Rector and the Team

Please find below an introduction to our leaders and members of staff.
 
 
The Revd Keith Robus MA Royal Navy - Rector   Miss Marilyn Goldsbrough - Churchwarden
Fr Keith was born in Kent and brought up in a pub. He joined the local choir aged 7 and has continued to worship from that age. Post secondary education he studied Catering at Westminster College and worked for Grand Metropolitan. He studied Theology in Chichester and was ordained in London Diocese. Fr Keith served in Harrow, Harlesden and North Acton before joining the Royal Navy Chaplaincy and serving ten years in the RN. During his service he spent time on ships, in land establishments and had operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. For his final years he became the senior chaplain in Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. Whilst at Dartmouth he was spotted by the Bishop of Plymouth and 'press-ganged' into the Exeter Diocese. He was inducted as Rector of Stoke Damerel in 2019 and shortly afterwards celebrated 30 years as an ordained priest. He enjoys gardening and the delights of Dartmoor and of the costal paths around Devon and Cornwall.   I’m Marilyn. I’m proud to be a Plymothian, even though I was born outside the city at Flete, Modbury, in Lord Mildmay’s stately home which was requisitioned during and after WW2 as a maternity hospital. After living in Newton Ferrers my family moved to the Exeter area and I went to school in Topsham and Exmouth. I trained as a secretary in Exeter then spent 6 months in France as an au pair. On returning home, I worked for the Tupperware Company for several years, during which time I became a Sunday School teacher at St. Margaret’s Church and also taught conversational French at evening classes. This inspired me to train as a teacher at Rolle College, specialising in French. I taught in four primary schools in Plymouth and worked for three years in Germany with the British Forces Education Service. During my teaching career, I was fortunate enough to have been seconded twice by the local authority to study for a B.Phil, followed by an M.Phil at Exeter University. I can hardly believe that I retired almost 20 years ago! How time flies! I have lived in Stoke since 1975, and been attending Stoke Damerel Church for about 16 years now. I have been a church warden for quite a few years now and am a firm believer that our church family can make a positive difference in the community. I am Chairman of the Plymouth Brest Twinning Panel, and belong to the WI and Tangent. I love travelling, entertaining, the arts, reading, my two pet cats, singing in choirs and organising fund raising events for church ranging from concerts to craft fairs. I think 2021 will be a very busy year for us once we have the pandemic under control. Watch this space!
     
 
Mrs Wendy Pezzey - Reader   Mrs Caroline Lee - Reader

My name is Wendy and I was born in St. Albans, Herts. My family returned to Plymouth where I began my education. I trained to be a teacher at Liverpool and spent most of my working life in primary education. As my husband was in the Royal Navy I followed in his wake and we lived in the Far East and at various naval establishments in the UK before settling back in Plymouth. I trained to be a Reader in my early thirties and have been licensed to several different parishes each with its own expression of the Christian faith. For some years I have been part of the team at Stoke Damerel. I find inspiration in the Franciscan emphasis on simplicity and joy. My academic interests focus on history and geography. As I have got older so I have become fascinated by ancient history and archaeology, especially Egyptology, which I studied at Exeter as a rather mature student. Plymouth has a lot of rainfall, but it is a consolation that some of it ends up as gin!


 
Hello. My name is Caroline Lee. By day (i.e. Monday to Friday) I am a nurse at Derriford Hospital. But seven days of the week I am your Reader with Permission to Officiate. My origins are from Yorkshire (West Riding). I like to tell it as it is - keep things simple and easy to understand. But I am a big softy not as gruff as I might seem. Like Wendy I also follow the footsteps of Saint Francis. I am a Novice in the Third Order. I meet with a wonderful group in Cornwall who keep my feet on the ground, as you all do, I hope I can continue to serve you all at Stoke Damerel, my spiritual home.

Caroline  

Caroline is at present on a three month sabbatical and is expected to return to the parish in July.
     
