Teacher on a mission

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Sue McCredden said she loves the way the community helped each other and it inspired her both on a personal level and in her work with the church.
Camera IconSue McCredden said she loves the way the community helped each other and it inspired her both on a personal level and in her work with the church. Credit: Holly Thompson

After 25 years living and working in and around Manjimup, Sue McCredden continues to have an impact on the lives of many people in the community.

After moving to town with her family, Sue started out working as a teacher at East Manjimup Primary School and became involved with the Baptist Church.

Although she still works at Manjimup Primary School, Sue is now also a pastor at Warren Valley Community Church and has done many things for the community in both roles, as well as on her own.

“Two years ago I was made pastor at the church, a role which I now love,” she said.

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“I teach at the school four days per week but my role as a pastor does not really have a time frame on it, it is just all the time.”

Sue said she always had a passion to help people, whether it was through the church, the school or just as a community member.

One big thing Sue and her husband did was take in teenagers who were in difficult situations and provide them with a home for a period of time.

“My husband passed away in an accident 13 years ago but I have continued this on and in more recent years have also taken in a few young adults who were recovering drug addicts,” she said.

“Sometimes they will come back and see me when they need help, but I am also happy to catch up with anyone unofficially, to have a chat about how I can help them with life.”

In total eight people have lived with Sue officially, but she has had others live with her short-term, spending anywhere from one night to a few weeks with her.

“The majority of those who lived with me officially have managed to deal with their issues and are now able to contribute to other people’s lives,” she said.

She said she had come from a happy home and had all the opportunities in life, but was aware not everyone had the same privilege.

“Part of what I can do is share some of my stuff in life with others,” she said.

Sue also works with other church members to achieve this and has helped create a variety of programs aimed at giving a hand to those in need.

“We look out for people, whether they are in the church or in town and have a number of social groups people can join,” she said.

“We have also started programs such as the blanket box, making meals for people who need them and providing school supplies for children who cannot afford their own.

“My role as pastor is to be a point of contact in town for people who need help, I can then link them up with relevant people and groups who can do amazing things to help them out.”

Sue said she found herself helping people at the most unexpected moments.

“I can go to the shops or in to town to have coffee and people will come up and tell me someone they know needs help and will ask if I mind having a chat to them,” she said.

“I think I have an invisible sign in my forehead which says ‘please talk to me’ because people just do, I do not think it is because I have a wealth of information, I think people just need someone who will stop and listen.”

Sue said something which drives her to help others was her faith and relationship with God, as her religion was an integral part of who she was.

“In the Bible he speaks of two commands, the first is to love the lord with all your strength, heart, mind and soul and the second is to love your neighbour as yourself,” she said.

“I listen and take care of everyone around me as best I can, not because God says I have to, but because of his love for me, it makes it easy to do.”

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