Vicar: The Rev’d Canon Bernhard Schunemann
Bernhard has been Vicar of St Stephen’s since 2006. Born in Germany, he moved to England at the age of 15. He studied theology at London and Oxford and has been a cello teacher, a nursing assistant, and a Parliamentary researcher. He is married to Estonian artist Elo Allik-Schunemann and they have three children: Mark, Peter and Helen.
Bernhard is a Canon of Tamale Cathedral in Ghana. He is also Area Director of Ordinands and chairs the South-East London branch of the Council for Christians and Jews.
Reader: Mrs Trot Lavelle
Trot actually travels from Camberwell to St Stephen’s and has done so for over 20 years. Being a wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother she has always enjoyed the spirituality and deep devotion to prayer at St Stephen’s and feels very privileged to be a part of the valued ministry team as Reader.
An enthusiastic amateur musician Trot is very drawn to the richness of the liturgical music at St Stephen’s. Having grown up in a very small hamlet in Shropshire she still delights in the wonderful variation of church music and inspiration it can give.
Together with her husband John they have three children and six grandchildren – and two dogs who insist on regular daily walks.
Assistant priest and Safeguarding Officer: Rev’d Peter Westwood
Peter Westwood came to live in St Stephen’s parish twenty years ago. He was the Chaplain first at H M P Brixton then at Wormwood Scrubs. After retiring from the prison chaplaincy the Bishop of Southwark gave him permission to officiate in the diocese. So now he can help by taking services here and in local parishes.
Churchwarden: Sandra Potter
Sandra joined St Stephen’s fairly recently but immediately felt at home and became a regular member of the congregation. She enjoys her walk through Crystal Palace Park on her way to church from her home in Sydenham, although her dog Max takes a very dim view of being left behind! She lives with her two adult children, Max and two cats. She also runs her travel company from home so it is quite a busy household. Widowed many years ago, she loves travel, music and talking to people.
Churchwarden: Patrick Robathan
Patrick works alongside Sandra to ensure the smooth running of St Stephen’s. Churchwardens act to support both the laity and the clergy and have a special responsibility for ensuring the peace and unity of the church and for the property and moveable goods.
Churchwarden Emeritus: Joan Greenwood.
Joan was Churchwarden for several years before retiring. She continues to be heavily involved at St Stephen’s, especially helping with money and giving, and the hire of the Millennium Hall.
Deputy assistant church warden: Temple Sambo
Temple joined St Stephen’s 17 years ago when he and his family moved in to the Parish. Ever since then he hasn’t stopped attending St. Stephen’s even after he and his family moved out of the Parish 4 years ago, as he and his children see themselves as members of the St. Stephen’s family. Temple is in full time employment working in the Voluntary Housing Sector. He is married and they have 3 lovely daughters, 2 of whom are fellow servers like himself.
Deputy assistant church warden: Rita Frost
Rita assists the churchwardens and clergy in running the church. She also has responsibility for the flower rota.
Parish Secretary: Sarah Bucknall
Sarah works in the office on Wednesday mornings and, among many other tasks, is responsible for printing the weekly notice sheet and keeping the church calendar updated. She is also a very talented photographer and designer and frequently helps us produce publicity and other materials, including Spire.
Director of Music: Rupert Perkins
Rupert studied music at Reading University as a flautist, organist, and choral conductor before gaining a PGCE at Oxford. Upon returning to London he pursued a varied freelance career. He now specializes in church music and joined St Stephen’s in May 2015 after seventeen years at Christ Church Kensington. He is also the director of music at St Margaret Patten’s in the city.
As well as providing music for Sunday services, he plays for weddings, funerals and baptisms, Christmas parties, summer garden parties and concerts… His extensive knowledge of the British choral tradition ensures that a varied and challenging variety of music is performed at services and special events alike. He has worked with small and large choirs from beginners to professionals as well as conducting instrumental ensembles to accompany the choir.
In 2004 Rupert started his own business, South London Music Ltd, a well-stocked music shop in East Dulwich, catering for the needs of musicians of all levels.
Safeguarding officer: Cordelia Hamilton-Fatoyinbo
Cordelia and her family first attended St Stephen’s in 2007. Born in Park Royal, Middlesex, she is a qualified Accountant with Human Resources experience. Her marriage to Chris was at St Stephen’s and her second child was baptised at the church. Her oldest child is a member of the choir and the family are regular worshippers.”
Head Sidesperson: Michael Jenkins
Michael has worshipped at St Stephen’s since 1968, when he moved into the parish, and has continued to do so despite living in Denmark Hill since 1980. Prior to his retirement he worked as a chartered accountant, particularly in the area of corporation tax. He has been married to May for 46 years and has three children and eight grandchildren.
Editor of Spire: Angela Emmott
Angela coordinates, edits and produces the Spire magazine four times a year.