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Island’s Salvation Army welcomes new branch leader to Sheerness

Lt Rebecca Zund
Lt Rebecca Zund

From Switzerland, to Mexico and now Sheppey.

The Sheerness branch of the Salvation Army has welcomed its new leader – Lieutenant Rebecca Zund.

Born in the town of Mannedorf, in the canton of Zurich, she grew up in the church and spent her youth travelling around Switzerland with her parents who are both Salvation Army pastors.

After studying primary education at the University of Berne the 28-year-old spent 18 months teaching in Zurich.

She moved to Mexico in 2008 and spent 10 months working for the Salvation Army at children’s homes in Acapulco and Mazatlan and a day nursery in Mexico City.

She said: “The country is beautiful and the people are beautiful. I have never seen such hardworking people in my life.”

Teaching youngsters to read and write helped her to pick up Spanish. She is also fluent in Swiss German, German and English and can get by in French.

In 2011 she moved to London to start her training to become a church leader.

She said: “I literally heard God’s voice and he said ‘I want you to come to England’.”

She is not a total stranger to our culture as she grew up with an English grandmother who introduced her to scones, Yorkshire puddings and, “the best thing in the world”, golden syrup.

Sheppey is her first official post since completing her training and she is already full of praise since she moved here on July 18.

Lt Zund, of St Agnes Gardens, Sheerness, said: “In Switzerland we do not have the ocean so for us, Swiss people, the sea is just magnificent and to go there for a walk is just amazing.

“It is really beautiful and really quiet. After London, it is a nice change from hearing the sirens and now hearing the birds when I wake up.”

She said the church will be offering “support and prayers” to Major Karen Ramsay, whose husband Major David Ramsay died of cancer on Friday, July 26.

Mrs Ramsay had been appointed to a joint leadership role in Sheerness but has been relieved of that responsibilty.

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