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Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Viv Mendham

Viv Mendham

Archdeaconry: Colchester
Parish: St Leonard’s, Lexden

I was born and grew up in Ilford, with a younger brother. Educated at Wanstead County High School, I trained as a nurse, then as a midwife, and specialised in neonatal intensive care.

I met Tim at Abberton Reservoir, through our shared interest in birdwatching and wildlife. Within a year we were married, I moved to Colchester, and travelled each day to my nursing job in London. After nine years of commuting I was able to take early retirement from the NHS, finding work locally as a veterinary receptionist, another job I loved.

I was a churchwarden at St Leonard’s, Lexden, but God had further plans for me, and eventually I realised he was calling me to ordained ministry. Training with St Mellitus College in Chelmsford has been a joy and a blessing, and I look forward to serving as LDSSM at St Leonard’s.


Kirsty Emerson

Kirsty Emerson

Archdeaconry: Colchester
Parish: Great Oakley, Wix, Wrabness, Tendring and Beaumont-cum-Moze

I am the youngest of three children and had a very happy upbringing.  I am married to Jonathan and we have two primary school aged daughters.  Jonathan and I both grew up in Colchester but moved to Lawford in 2007 – after we were married and shortly before having our eldest daughter.  It was at St Mary’s church Lawford that I became a Christian and my journey towards ordination began. 

I have been undertaking my theological training with St Mellitus College.  My training has been part time and whilst training I have also been working part time for a local school as part of their administration team.  Since leaving college at the age of 18, I have always worked in administrative roles, mostly for local government. 

As a family we enjoy spending time outside – working and playing in the garden and making the most of the beautiful local countryside and coastline.  Personally I also like pursuing many different craft activities and always enjoy learning a new skill.


Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

Archdeaconry: Colchester
Parish: St Luke's Highwoods

I was born in Chelmsford and grew up in a loving family, fond of adventures and spontaneous fun. School was not my favourite place, but I found enjoyment in technology, maths and economics.

In contrast to my lacklustre approach to school, my evenings and weekends were driven by a passion for leadership and aviation, as I immersed myself in the Air Cadets. These passions continue to drive me; both in pursuit of being an effective leader and as a private pilot. As well as flying regularly, I am a keen cook and it is therefore beneficial that cycling and swimming are two of my other hobbies.

Though I’d attended church with my family as a child and teen, it wasn’t until my mid 20s that I discovered a personal faith. I somehow found myself in a situation where my vicar was praying for me and, following this, I was unable to stop thinking about Jesus and the mess that my life was without him. I soon responded to the prodding of the Holy Spirit and gave my life to Jesus – I haven’t looked back since.

While worshipping at Meadgate Church in Great Baddow, I met Emma and we have been married for ten years. We love being discipled and serving in God’s family; pioneering locally to reach the community and leading short-term mission trips at home and abroad.

As I discerned and trained for ministry, our life became beautifully complicated by the addition of Charlotte (3) and Adam (1). As a family, we are excited to move to Colchester and join with what God is doing in Highwoods.