Vicar: Anna Matthews
Anna has been Vicar of St Bene’t’s since 2012. She was ordained in 2003 and served a curacy in the diocese of St Albans, before going to work for six years at St Albans Cathedral. She enjoys being back in Cambridge, where she read theology as an undergraduate, and also did her ordination training. As well as being Vicar of St Bene’t’s, she is DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands) for the Diocese of Ely.
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Churchwarden: Eileen Penman
I am originally from San Diego, California. I read English at university and began my career in education as a high school English teacher. I received my MA in counseling psychology and moved into school counseling. I came to the UK as a Fulbright exchange teacher, and have remained in international education since then, working at The American School in London, in Prague, and in Brussels. I moved to Cambridge in 2010 when I set up an educational consultancy, working with students wishing to apply to US and UK universities and representing American educational organizations in Europe.
Churchwarden: Geoff Maitland
Geoff has worshipped at St Bene’t’s for over 30 years and became a churchwarden in 2017. By profession he is a chemical engineer, starting as an academic at Imperial College London, then spending 20 years in the oil and gas industry before returning to Imperial as Professor of Energy Engineering in 2005, where he still continues on a part-time basis. His work aims to help the world avoid the ill-effects of climate change and to enable us to be good stewards of the earth’s resources..
Licensed Lay Minister: Alistair Collen
Alistair first came to Cambridge in 1984 as one of the Franciscan brothers attached to St Bene’t’s church. Although he left the Society of St Francis in 2004, he continued to be a member of the congregation, working as a Clinical Psychologist in local NHS mental health services. He retired from full-time practice as a psychologist in 2014 and was Licensed as Lay Minister (or Reader) in October 2016 at Ely Cathedral.
I was in parish ministry for thirty years. Before that I practised for seven years as an architect. On retirement in 2009, Katharine and I returned to Cambridge where we had lived from 1967 to 1978, and to our old home. We also returned to St Bene’t’s,which had been our church all those years ago. It is a church and congregation with huge significance for us, as it was here we began worshipping together at the beginning of our marriage, here our three children were baptised and here I heard my call to ordination, thanks to the ministry of the brothers of the Society of St Francis. Now we greatly enjoy being members of St Bene’t’s again and I am happy to serve this community as a priest in whatever way required.
Licensed Lay Minister: Laurie Boorman
I was born in London but it being 1940 we moved to a small village near Oxford where I spent the next 25 years of my life, at Magdalen College School and St Catherine’s College. After a degree in Botany I studied the ecology of salt marsh plants for my D. Phil. I then went to work at the Seed Testing Station in Edinburgh for three years before joining the Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Ecology Research Station in Norwich where I work particularly in sand dunes and salt marshes. I have continued in coastal ecology since then and after taking early retirement in 1997 I set up L A B Coastal continuing coastal research and consultancy services. In 1986 I became a Lay Reader (Ely Diocese) at Tilbrook Church and subsequently served at Holywell and then at St Bene’t’s.
Parish Administrator: Philippa Pearson
After training as a horticulturist, Philippa became a garden designer specialising in planting design and went on to win prestigious RHS awards for her show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. She is also a gardening journalist and author. Philippa has been involved with her local parish of Gamlingay and Hatley in South Cambridgeshire for many years and helps to look after the tiny rural church at Hatley St George. She has trained in Authorised Lay Ministry as Worship Leader. Philippa works in the church office at St Bene’t’s on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 1pm.