Who we are
The Revd Andrew Woodward
Fr Andrew became the Priest-in-charge at St Mary's in November 2007. He came across the church by chance on a visit to Brighton and on learning that it was earmarked for closure, decided to offer his services. The rest is history! In August 2018, the suspension of presentation was lifted and then, in March 2019, Fr Andrew was instituted as our Vicar.
He has two grown-up sons, Alexander and Matthew. Born in Woking, he worked for 35 years with Lloyds Banking Group, latterly specializing in Commercial Investment and Residential Development. In 1996, while still working at the bank, he began training for the priesthood at the South East Institute for Theological Education (SEITE), once the Southwark Ordination Course (SOC), based at Southwark Cathedral. In 1999, as a non-stipendiary minister, he became the Assistant Curate at St James's, Weybridge, and in 2004 he was appointed Assistant Curate of St Botolph’s, Aldgate.
From 2015 Fr Andrew was also the Rural Dean of Brighton, overseeing the life and workings of the 24 parishes in Brighton Deanery. He fulfilled eight years in this role, stepping down in January 2023. He is also the Bishop of Chichester's LGBTI+ Liaison Officer for the Diocese, a member of the Bishop's Council and chairs the Diocesan Audit Committee. He sees his role primarily as that of a pastor and endeavours to spend as much time as possible meeting people and developing the spiritual life of the parish. He says that there is no place that he would rather be than here at St Mary's.
Phone: 01273 698601 / Email: Fr Andrew Woodward
The Revd Sarah Van den driessche
Having travelled extensively and lived in Paris, Thailand and Australia, Sarah has always enjoyed experiencing different cultures and spiritualities. Contemplation and silence, the keys to her faith, brought her to Christianity in 2014. Since then she has studied spiritual direction and worked as a volunteer chaplain, at the Martlets Hospice and the YMCA, before commencing formational training at St Augustine’s Theological College. She is delighted to join St Mary’s as Assistant Curate.
A single mum, with a grown-up son, Kyron, her career has been varied; from nursing, to restaurant management in Paris, her work as a freelance editor now allows her the time for her work at St Mary’s and her continuing studies (she is a self-supporting minister). She hopes that her life experience will support the rich, inclusive outreach work that St Mary’s offers to the vibrant and diverse people of Brighton.
Email: The Revd Sarah Van den driessche
The Revd Martin Hume
Honorary Assistant Curate
Fr Martin was born in 1954 in the North-East of England. Twenty-one years later, having qualified in Food Science/Applied Chemistry, he began a career in Flour Mill Management, latterly managing a Flour Mill on Tilbury Docks, Essex.
In 1989, Fr Martin moved to West Yorkshire to the College of The Resurrection, where for two years he lived, trained and was formed for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1991, serving his curacy in Brentwood, Essex and then, as parish priest, served in parishes in Chelmsford and Southwick Dioceses.
Fr Martin retired from fulltime ministry in 2011 and is now serving as Honorary Assistant Curate at St Mary’s.
His interests are: cooking, the arts and travel.
Email: Fr Martin Hume
Margaret has been a member of St Mary's for over 30 years, and was licensed Lay Reader in 2012. She preaches regularly and also leads the worship at the Parish Eucharist and Morning Prayer. She sees her role, above all, as endeavouring to raise the hearts and minds of all people to God, and feels privileged to lead the Pastoral Care Team at St Mary's.
Margaret has three grown-up daughters and four lively grandsons. She has many years' experience in science and natural history education, and has taught both children and adults with a range of special needs. She is a keen gardener and draws inspiration, hope and solace from the beauty of God's creation in the natural world.
Email: Margaret Green
Jo, a born & bred Brightonian, returns to St Mary's after more than ten years worshipping & gaining much experience in other churches, principally at Holy Cross, Woodingdean.
Previously one of the Churchwardens at St Mary's, it was Jo's privilege to be called back here during Easter 2016. Jo's background is in Religious Education Studies, having studied & attained qualifications at the University of Brighton (BA), the Catholic Certificate (CCRS) and, within the Diocese of Chichester, the Bishop's Certificate. In the secular world she has worked for a credit card company's legal department.
Joanna was licensed as a Lay Reader in September 2012 and looks forward to a diverse ministry at St Mary's. She has one grown-up daughter.
Email: Jo Gordon-Hall
Jane first attended St Mary's in October 2010, after moving to Brighton from Leicester. She had intended to visit other churches in Brighton to see which she liked best, but was so taken with St Mary's and its congregation that she decided not to bother and has been attending St Mary's ever since.
Jane studied fashion design at St Martin's School of Art and taught art and design for some years. After further studies, she switched to teaching A-level Law to overseas students. Now retired, she is secretary to the local branch of Epilepsy Action, which she joined because her late husband suffered from epilepsy after having had brain implants to control the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Jane spent many years as her husband's main carer.
Email: Jane Chetwynd-Appleton
Vulnerable Adults Befriender
Email: Kaye Inglis
Becky is a long-standing member of the congregation at St Mary's - one of our survivors through threats of closure and worse! - and brings a healthy, calming perspective to our day-to-day chaos. She is the mother to two amazing young lads and does quite a bit of discreet mothering of the St Mary's family too.
Email: Becky Donoher
Philip became the Administrator at St Mary’s in January 2019 and loved the job so much that he now lives there! He works in various areas, but his focus is venue hire. He also streams and records the Sunday services.
Philip feels that his calling is to work for God by supporting the church, and to that end he has worked with many churches in Brighton over the last few years and is currently also the Administrator for MCC Brighton.
He has one daughter, Emily, and several nephews and nieces. He enjoys working with computers and is also very interested in men’s clothing, having completed some training as a tailor while in his teens. He is jointly responsible for a local theatre group’s costumes. He’s proud to be a Trekkie and general sci-fi fan and spends his spare time, when he has some, reading and watching films.
Phone: 07434 121659 / Email: Philip Davis
A short film about St Mary's
Click on the image above for a short film about St Mary's made by Sussex University Media students Hsin Yun (Cindy), SeppO and ShinYoung in the run-up to Christmas 2016. See their website too for more photographs and a podcast.