Ministry Team

 The Revd Christopher Mann is now the Rector of St Mary the Virgin, Shenfield. See the announcement here.


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. 

Churchwarden, Dr Norman Randall

NormanRandallNorman became a Churchwarden in 2011, having been a deputy for the five previous years. He was involved in fundraising at St Mary’s for the new organ and then headed the Charities fundraising group for 6 years.

He currently chairs the Communications Committee, which has responsibility for publishing the Parish Magazine, the church website, The Link (weekly newsletter) and other publications. Norman considers himself a real southerner, having been born in Brighton and moved to Essex because his job bought him here. He studied Chemistry at university and worked in the pharmaceutical industry until retiring. He is a keen photographer, likes “playing with computers”, watching Formula 1 and looking after his garden.

Churchwarden, Mr 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.