The Leadership Team


Rector: Revd David Commander is the Rector of the Benefice of Benenden and Sandhurst. He originally trained and worked as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer for 28 years. He served his curacy at St James's, Tunbridge Wells, before moving to Benenden in October 2013.  He and his wife, Helen, have two grown up daughters and a grandson.

T: 01580 240658    M: 07710 416978

The Rectory, The Green, Benenden, Kent TN17 4DL


Assistant Priest: Though she was born in London, Rev. Rosemary Kobus van Wengen has spent most of her adult life abroad, teaching in schools and universities in Uganda and The Netherlands. She was ordained in 2001 in Canterbury Cathedral, and since then has served as a non-stipendiary priest (now ‘retired’, with Permission to Officiate) in Benenden and Sandhurst. Besides a passion for parish ministry her interests include art and literature, handwork and gardening.


Reader Emeritus

David Harmsworth retired in 2005 from a career as a Classics teacher and Director of Studies. He and his family have been worshipping at St George’s since 1975; as well as taking part in leading worship and preaching, he keeps the records for the churchyard. 01580240683 or

Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection

Ian Malaugh worked for the Police Service until his retirement in 2016.  He moved to the Village in 2014 with his wife and daughter.  He and his family are involved in many village activities including the Benenden Players. Ian is a passionate football supporter of his beloved team Sunderland.

Ian is responsible, as Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer, for the safety of the children and vulnerable adults with whom St George’s works.

Safeguarding Policy Statement


Charles Trollope is retired after a career in the paper making industry. As the PCC treasurer he looks after the church’s accounts and investment funds. He is a keen birdwatcher and writes articles on birds in the parish magazine. or phone 01580240821


Julia Collard was born in Iden Green and moved up to Benenden just before she started at the Primary School. Since then she has always lived locally and has recently returned to the village. She and David have seven grandchildren, half of whom live locally with two attending the Primary School at present. She has a secretarial background and has only ever worked for one firm, retiring at age 60. Her main hobbies are history and gardening.

Julia is also our Church Archivist and she welcomes queries about the history of the church and its former members. Her email address is or phone 01580 241944.

Tracy Claridge grew up in Nth London and Essex; moved to Benenden in 1999 via Australia! 2 daughters - both at TWGGS, 2 stepsons and 2 stepdaughters.

Sales & Marketing Director of a Bordeaux wine producer. Has sat on various Benenden committees over the years. Currently Chairman of the Village Fete committee, PCC rep for the Village magazine, volunteer worker for Catching Lives homeless Charity in Canterbury. Hobbies are wine and sport.

01580 240454.

Always happy to help if I can; my door is always open.

Director of Music

Charlotte O'Neill began her career in church music as a Choral Scholar while at the University of Durham. She studied singing with Ruth Allsebrook and Lyndon Van der Pump in London and Djoke Winkler-Prins in Rotterdam, performing in Europe and the UK.
Her choral work continued in Houston, USA where she was Assistant Director of Children's Music at St Paul's United Methodist Church and Founding Director of the Fine Arts Academy there. On returning to England she has lastly worked as Director of Music at All Saints', Maidstone before moving to Benenden.
  07943 902745 or at


Printer Printable Version
Page last updated: 12th Jun 2018 9:39 PM