   
Mr John Steere - Safeguarding and Choir Director    
John grew up in post-war bomb-damaged Devonport and, aged 11, moved with his family to Stoke where he joined the church choir and has never left.  Choirboys are often drafted into the tower to ring the bells, and he is also a member of the band there.  At school he discovered an aptitude for languages which led to an exchange programme with a French friend, a succession of summers in France in his formative adolescent years, decades-long friendships there, and a career teaching the language.  His time qualifying at Exeter University was interspersed with caving most weekends – great socially, but maybe not academically!  Mid-life led to a career change to re-qualify as a school counsellor at Plymouth and Reading Universities, then a move from Education into the NHS and work in a drug and alcohol misuse agency, before retiring some years ago.  A constant through all those changes has been marriage to a fellow-member of the choir, and now two daughters, and four grandchildren all in secondary school.       
     
   
Mrs Sarah Lundstrom - Parish Secretary   Miss Ruth Sayers - Worker in the Community
- Church Missionary Society

I was born in Plymouth and educated in the old Stoke Damerel Primary School and Devonport High School for Girls. After leaving school I worked in insurance for 10 years before having a complete change of direction and training as a veterinary nurse. I still work as a veterinary nurse, where my main interest is dentistry. I have lived in Plymouth all my life, apart from a spell in Gibraltar during the 90s where I joined the King’s Chapel military choir and became interested in choral singing. When not working, I enjoy walking, gardening, embroidery, and crime and historical novels. I am married with two grown-up children.

  My name is Ruth and I have been working in the area of Plymouth for nearly 6 years. After returning from placements overseas (Egypt, Bethlehem and Jordan), CMS supported a UK placement in Plymouth. Currently I am working with the local churches in the area of Stoke and Devonport. One of the activities I am involved in is a club for the unemployed. Devonport Work Club has continued to support the unemployed in our area of high deprivation and unemployment. Essential support is offered regarding the benefit system, CV’s etc and most of all a safe place where people can have social support and friendship. I am also Chair of Governors of a local school and part of the Chaplaincy Team at City College. With the help of CMS and some private teaching, I am self-supporting currently for 3 days a week.
Contact details: ruthmsayers@gmail.com
     
 
Tony Barnard - Stoke Damerel Historian   Mrs Pam Anson and Mrs Julia Steere - Flower Team
Born in Birmingham, Tony joined a local church-based cub pack at the age of 10. Continued membership depended on monthly Sunday attendance at the 11.00am service. The church was Anglo-Catholic, with plenty of incense at services. He was confirmed a year after joining the cubs, by Bishop George Sinker, Provost of Birmingham Cathedral. Tony eventually ran the cub pack for a short period before moving to Plymouth to study at the School of Architecture. Since moving to Stoke, over forty years ago, he has been a regular worshipper at Stoke Damerel. He has served as secretary to the Parochial Church Council and as one of the churchwardens. Prior to retirement Tony was an Architectural Technician. Always interested in old buildings he was involved in restoring historic buildings around the south-west, including many listed churches. Fascination with local history led to the monthly ‘From the Archives’ articles in the parish magazine.   I came to live and worship in the parish over sixty years ago and joined the very active Young Wives' Group.  Having always had a love of flowers I was delighted to become involved with the Flower Festivals held in the church.  

I later worked together with Julia's mum, ensuring that there
were always fresh flowers in our pedestals.  It gives me pleasure to bring some of God's creation into his house for all to enjoy, and Julia and I would happily welcome others to come and join us.

Pam 

Flowers were always part of my home and in church as I grew up.  At home they would either be in a vase, maybe just a small simple arrangement, or there would be bunches in the porch by the front door ready to go to church, probably as it was my Mum's turn to supply and arrange the altar flowers that weekend.  Now, fifty years later, I have become involved with Pam to make sure there are always fresh flowers in church - following in my mother's footsteps, I suppose! 

Julia 


 
     
 
John Mitchelmore - Captain of the Tower   Mrs Christina Richardson
- Stewardship Co-ordinator
I learnt to ring at Whitchurch in 1960 and I became a member of Stoke Damerel ringers when I moved to Plymouth in 1970. I have been tower captain since 2016 and  have been captain on several previous occasions. I am a member of the Guild of Devonshire ringers and have been so for 58 years. I have rung 150 peals and numerous quarter peals. My hobbies are running and walking the south west coast and Dartmoor with its beautiful scenery.
Contact details; jandjmitchelmore@aol.com. Mob : 07800921538
Ringing Details ; Sunday 9.30 am, Practice: Wednesday 7.15 -8.45pm.
 
