Chelmsford Diocese
E-bulletin
12 May 2013  
New Archdeacons join 'strong team'

The Diocese of Chelmsford is delighted to announce the appointment of three new Archdeacons:

The Revd Canon Robin King, currently Vicar of Bures, Little Cornard and Assington and Rural Dean of Sudbury, has been appointed as the first Archdeacon of Stansted.

The new Archdeaconry of Stansted comprises the Deaneries of Saffron Walden, Hinckford, Braintree and Dunmow & Stansted.

The Revd Mina Smallman, currently Team Vicar of Christ Church, Thames View, Barking has been appointed as the new Archdeacon of Southend.

The Archdeaconry of Southend comprises the Deaneries of Southend-on-Sea, Rochford, Basildon, Thurrock and Hadleigh.

She succeeds the Venerable David Lowman who has already been appointed as the first Archdeacon of Chelmsford.

The Revd Dr John Perumbalath, currently Vicar of All Saints’ Church, Perry Street, Northfleet, Gravesend has been appointed as the first Archdeacon of Barking.

The new Archdeaconry of Barking comprises the Deaneries of Barking & Dagenham and Havering.

These appointments follow a pastoral reorganisation which was widely supported in a comprehensive consultation of the Diocese. The reorganisation of the Diocese into seven Archdeaconries was funded by the phasing-out of adviser posts and resulted in a net saving in 2012.

The Collation and Installation of the three new Archdeacons will take place on 15 September 2013 in Chelmsford Cathedral during Choral Evensong at 6pm.

Bishop Stephen

Map of Episcopal Areas

Message from the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford:

"This is a stirring and stimulating time of change for the church in Essex and East London.

"In restructuring the Diocese of Chelmsford into seven smaller and more cohesive archdeaconries we are looking to bring leadership closer to the parishes and local communities we serve. And we do this so that Christ may be made known and his kingdom established. This meant creating three new archdeaconries, and now I am happy to announce we have appointed three new archdeacons.

“Robin, John and Mina come to us with a track record of effective ministry and mission, and with specific experiences that will fit the different contexts of our large and diverse diocese.

"They will be part of a strong and united leadership team.

"They bring additional variety and experience. I pray that God will bless and guide them in their new ministries, and that the church in our diocese may be faithful to Christ.

“I am really looking forward to welcoming them to their new posts in September.

As far as I’m concerned the Diocese of Chelmsford just got a lot more exciting".

Canon Dr Susan Atkin, Chair of the House of Laity – Chelmsford Diocesan Synod has commented:

"I am delighted that we have been able to appoint three new archdeacons as part of the Diocese’s plans for re-imagining ministry and, in particular, bringing leadership closer to parishes.

"These appointments mark the first major step in implementing our exciting new strategy for ministry and mission up to the year 2025.

"I know that John, Mina and Robin each bring a wealth of experience and gifts to their new roles. I am especially pleased that they all have considerable experience of encouraging, developing and working with lay ministry which will form such an important part of our future strategy. I look forward to working with all of them when they join us later this year."


Meet Our New Archdeacons…

The Revd Canon Robin King – The first Archdeacon of Stansted

About Robin King:

After leaving university Robin King spent six years working for a domestic bank – initially in London and then in Suffolk. He spent two years training for ministry in Cambridge, where he met and married his wife, Katharine. They were ordained together in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and served as curates in a large parish in Ipswich.

In 1992 he took up the post of vicar of Bures on the Suffolk/Essex border – in fact, just touching the new Archdeaconry of Stansted. Since being here, two other parishes have been added, he has been involved in training a number of ordinands and clergy (both stipendiary and non-stipendiary) and has been a Rural Dean for the past six years.

Robin and Katharine have two sons, both at university.

Robin King has said:

“I have a passion for seeing the church flourish in rural areas – it’s certainly is no easy option but it can be such an exciting environment in which to minister. The vision outlined in Transforming Presence is hugely inspiring, and I very much look forward to working in the Diocese and with the churches in North Essex to help shape the future of the church at such an exciting time.

“I have a great love for the water, and enjoy rowing, diving and sailing, and when I can’t get wet, a bit of running and cycling help me keep me sane.”

Revd Canon Robin King


"I have a passion for seeing the church flourish in rural areas – it’s certainly is no easy option but it can be such an exciting environment in which to minister"
Rt Revd Christopher Morgan

Message from the Rt Revd Christopher Morgan, Bishop of Colchester:

“The appointment of Robin King as the first Archdeacon of Stansted comes as hugely good news. He brings very significant experience in nurturing and growing smaller rural parishes. As a Rural Dean too, he is known to work effectively and in genuine partnerships with others.

"Robin’s current ministry is on the Suffolk side of the River Stour so he will bring us fresh insights and resource from his current diocese: while he is already sufficiently near his new Archdeaconry so as to understand readily the range of challenges and opportunities that are facing us all in North Essex.

"I know that he and Katherine will be warmly welcomed among us here later this summer and I am glad to voice my own congratulations now!”


The Revd Dr John Perumbalath – The first Archdeacon of Barking

About John Perumbalath:

The Revd Dr John Perumbalath is the vicar of All Saints’ church, Perry Street in the Diocese of Rochester and the Diocesan Urban Officer.

John comes from the ancient Syrian Christian community in Kerala, South India but was ordained in the Church of North India (CNI) after training at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune.

He began his career as a lecturer but then left university teaching to take up the post of Vicar of St James’ Church, Calcutta. He served on the General Synod and various commissions of CNI before he moved to the UK in 2001.

He currently serves as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, a tutor for the College of Preachers and a trustee of Us (formerly USPG).

