Who's Who

Hello. I’m Mark James and I’ve been Rector of St Paul’s Bentley Common, St Nicholas’ Kelvedon Hatch and St Thomas’ Navestock since April 29th 2009. 
How have I come to be here? Well, it’s a long story but in short I am actually an Essex man having been born and bred in Southend-on-Sea. For a number of years I was a teacher in a comprehensive school in Hornchurch, where I taught Geography and Information Technology. I ended up as Assistant Head Teacher with responsibility for the Curriculum and Assessment. Round about the year 2001 I felt that God was calling me out of teaching into something new, so after a lot of thought and reflection, I gave up my teaching job and went to train for the Church of England ministry in Cambridge. I spent four happy years as a curate at Great Dunmow in north Essex before coming here.

When I’m not busy working in my three churches you might find me at the cinema or maybe browsing round antique centres or second hand bookshops. But to really get away from it all I usually head for the Hebridean islands, the far north of Scotland, Cornwall, North Wales or Pembrokeshire where I enjoy walking in the remotest areas possible.

One of the main reasons I became a vicar was to try and find ways of making the church more accessible to the wider community and more relevant to life in the 21st century. We need to explore new ways in which people can develop their relationship with God – ways that are relevant and meaningful to them. So watch this space and let me know your ideas! I am always available to talk with anyone. You can contact me on 01277 373486 or revmarkjames@btinternet.com or you can use the contact form on the home page of this website.