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Church Society exists to strengthen local churches in biblical faith and to help shape the Church of England now and for the future.

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Our council and staff

Church Society is a voluntary association of members who wish to maintain the worship and doctrine of the church according to biblical standards. The Society depends financially on its members and supporting churches. It is controlled by a Council, elected at the annual general meeting.

The current members of the Council are:

Dr Kirsten Birkett – Kirsten is a lecturer in philosophy and ethics at Oak Hill College, and has written a number of books, including The Essence of the Reformation and Unnatural Enemies: an Introduction to Science and Religion.

Mr Mark Cawson – Mark is a barrister (QC) in Manchester, a member of St John’s, Knutsford, and a trustee of the North West Partnership. Mark is the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Church Society.

Revd John Cheeseman – John engages in an itinerant preaching and teaching ministry. He trained at Trinity College, Bristol, and was previously Vicar of Holy Trinity Eastbourne. He was Chairman of Church Society Council until 1995 and is Director of Church Society Trust.

Revd Dr Andrew Cinnamond – Andrew is originally from Northern Ireland, trained at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and is now a team vicar in the Cotswolds. He has a PhD in Elizabethan Church History and is the author of What Matters in Reforming the Church?

Revd Dr Ben Cooper – Ben is Minister for Training at Christ Church Fulwood, Sheffield. He has a doctorate in biblical studies, is a visiting lecturer at Oak Hill, and has written a number of books, including, Just Love: Why God Must Punish Sin, The Ethics of Usury, and Paul in 3D.

Revd Paul Darlington (Chairman) – Paul is Vicar of Oswestry Holy Trinity, a Church Society Trust director, and a trustee of Fellowship of Word and Spirit. He is the author of our booklet, Evangelical Ministry in a Non-Evangelical Parish.

Revd Timothy Edwards – Timothy read theology (at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels) at Durham, which helped confirm a Reformed Protestant understanding of the gospel. Currently assistant curate at St Martin’s, Brampton, and St Kentigern’s, Irthington, in the Diocese of Carlisle.

Revd Dick Farr – Dick is Chairman of Church Society Trust. He trained at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and is now Associate Vicar of St John’s, Tunbridge Wells, having previously been incumbent of Henham, Elsenham, and Ugley.

Revd Geoffrey Firth – Geoffrey is a chaplain in the RAF, which he has been for nearly six years. He trained at Oak Hill and was curate in Poynton (Chester).

Revd Dr Lee Gatiss – Lee is the Director of Church Society. See his profile page.

Revd Chris Kilgour – Chris is Curate at St Mary’s, Chalk, near Gravesend. Before that, he worked in software development in Sheffield and was a member of Christ Church, Fulwood.

Revd Michael Print – Michael is a deacon serving in Padiham Parish Church in Lancashire.

Mrs Amanda Robbie - Amanda is an author, blogger, mother and vicar’s wife in the multicultural inner city parish of Holy Trinity, West Bromwich. Amanda blogs and tweets as @thevicarswife and is on the CEEC.

Dr Andrea Ruddick – Andrea works part-time as a medieval historian at Cambridge University and is married to David, a vicar in London.

Mrs Alison Laura Ruoff – Alison is a lay member of General Synod and chaired the conservative evangelical lay group there between 2000 and 2005. She is on the Bishop’s Council for London and is a speaker and Christian broadcaster in TV and radio.

Revd Dr Mark Smith – Mark is Chaplain of Christ’s College, Cambridge, and also teaches Patristics at the University’s Divinity Faculty.

Revd James Taylor (vice-chairman) – James is married to Christine, and is Curate at St Luke Hampstead. James spent five years on the ministry staff team at St Helen’s Bishopsgate before undergraduate and postgraduate theological study at Oak Hill College.

Revd John Telford – John began his curacy in Anlaby near Hull in 2013, having spent two years as a postgraduate student at Oak Hill College. Prior to college he served at St Helen’s Bishopsgate for 14 years, two of which were on staff. He is married to Liz and they have a baby called Joshua.

Revd Dr Jason Ward - Jason is vicar of St Mary’s, Chaddesden, Derby. He is also on the Council of the Fellowship of Word & Spirit, and served on the steering committee for the ReNew Conference.

Dr Julie Woolford – is married to Tom, and mother of two infant daughters.


Our officers are:

President: the Rt Revd Wallace Benn

Vice Presidents: Prof John Coekin, Mr Vijay Menon, Revd David Phillips, Revd David Streater, Canon Michael Walters, Canon David Wheaton

Honorary Treasurer: Revd Ash Carter


Our members of staff are:

David Meager (Administrator)

Jemima Sohn (Finance Assistant)