Church of England

St Mary’s Anglican congregation: Transforming lives and communities through the love of God




The Church of England Ministry Team

All baptised Christians are called to minister to each other and we have a diverse range of people who serve the church and town in various ways.  The Churchwardens are Dr Brendan O’Farrell and Mary Parker  who meet weekly with the Vicar and there are nineteen members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC). Given its size, much of the work of the PCC is organised through working parties and groups.

Our Anglican authorised Ministers are:

  • Our Vicar, is the Revd Philip Cochrane. Before ordination, Philip had a career in business and public affairs, ordained a deacon in 2007, prior to Banbury, Philip was involved in the leadership of two dioceses alongside his parish ministry.  At present, he serves on the Church of England General Synod and is the Area Dean of Deddington, Chair of St Mary’s Primary School’s Governing Body and involved in many initiatives which address poverty, exclusion and faith formation.
    (Full time, normal day off is Friday)
  • A part-time self-supporting associate priest, the Revd Canon Jeff West, who co-ordinates our weddings and leads on the heritage aspects of the church.
  • A part-time self-supporting associate priest,  Revd Dr Louise Adey Huish, who is also a Hospice Chaplain.
  • A licensed lay minister, Roger Verrall, who leads our pastoral care team and co-ordinates our funeral ministry.

The team are assisted by two retired colleagues, the Revd Canon John Whitwell and the Revd Stella Fairbairn, who, although not licensed to the parish, belong to the Anglican congregation and have permission to officiate.


St Mary’s is part of the Church of England and the Diocese of Oxford. The Diocese is developing a Common Vision, this, coupled with revitalised leadership and listening to our context, means that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has spent some time reflecting on what it means to be a Christ-like church.  What does it mean to be contemplative, compassionate and courageous church in Banbury today?  How do we steward an historic building in such a way that it is not a burden but a viable and sustainable asset for the church and the town?

We want to enable everyone to hear the gospel message in a language which they can understand and experience it in a way which is relevant to them.

So far, the PCC has agreed a Vision Statement: Transforming lives and communities through the love of God