St George's Church, Benenden


St George's Benenden is joined with St Nicholas' Sandhurst

as a Benefice led by the Rector, Revd David Commander


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 daughters, two grandsons, a grandaughter, and an extremely friendly dog, Barney.

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.


Assistant Priest: Rev. Ylva Blid-Mackenzie was born and raised in Sweden, moving  to Kent in 1996. She finished her theological studies at St Augustine's College in May 2020 and then served her Title  Post in Benenden and Sandhurst with the Revd. David.  She trained as a Landscape Architect and runs Madrona Nursery with her husband Liam. They have three sons, two border collies and some chickens.

T: 01233 820100  M: 07766 711957



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. Should you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact Ian WITHOUT DELAY.  Tel 01580 240999

Safeguarding Policy   Diocese of Canterbury safeguarding


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



David Collard was brought up in Cranbrook and has since always lived locally, moving to Benenden eight years ago.  However, he and his wife Julia, have attended St. George’s together for about 30 years.  David and Julia have seven grandchildren, half of whom live locally with two attending the Primary School at present.  David's main hobby is cricket.  Although now he just umpires matches, previously he played for Cranbrook Cricket Club from the age of 13.  This is David's second time as a churchwarden  David can be contacted via email or Tel 01580 241944.


Sue Fisher is a retired teacher. She spent a significant part of her career in education in different parts of Africa, and some time in Malaysia. In UK she taught at Bedgebury and in Tonbridge. She has two sons and a daughter and Benenden has been the family home since 1988. Sue has always enjoyed singing wherever she has lived in the world, and she is a member of the church choir along with her husband. She hopes that at least one of her eight grandchildren will enjoy singing. or Tel 01580 241907.


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 eight years ago returned to live in the village with her husband David.  Julia has recently retired as Churchwarden but now supports David in his role. Julia is our Church Archivist and welcomes queries about the history of the church and its former members. Her email address is or phone 01580 241944.


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