,” said Scott. “We also want to make sure people are familiar with the work of the Salvation Army here, so we’re actively meeting with people in our community in order to make those connections.”