A GLOBE-TROTTING husband and wife team have hung up their suitcases to settle in as the new pastors of Prudhoe Community Church.

Bert and Margaret Boonstra will be officially welcomed into the church and inducted as the new pastors later this month.

The couple, who will work as a team at the helm of the community church, have recently moved into the East Tynedale area after decades of world travel.

Bert moved from his native Netherlands to South Africa in the late 1970s where he worked for an electronics company.

Three years into his time in Durban, he met Margaret and together they completed their training to become pastors.

Bert said: “I decided to become a pastor because I wanted to help people and cheer people up and encourage them.”

In the 1980s, the couple began their global adventure together, and moved to Bexhill-on-Sea in the UK, where they stayed for two and a half years.

From there they went on to live in Zululand for over two years, followed by a nine year spell in Lancashire.

After that the couple, who have five children, returned to Bert’s native Netherlands for five years and then Cape Town for another five years.

And their decision to move to The Gate, Prudhoe Community Church, was helped along by fate.

Bert said: “My wife had a dream and afterwards felt that she had recognised the place in her dream.

“We came to visit Prudhoe before we made our decision and walked by the river and she recognised it as the place she had dreamed of.”

Now the husband and wife pastor team have big plans for Prudhoe Community Church.

Bert said: “People here are incredible friendly and Prudhoe Community Church is great and already does a lot.

“We want to grow this church. We would like to think we could do more for the church, particularly to get into the community more.

“I’m also keen to make music a focal point; people do love to sing.

“You don’t have to be a Christian to come and visit the church; everyone is welcome.

“Every religion, every background is welcome; there is always coffee and cake.”

Bert and Margaret’s induction service will take place at 5pm on Saturday, October 22, at The Gate, Prudhoe Community Church on Swalwell Close.