St Mary's Church

Stoke D'Abernon, Surrey

Who's Who

Reverend Godfrey Hilliard


Reverend Godfrey Hilliard

Godfrey Hilliard is the Rector of Stoke D'Abernon having first been appointed Associate Rector in March 2013.  Ordained in 1975, Godfrey served as an assistant curate in Cardiff, as a chaplain in the Royal Navy for twenty six years and latterly as chaplain of Bradfield College in Berkshire. 

Godfrey strongly believes that belief in Christ is life changing and that the church must reach out to promote the Christian faith at every opportunity.  His hope is that St Mary's will be an instrument for change, challenge and care within the community. Godfrey is married to Helen and they have two grown-up children.

Hugh Bryant

Hugh Bryant

Hugh is a Reader (Licensed Lay Minister).  He is a Trustee of the Bishop of Guildford's Foundation and is general manager and trustee of Cobham Area Foodbank.  He is a member of the Guildford Diocesan and Leatherhead Deanery Synods.

Educated in classics at Oriel College, Oxford, he works in marine insurance in the City of London and has been a solicitor specialising in maritime law.  He has two daughters (one an ENT surgeon and the other an F2 hospital doctor) and two Bengal cats.

In his calling to ministry he has followed two grandfathers and one great-grandfather, who were all Methodist ministers.

Ray Blues

Ray Blues

Ray Blues is one of our Church Wardens.   Ray read chemistry at Exeter College, Oxford, carring out research into molecular spectra.  On leaving university, he joined the Ministry of Defence.  while most of his career was in defence, he also worked with export credits, social security and the Treasury, and spent a period on secondment to IBM.

Music has always been an important part of Ray's life.  He learnt piano from an early age, sung with the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and has sung with church choirs and choral societies over the years.  Since retiring from full time employment he has been Musical Director of Elmbridge U3A Choir, and he sings wiht the Chantry Singers in Guildford.

He has lived in Cobham with his family for over 35 years.  His two daughters now live in South East London with their families, which include three grandsons and four cats.

Andrew Stribley

Andrew Stribley

Andrew Stribley joined Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth straight from school after A levels and spent 12 years in the Navy, mostly as a Clearance Diver, with appointments including the Port Diving Officer of Plymouth and RN Diving Instructors Course Officer. 

After the Navy, Andrew went to King's College, London and took a degree in Theology and, after a Post Graduate Certificate of Education, went on to teach Religious Studies and Philosophy at Kingston Grammar School, where he stayed for 26 years, ending up as Head of Lower School and teaching RS to 11 year olds and Theology to University candidates. Subsequent to retirement, he spends his time walking the dog and being Churchwarden.

Robert Woolley

Robert Woolley

Robert Woolley is well known as an organist, harpsichordist and director.  He has played in most European countries, the USA, South America and Japan, and was Artist in Residence at the University of Washington, St Louis.

He is recording the complete keyboard music of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck on historic organs; and has made a CD of Handel and his contemporaries on the 1766 Thomas Parker organ at St Nicholas, Leatherhead.  These discs, and others are obtainable from

Robert recently made audio and video recordings of keyboard music composed for the first Hanoverian monarchs on a harpsichord made for Frederick Prince of Wales in 1740, now part of the Royal Collection.  He also gave a recital on this instrument at Buckingham Palace.  The recordings are on

Last year Robert was President of the Jury of the 8th Principe Francesco Maria Ruspoli Baroque Music and Musicological Studies International Competion, held in the Castello Ruspoli, where Handel gave the first performance of several of his cantatas.  Robert is also a Professor in the keyboard and historical performance faculties of the Royal College of Music.


Oliver Mcfarlane

Oliver Macfarlane

Oliver is first assistant organist at St Mary’s.  He is Editor of Performance Programmes with BBC Television Classical Music.



Visiting the Church

The church is regularly open to visitors at set times. Please read the Visiting St Mary's page for more details.

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