Mark Dearnley

Growing up in a musical household (my father was a cathedral organist and my mother a ‘cello teacher), along with the grandeur of cathedrals on our doorstep, gave me a love of music and an appreciation of the greatness of God.

Following school, a hands on apprenticeship confirmed my sense that my skills and interest lay in practical and solution-focused approaches to life. Two and a half years serving with a missionary organisation enabled me to see the world, experience other cultures and feel at the heart of doing my bit for the Kingdom.

I’ve been ordained 28 years, just within the era of 2 curacies. The first being at Christ Church Purley, and the second in Addiscombe, East Croydon, which gave me time to qualify as a psychotherapist.

My appointment as vicar to St Paul’s, Hook (near Chessington World of Adventures) embedded learning from my curacies and provided scope to develop the work and life of this busy parish.

The move to Wendover in 2002 and the time here holds many fulfilling and meaningful experiences. Our son Charlie is completing a fine arts degree at Newcastle. His creativity and wide appreciation of life and people is just great. Esther is in her 2nd year of a social work degree at Sussex Uni. Like Ruth, she demonstrates a passion for justice and shows real skill in her work alongside others. Ruth, having been a teacher then leader of an annual church resourcing event, is now CEO of Stop The Traffik (a global coalition working to prevent human trafficking). A great support to me in ministry and as a Reader (LLM), Ruth has always played an active part in church life.

My enjoyment of cycling means I get to appreciate the places I’m cycling around, and my 26-year-old motorbike still manages to take me further afield in a more exhilarating fashion. Our own home on the East coast enables us as a family to recharge the batteries and appreciate the great contrast of seascapes and weathers all year round.

I am excited by the prospect of sharing with your journey at St Peter’s and discerning together God’s next steps in ministry and mission in St Albans.

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