Christina profile

Revd Dr Christina Mason

Priest in Charge

I grew up in Wales and was baptised and confirmed in the Church in Wales. After university I moved to various places to work, including Scotland where I was ordained Deacon in 1984. At that time, I had no wish to proceed any further to become a priest and was very active in both church and community in the Diocese of Brechin.

1996 saw another move, to London and St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. This was an amazingly formative experience. The hospice enjoyed a wonderful and well-deserved reputation for the holistic palliative and end of life care it offered to patients and their extended families.

I worked at St Joseph’s until 2007 and then there was another move and another challenge. When I came to East Anglia it was increasingly obvious that there was a shortage of ordained priests to fulfil an eucharistic ministry. Perhaps, I thought, it was time to re-consider my calling to the permanent diaconate. I was ordained as a non-stipendiary priest in October 2010. I have served in the Shellrock benefice since then and was commissioned as priest in charge in January 2018. This is a part-time position which is shared with Rev Prebendary Sue Strutt.

01953 797622
Sue profile

Revd Preb. Sue Strutt

Priest Associate

I was ordained as a non-stipendiary deacon in 1990, having completed the local non-residential course, and was among the first cohort of women to be ordained priest in 1994.  I became a full-time stipendiary curate that same year in Leominster, Herefordshire.  In the very rural area of Leominster and surrounding parishes a team of 18 parishes was formed. 

In October 1996 I moved to the Ledbury Team Ministry as a Team Vicar, initially looking after 5  parishes which we named the Hop Churches.  Three more parishes were added a few years later. Over the 18 years in which I served those parishes two self-supporting ministers were able to fulfil their vocation through working as part of our team.  Also on the team were two Readers, three retired clergy, and 3 or 4 lay people.  We worked the Minster model of ministry in that, as a group of ministers, we met together to pray, plan and discuss issues that had arisen, then take our ministry and mission out to the parishes. All parishes knew each other and all the ministers, although certain people continuously ministered in particular parishes.  Parishes worked together, e.g. parish share was considered the responsibility of the whole group so poorer parishes were supported financially by wealthier ones, and fundraising was often a joint enterprise.  I am convinced that this way of working is the most fruitful way forward for the Church in rural areas, given that the number of clergy is decreasing and more parishes need to be grouped together.

I also passionately believe in the place of the Church in the community, and the fact that many people supporting various organisations, e.g. village hall, charities, youth groups, are people of faith is, for me, a sign of God at work in the world.   Before, and after, ordination I served on the Diocesan Board of Education and the Council for Social Responsibility as well as being part of the support group for the Agricultural Chaplain.  Another role I undertook was as Bishop’s, then Diocesan, Advisor for Women in Ministry for four years.  I was made a Prebendary (Canon)  of Hereford Cathedral in 2007, and retired in 2014.

01953 797336
Carol profile

Mrs Carol Bennett


I was born and spent my childhood in yorkshire. After leaving school I  trained as a teacher in Sunderland, and moved to Norfolk in 1971. I am married with 2 grown up daughters. I have been a Reader for 39 years and serve the whole benefice. I also lead the benefice Fellowship group.

01603 441508
Colin profile

Mr Colin Thomas


Originally fom the Port Talbot area in Wales, I have lived in the village of Little Ellingham since 1990. I am married with three ‘grown-up’ children. I am now retired from paid work though I am still kept busy with family and church.

I was licensed as a Reader in 2001 and, as part of the Ministry Team, minister to all the parishes in our benefice. I am the editor of the ‘Shellrock Benefice News’ which is included in the parish magazines and I play guitar in the church music group.

My other interests are singing in the Village Singers (Great Ellingham) choir, walking the dogs and I have recently started playing golf.

01953 453455
Jeremy profile

Mr Jeremy Warren

Assistant Lay Minister and Great Ellingham Tower Captain

01953 455146
Margaret profile

Mrs Margaret Moore-Vale

Benefice financier

I have been involved in administration and bookkeeping most of my working life. I was finance officer for a Church of England Teacher Training College in Hertfordshire where one of our Governors was Dr Robert Runcie, the Bishop of St Albans, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury. My latter working years were with the Crossroads Care in Essex and more recently administrator in a Mental Health Nursing home.

My voluntary role within the Benefice is to work directly with the Ministry Team assisting with the booking of baptisms, weddings and funerals, sending quarterly returns to the Diocese and distributing weekly church notices to a database of church members. I manage the online banking for the Benefice, take e.mail enquiries and respond accordingly and as speedily as is possible.

I have attended churches within this Benefice regularly since moving to Great Ellingham 15 years ago and my offer of help was accepted so I have now been in post nigh on 2 years.

We are one family within the church life of the Benefice and support each other in difficult times and enjoy our faith and commitment as we come together in worship.

01953 459994

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