Below, you will find short biographies for some of the people who keep St. Mary Magdalene, Longfield, running smoothly
Revd. Adele BarkerPriest In Charge
Revd. Elizabeth RobertsonAssociate Priest
Lawrie TownsonParish Lay Reader
Gill HornerChurch Warden
Paul ThomasChurch Warden
Revd. Adele Barker
Adele was licensed as Priest-in -Charge of the Parishes of Longfield and Fawkham and Hartley in February 2020, and works across the RNWK group. Adele served her curacy at St Philip and St James’ Church, Chatham, after training for ordination at Ridley Hall Cambridge, and is delighted to have moved to rural north west Kent and is looking forward to all that is in store here in the time ahead.
Adele is married to Jeremy and they have four adults sons: Frederick, Alexander, Edward and Nicholas. When not working Adele enjoys walking, going to the theatre and concerts, good food and wine, travelling and keeps chickens.
Revd. Elizabeth Robertson
Elizabeth is a Self-Supporting Minister or SSM in the RNWK Group. What does that mean? I am a full time Priest but not responsible for a particular parish, I take services and preach right across the Group. I also work as an accountant and so try to live out my faith in the business community.
Combining a day job and ministry as well as family life (husband, two grown up children and four cats) means a lot of juggling, I trained part-time for three years at SEITE (now St Augustine’s College) before being ordained in 2006. It was great preparation for the undoubted tensions of living in the world but not of the world!
When I’m not at work (church or accounts and tax) I really love enjoying the beauty of creation, whether a walk in the Kent countryside, from the back of a narrow boat or rambling in the Lake District.
Lawrie has been a Reader [Lay Minister] for some 20 years.
He was licensed to St Mary Magdalene in 2010, having serviced in neighbouring parishes which are now part of the North West Kent Rural Group. He lives in New Ash Green a village within The Group ministry.
His career was spent in teaching at both secondary and primary levels. He remains a school governor and on the Rochester Board of Education.
His main ‘geekish’ interest is heritage railways and he volunteers on one in the ‘West Country’ which is where his family roots are. (Perhaps one day he will get to retire there!)
Meanwhile he loves to travel as he has family/family connections in the USA and Canada.
He supports development work in Zimbabwe and Kenya, countries he has visited.
Gill moved to New Barn with her husband Barry nearly 35 years ago and has been a member of the church community throughout that time, initially attending both the Longfield Mission Room and St Mary Magdalene.
With her two children having attended local schools and having participated in church activities and organisations, her family life has been linked to Longfield church for many years.
With her children having now married and “flown the nest”, she now enjoy spending time with them whenever she can.
Gill now work as a Manager principally in the areas of Human Resources and Health & Safety but when she is not working she likes to keep fit and active and have a keen interest in gardening as well as being a joint season ticket holder in support of her favourite rugby team.
Paul joined the team as Church Warden in April 2016. He has been a member of St Mary Magdalene for over five years, much of that time serving in the church choir. He is also one of the Foundation Governors and Vice Chair at Langafel School.
PauI attends the church with his wife Pat who is part of the team running the Sunday Funday group for young children on most Sunday mornings at the same time as the service.
He lives locally, in New Ash Green, where family life occupies much of his time with five grandchildren all living close by. During the week, he works as a Consultant in the world of health and care in the information technology.