Ministry Team

Rector, Reverend Christopher Mann

Before moving to Shenfield, I was working in the United Arab Emirates as Chaplain of St Thomas’ Anglican Church in Al Ain, part of the Chaplaincy of St Andrew’s, Abu Dhabi, in the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. Al Ain is in the desert, a couple of hours’ drive from either Abu Dhabi or Dubai, right on the border with Oman.

Prior to that, I have been Priest in Charge of the Parish of Christchurch in Dorset; Personal Chaplain to Bishop Laurie Green, now retired as Bishop of Bradwell; Rector of Upminster; and Minor Canon and the Sacrist of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

I trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge, was ordained in Worcester Cathedral, as Deacon in 1986 and Priest in 1987, and served my Title in the South-East Worcester Team Ministry.

I am married to Heather. Both of us are the only surviving parent of our (adult) children, and between us we have five!

My interests include cooking, travelling, skiing, walking the dog and keeping chickens.


Licensed Lay Minister, Canon Paul Betts

PaulBettsPaul was born locally, and educated at Brentwood School and King’s College, London, where he studied Classics at both degree and postgraduate level; in addition, he took the optional A.K.C. (Associate of King’s College) course and discovered an interest in Theology. He belongs to the National Trust, English Heritage and the Royal Horticultural Society and enjoys visiting places of beauty and/or historical interest.

Paul has been part of the St Mary’s congregation since the late 1950s and was invited to join a new band of Servers in 1962. He was asked to lead the Servers in 1976. He has been a member of the Mission & Unity Committee for many years, becoming Chairman in the early 1990s. Around this time he began to represent St Mary’s on the local Ecumenical Coordinating Committee, the forerunner of Churches Together in Hutton & Shenfield, of which he was the first Chairman. He was Churchwarden from 1996 to 2002. On retiring from a career in teaching, he embarked on the diocesan Course in Christian Studies, which led to Reader training; he was licensed as a Reader in 2007. He now edits the weekly newsletter, TheLink. He is currently serving as Lay Chair of the Brentwood Deanery Synod.

Paul can be contacted on 01277 228497.

Churchwarden, John Bridger

JohnBridgerJohn became a Churchwarden in 2012, having been a deputy for the six previous years. Since 1993 he has also been a member of the Church Land & Buildings Committee and one of the PCC appointed trustees on the Parish Hall Management Committee. For many years he has sung in St Mary’s Church choir. He also sings with two other choirs, the South West Essex Choir (a large choral society) and The Harsnett Choir who sing services at English Cathedrals.

John was born in Ilford and moved to Shenfield when he married Sylvia. He was a Consultant Electrical Engineer until retirement.

John Can be contacted on 01277 219853

Churchwarden, Edna Grimble


I first attended St. Mary’s Church in 1983 when I was warmly welcomed by many of the congregation.

My son was baptised there and it was not long before I was asked to join the Stewardship team as Secretary.

I was then Confirmed with many other adults that particular year.  It all took place at St. Mary’s and an occasion I shall never forget.

Molly Hoyle and I were asked to start up the first Footprints Group in the Parish Hall and that group has been going ever since.

I have been PCC Secretary for many years and am a member of Deanery Synod, Lay Minister of Communion, Mission and Unity Committee, Ministry Team, Fund Raising Committee, Mothers Union, Social Committee and have recently resigned from Churches Together in Hutton and Shenfield.  I am best known for my role as Electoral Roll Officer.

I was born in Enfield and married in 1967. I have worked in London as a PA and then at the Fire Brigade Headquarters  in Hutton and lastly the NHS as an Administration Officer.  I have one son who married last year.

This is my second term as a Churchwarden and I am enjoying it very much.