His PhD dissertation was in the field of biblical interpretation. He is married to Jessy and they have one teenage daughter.

John Perumbalath has said:

“It is indeed a privilege to have been invited by Bishop Stephen to serve as the Archdeacon of Barking. I look forward to getting to know the clergy and congregations in the Archdeaconry and journeying together with them.

"I share their vision of the church being a transforming presence in the world, and I am aware of the social, economic and cultural challenges faced by the communities in the Archdeaconry. I pray that God’s purposes will be worked through our ministry.”

The Revd Dr John Perumbalath


"I share their vision of the church being a transforming presence in the world, and I am aware of the social, economic and cultural challenges faced by the communities. I pray that God’s purposes will be worked through our ministry"
Rt Revd David Hawkins

Message from the Rt Revd David Hawkins, Bishop of Barking:

"I am delighted at the appointment of John Perumbalath as the first Archdeacon of the new Barking Archdeaconry. As well as making an excellent Archdeacon for these two large and diverse deaneries, John will be a welcome addition to the leadership of the Barking Episcopal Area.

"With his experience of ministry in Calcutta and Northfleet and as Urban Officer for Rochester Diocese John will bring valuable insights into cross cultural mission and ministry in Barking and Dagenham and Havering Boroughs. His Catholic churchmanship and evangelical heart will complement the Barking Staff Team. John will be a role model for Asian and Minority Ethnic vocations and senior church leadership as well as offering leadership in the London Boroughs in these socially challenging days.

"We look forward to welcoming John and Jessy and their family in September."


The Revd Mina Smallman – New Archdeacon of Southend

About Mina Smallman:

Before being Ordained Mina Smallman was trained as a drama teacher. Her final position was as an assistant principal in a large secondary school in Brent.

Mina is currently a priest at Christ Church on the Thames View estate which is one of the largest regeneration areas in the country. Since arriving there she has worked alongside some of the most dedicated Christians and non-Christians who have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people in Thames Ward and the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. The economic downturn has severely affected the lives of the people in this area.

Mina Smallman has said:

“I am thrilled to be appointed as the new Archdeacon of Southend, against all odds I had a strong sense that God was calling me to this post, despite the fact that I loved being on Thames View in Barking and working alongside the people of Christ Church.

“As a wife and a mother I realise just how important it is to encourage your children to do even better than the previous generation and the importance of creating a supportive family life. If we are not careful and attentive to the needs of the people, we will see social conditions deteriorating to that of the 1940 and 50s. My passion has always been for mission, equipping and training and social cohesion and it will continue to be so.

“I have learnt that when God wants you to do something you must be obedient, because we do all things in His strength. I have likened my journey in recent weeks to that of Jonah. God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and he refused and because of this, Jonah ended up in the belly of the whale, not a great place to be.

“I only know one way and that is to be obedient and follow the Lord's prompting. That's why I applied for the post. I had no desire for the title of Archdeacon, but was excited at the Diocese’s focus on Mission and Ministry, through Transforming Presence

. “I am excited to see what new adventures God has in store for me over the next few months and years.”

Revd Mina Smallman


"I have learnt that when God wants you to do something you must be obedient, because we do all things in His strength"

"I am excited to see what new adventures God has in store for me over the next few months and years"
Rt Revd John Wraw

Message from the Rt Revd John Wraw, the Bishop of Bradwell:

“I am delighted that Mina has agreed to move to the Bradwell Area as Archdeacon of Southend. Mina brings significant gifts in leadership from her time in education and a passion and energy for the Gospel.

"The Southend Archdeaconry is an area of great contrasts of poverty and affluence challenging us to recognise the riches those who are poor have to give and the poverty of those who are affluent.

"Mina’s strong commitment to people and communities who find themselves on the margins of society and to be a voice for the voiceless will support and challenge us as Church in the Area to remain outward focused locally, nationally and internationally.”


Our four existing Archdeacons

  • Archdeacon of Chelmsford – The Venerable David Lowman.
    • The new Archdeaconry of Chelmsford comprises the Deaneries of Brentwood, Chelmsford North, Chelmsford South, and Maldon & Dengie.
  • Archdeacon of Colchester – The Venerable Annette Cooper.
  • Archdeacon of Harlow – The Venerable Martin Webster.
  • Archdeacon of West Ham – The Venerable Elwin Cockett.
See map above.

About Transforming Presence

Transforming Presence sets out the strategic priorities of the Diocese to the year 2025: inhabiting the world distinctively; re-imagining ministry; evangelising effectively; and serving with accountability.


About the Diocese of Chelmsford

  • Chelmsford Diocese is a church region of more than 1500 square miles that stretches from the east coast to the Thames and ranges from countryside to towns and suburbs.
  • It comprises the county of Essex, the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock, and the east London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
  • With a population of nearly 3 million people Chelmsford is the second largest diocese in England.
  • Chelmsford Diocese is the largest voluntary organisation in Essex and East London.
  • About six in ten people in Essex and East London say they are Christian.
  • Churches in Chelmsford Diocese continue to see around 42,000 regular weekly attendees.
  • About 5,000 children and adults a year are welcomed into the Christian faith through baptism, and nearly 1,000 are confirmed in this Diocese.
  • There are around 2,200 weddings in Chelmsford Diocese and 6,500 funeral or cremation services a year.
  • Chelmsford Diocese comprises 463 parishes and 597 churches.
  • Nearly 30,000 children and young people attend church schools in the Diocese.
  • An estimated 100,000 young people share in assemblies, chaplaincy, clubs and youth work.

From Internal Communications, Chelmsford Diocese.

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