Don Smith - Rector
Rev’d Don Smith took up the reins as rector of St Mary’s in June 2008 following twenty years’ ministry in various areas of London. Passionate about building a church for the 21st century, Don is keen to see new families coming to church, joining with those who are long-standing church members. Humour and enjoyment of life are high on Don’s agenda which means the congregation often has to suffer his stories and jokes. Don is a keen sports fan and confesses to watching most sports from the safety of his armchair. Don and his wife Karen enjoy walking their two dogs on Frinton beach.
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.
Peter Wood - Churchwarden
Peter completed thirty years with Essex Police, and is now retired. A lifetime resident of the area, he and his wife Paula have two sons and three grandchildren. Interests include most sports, especially rugby and football, although nowadays mostly as spectator. He still enjoys walking, cycling, travelling, cinema, theatre and quality time with family and friends. Having been part of St Mary’s Church family for many years he says the fun and excitement of being together on Sundays and other times never fades. He leads the Training, Outreach and Evangelism Action Group, and says to share the good news of Jesus is a priority, whenever the time is right and opportunity allows.
Sam & Lauren Puttick - Children's and Families' Workers
Sam and Lauren moved to Frinton from the Highlands of Scotland in 2016, where they had previously worked at a Christian Outdoor Centre - Abernethy, Nethybridge. Sam is also a qualified outdoor instructor and makes good use of this at our local outdoor centre Birch Hall Adventures. Lauren also has experience in hospitality and administration from working at Abernethy, which proves very helpful with her role at the Church. They have two daughters, Eva and Isla. Sam and Lauren have a lot of experience working with young people and they both have a great passion for sharing God's love with everyone they meet. They are always up for an adventure and enjoy a challenge!
Dominic 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.
Heather Ursell - Church Secretary
Heather has lived, with her husband Chris, in his home town of Frinton for over thirty years. Coming from a primary school teaching background, she enjoys interacting with people of all ages, and really enjoys reading and admin! Her Christian faith is very important to her, knowing that life would have been much more difficult without the understanding that God can work things out for good in every situation. She loves being part of St Mary’s and does her best to help our church community run smoothly and efficiently in all sorts of ways!
Duncan 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!
Debbie Clarke - Contemporary Services Worship Leader
Debbie grew up in Colchester where, after leaving school, she trained as an audiologist, later moving on to work in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and then The Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton.
She has been involved with church music, in both music groups and choirs, since a teenager. Her love of music spans all genres; she comes from a family of drummers! Her hope is that through music and singing, people will be able to explore and deepen their own spiritual journey.
Stewart 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.