My name is Christina Richardson and I co ordinate the monetary giving in church. The majority of giving is regular via the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS). This is a scheme whereby the donation is given by monthly or three monthly direct debit and is co ordinated by the Diocese. Information on the PGS can be found at www.parishgiving.org.uk . It is still possible to give cash or cheques via the plate in church and by using the white envelopes if the donation is eligible for gift aid. I am happy to answer any queries and assist with accessing the PGS. 
 
 
     
   
Mrs Debbie Smith - Parish Treasurer   Kevin Kelland
Born and bred in Plymouth, I joined Stoke Damerel Church 28 years ago when we moved to the Stoke area of Plymouth. I became involved with the Church finances in 1995 and have been treasurer on and off since then and currently hold that position.  Always welcome to hand over the reins of the treasurer role to any willing and able participant.
I work at City College Plymouth but last year reduced to part time hours to enable me to do other things in life.
I enjoy cycling, walking the moors/coastal path, listening to live music and visiting the pub.
 
   
     
 
Craig Miles Electoral Roll Officer   Kelly Collins - Churchyard enthusiast
I’m Craig and I am the Electoral Roll Officer. 

I started worshiping here in 2011.  I attended a baptism and soon realised what an inclusive and friendly bunch everyone was so decided to stay and explore my faith further.  Later that year I was baptised and confirmed here at Stoke Damerel. 

Since then, I have regularly attended with my husband Darren.  I serve on the PCC, I am one of the  Eucharistic  ministers and now I am the Electoral Roll Officer with responsibility for keeping the electoral roll up to date for the church.  Please have a chat with me at any time if you would like to join. 

What is the Electoral Roll?
The church’s Electoral Roll is the register of its voting members; it is a list of those qualified to attend and to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

Who can be on the Electoral Roll?
Baptised adults (over 16 years) who live in the parish, or who have worshipped regularly at Stoke Damerel for at least six months and are committed to being part of the life of the local Church of England congregation.

Why Join?
Enrolment is a way of saying....“I belong”.
For us it is an act of commitment to Stoke Damerel and the church as a whole. 
  Kelly - Born Clinton Kelly Collins at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento California and raised in Santa Rosa which is an agricultural town a bit more than an hour north of San Francisco. There’s where my love of nature and gardening began. I had my own lawn mowing and garden care operation going at the age of 8. I graduated Santa Rosa High School and studied Spanish in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico the following summer (and I don’t remember any of it) then was accepted into an international youth performing group called Up With People where I travelled throughout 18 countries in North America and Europe over a period of 13 months. Once home I graduated the Santa Rosa Junior College and then went to get my business degree from San Francisco State University. I married a woman named Diana and had two children, Mikela Marie and Jackson Tyler.  I was hired by Macy’s where I worked for 22 years in various roles from store management to the buying offices to executive training, organisational development and finally diversity development. During those years I came out as gay which led to divorce. I left Macy’s in 2005 as I was battling life threatening illnesses and that’s when I started taking flower arranging classes. A fellow classmate liked my designs and ask me to design her back garden. Her garden ended up being on a walking tour of San Francisco gardens and from that other requests for design came my way. That broadened to providing plants for businesses both large and small and selling my “nature art” in a local San Francisco plant shop called Roots SF. My business became slowly more successful until my departure in 2017 when I moved to Plymouth.

After my divorce I met my future life partner Jim Randell in 1997, the same year my mother passed away. It was through a job offer for Jim that we were brought to Plymouth.

My father’s family comes from Cork, Ireland but I didn’t know my mother’s side as well.
Since arriving I’ve learned much about my own British heritage as both my mothers parents families come from Norfolk and East Anglia. I recently learned that my grandfather’s family is related to Resolved White, one of the original passengers of the Mayflower. What remarkable serendipity that his DNA should travel back here nearly 400 years later. I’ve always felt right at home here in England and love living in Plymouth. I feel like the Salmon that has swam back upstream!
 

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