Who’s who?

Staff Jul24

With the exception of our Rector, all our paid staff members are on part-time contracts. We have an Operations Manager, a Caretaker, an Organist & Choirmaster, and an Admin Assistant. (See below.)

Our unpaid staff includes leaders of our three small worship groups in All-Age Services, our Treasurer, our Churchwardens, two Licenced Lay Ministers, our Health & Safety officer, our vergers, our Catering Manager, PCC members, our preachers and service-leaders, children's, and adults' group leaders of all sorts, and definitely others not included here. Many of these people take their place somewhere within our many 'Action Groups,' which are, as previously mentioned, the engine-room in the life of St Mary's Church. Speaking of engines, the attention of our Caretaker and our Fabric action group leader can often be detected, when certain metaphorical cogs in machines seem to have been unobtrusively oiled, unseen, and unheard. To them and all the above, we give heartfelt thanks.


Although we are always looking for more volunteers because we are wanting to strengthen teams we have and sometimes to branch out into something new - we recognise we already have a tremendous team of willing volunteers at St Mary's. We also know we all gain from being part of an active team of helpers, so like to give people that opportunity!

There are too many roles to list, thinking of all the services and activities, buildings and grounds, rotas and teams, to be maintained, but everyone plays their part in the smooth-running and welcome at St Mary's.

Rev Funmilayo VaughanOur new Rector, starting in November
Rev Funmilayo Vaughan was born and raised in Kilburn, North West London. She has four sisters and a brother. She moved to Grays in Essex in 2001. She attended St Clement's Parish Church in Grays, which she joined in 2014, prior to this she worshipped in the Pentecostal denomination.

She studied law and qualified as a barrister at the Nigerian Law School, before working for the Crown Prosecution Service for 19 years in London, in the Operational and Policy Department. She then moved to Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge. The plan is that she will move to Frinton in the autumn. Funmilayo’s family is from Lagos in Nigeria and her full name in the Yoruba language means, ‘God has given me joy.’

Likes: table tennis (but can be quite a competitive player), walking, spa treatments, and football (Liverpool FC). Interesting facts: Once entered a cage with a leopard in South Africa, dyes her hair red and hates chocolates!

David K

David Kidney - Churchwarden
David is still in full-time employment as Company General Manager for a Forklift Company based in South Essex. The son of a church organist, aged 7 he became a chorister. At the age of 15 he joined the Royal Navy, but this career was cut short by a road accident in the mid-seventies. Disillusioned with the Church of England in the early 1980s, some ten years ago he was guided back to the fold by the hand of God, through a very positive life event. ‘We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ (Romans 8.28)  David knows God chose him for this role.

Dominic GDominic Gardner - Operations Manager
Dominic joined St Mary’s staff at the end of 2018, coming from a background in youth work with Essex County Council and in management in fast food outlets.  He grew up in Frinton and now lives in Walton with his wife, Steph, and family.  His main interests are online gaming and football; both playing and watching. For many years, whatever his current employment, Dominic has kindly made himself available for the week of Frinton Mission, to be FM site manager, supervising and helping to coordinate everything that takes place in the Marquee on the Greensward.

DuncanDuncan Archard - Choirmaster
Duncan comes from a traditional background in church music, having been a boy chorister in Oxford. His taste in music has expanded to include a wide-range of styles since he began teaching music in schools in the 1980’s. Duncan believes that church music should be all-encompassing and reflect as far as possible the wide ranging backgrounds of established congregations as well as those who come new into the church. Even though Duncan lives in Colchester and has been travelling to Frinton since the year 2000, the excitement of coming to a famous seaside town has not worn off!

StuartStewart Atkins - Caretaker
Stewart and his wife Sue have lived in Little Clacton for well over 30 years. He was caretaker and site manager at St Clare’s RC Primary School in Clacton for 21 years, but started his working life in Holborn, London, in the civil service Trademarks Office. He then turned his hand to being a butcher, and 10 years at Smithfield Meat Market! After taking early retirement in 2017, thankfully for St Mary’s, he changed his mind and joined us as caretaker in January 2018, quickly becoming a reliable and considerate part of our team.

Theresa RTheresa Rhodes - Admin. Assistant
Theresa is from a Social Work background having worked with Children & Families for 32 years before retiring in 2021. She then went on to train as a Dementia Lead and worked in one of the local care homes training staff in their approach to caring for those with dementia. Theresa is a committed Christian and when her current job was advertised as a personal assistant at St Mary’s she felt that it was God directing her to apply. She started work here at St Mary’s in May 2023. She is married to Tony who is a local gardener, and she has 4 adult children and 4 grandchildren. Her main interest is spending time with her family and their dog Wilson.