Our Parochial Church Council (PCC)

St. Mary’s is led pastorally and in worship by a ministry team under the authority of our vicar.
We have a Parochial Church Council (PCC) which is elected each year from the membership of our church at our Annual Parochial Council Meeting (APCM). Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting, hear and read reports, and to ask questions. After being elected, the PCC make decisions about our church buildings, take responsibility for the finances, the direction of our mission, oversee safeguarding, and make decisions about our styles and patterns of worship. Our current PCC bring a wide range of talents and interests to decision making and leadership in service of our community.
The Standing Committee are a sub set of the PCC and made up of the key officers of the church – the vicar and wardens. In addition we have also elected the treasurer and a lay minister, in the absence of a vicar, to join this group. They look after much of the day to day essential running of the church, meeting between formal PCC meetings and reporting back to them.

The current PCC for 2024/25 are comprised of:

  • The Vicar (usually chair, but this post is vacant) + Standing committee
  • Janet Twine (PCC & standing committee chair) + Standing committee as church warden
  • Christine Sewell (PCC vice chair)
  • Lesley Gould (PCC & standing committee secretary)
  • Iain Kitchener + Standing committee as church warden
  • Nicki Smith (treasurer) + Elected to standing committee
  • Merry Chapman (safeguarding lead)
  • Vikki Couzens (DBS officer)
  • Ellen Couzens
  • Martin Sewell
  • Rachel Pace
  • Ron Tomlin
  • Peter Accleton
  • Vic Twine + Elected to standing committee

Church Leadership

At the moment we are looking for a new vicar to lead us. But our wider leadership team includes 4 lay ministers, 2 church wardens, 1 pastoral assistant, safeguarding and DBS leads, a treasurer and a worship leader. 
The following will tell you a little more about the current office holders of our church including their roles and responsibilities.

The Ministry Team:


(We are currently in vacancy)
The vicar of St. Mary’s is a half time paid post leading our ministry team and wider church. They are a priest and so unlike the lay ministers, can lead communion as well as preach, visit the sick, conduct baptisms and funerals. The priest of St. Mary’s has previously also had a role in St. George’s School.

Lay Ministers:

Lead worship & preach, have pastoral roles in the church and/or external pastoral roles such as chaplaincy.

Vic Twine (he/him)

Vic is a Reader so he leads services and preaches. He co-leads our toddler group, and manages our hall bookings. He represents us as a member on both the Deanery and Diocesan Synods. Beyond St. Mary’s Vic is a chaplain to the local ambulance service. Prior to retirement he was a biomedical scientist.

Lesley Gould (she/her)

Lesley is a Reader and leads services, preaches and takes funerals. She is also PCC secretary and co-leads the toddler group. In other ministry Lesley is a chaplain at the local Ellenor hospice. Her professional background was in hospitality, something we hope we do well at St. Mary’s.

Martin Sewell (he/him)

Martin is a Reader who leads services, preaches and plays in our music group. He represents us and the wider diocese on the national General Synod of the Church, to which he brings his considerable wisdom and experience as a former safeguarding lawyer.

Ellen Couzens (she/her)

Ellen is a Licensed Lay Minister who preaches and leads services. She can also take funerals. Outside of St. Mary’s she is senior chaplain to the ambulance service in Medway, and is a Lay Canon on the Chapter of Rochester Cathedral. Professionally she is a qualified lawyer and experienced home educator.

Church Wardens:

Are the annually elected representatives of the church membership. They look after the buildings and day to day running of the church.

Janet Twine (she/her)

Janet is one of the two church wardens. She is a strong manager of the church, good with detail, and leads on maintaining the premises. Janet also sings in the music group. Outside of this role Janet works for the National Trust as a volunteer ranger, and before retirement was a biomedical scientist.

Iain Kitchener (he/him)

Iain is one of the two church wardens. He is St Mary’s lead musician, represents the church on the Deanery Synod, and leads the children’s holiday club. Outside of church Iain is Head of School at a local university.

Pastoral Assistant:

PAs visit those who are unable to attend in person or who need support, prayer or other pastoral assistance.

Julie Bowen (she/her)

As a pastoral assistant Julie has many years of experience in visiting those who need support, she also has a strong ministry of prayer. Her professional background was in nursing and geriatric care.

The Wider Leadership:

Safeguarding Team:

These colleagues ensure we are all up to date on safeguarding training and requirements, and have the best practice in place to ensure that the way we do things keeps people in our church community as safe as possible.

Merry Chapman (she/her)

As the safeguarding officer Merry can be contacted by anyone who has concerns. (Please visit the safeguarding page for details) Merry ensures volunteers have a DBS and safeguarding training and keeps up to date on these issues to inform our best practices and policies. Merry currently works in food logistics and brings business skills to our PCC.

Vikki Couzens (she/her)

As the DBS lead Vikki carries out the process of checking the information and submitting applications for a DBS certificate. These are required for many of the roles within the church. Professionally, Vikki is a legal secretary and also has a background in event planning.


Our treasurer ensures we are properly budgeting and looking after our financial resources.

Nicki Smith (she/her)

Nicki is a professional accountant outside of her role with St. Mary’s. She maintains a record of expenditure and income, prepares the budget with the PCC, and ensures we are compliant with financial requirements.