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Who's who

Many people contribute to the life and work of St Andrew's church. You can find out more about us, or contact us directly, on this page. 

Fr Darren McFarland

Darren has been the Vicar of St Andrew’s since July 2011. He was born and brought up in
Northern Ireland. After reading English at Queen's University Belfast he read Theology at Trinity College Dublin and trained for ordained ministry in the Church of Ireland. He was ordained deacon and priest at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

After a curacy in County Wicklow he moved to the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway where he was respectively Rector of Clydebank and Paisley. Darren also served as chair of the Provincial Liturgy Committee and a member of the Faith and Order Board of the Scottish Episcopal Church.


Alongside his role as vicar Darren is also Chair of Governors at St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, a governor of Headington School and the Assistant Chaplain of Keble College.


The vicarage garden occupies a lot of his free time and provides an extensive playground for Elizabeth the cat! | 01865 761 094

Curate - appointment imminent

Our new curate will join us in July 2021


Mthr Jenn Strawbridge

Jenn is Associate Priest at St Andrew's, although she works full-time for the University of Oxford as an Associate Professor in New Testament Studies. Jenn’s connection to St Andrews dates back to 2009 when she was Chaplain at Keble College, St Andrews’ patron. She’s also a Foundation Governor at the church school. Jenn is originally from Texas and before coming to St Andrews served at Keble and before that in two parishes in Connecticut and Virginia, USA. She loves spending time in the garden and with her now elderly labrador, Marley.

Jane Shepherd

Jane was elected churchwarden in 2020. She was born and educated in Headington. Her family have been worshiping at St Andrew's for over 70 years and all family rites of passage were celebrated in the church including her own baptism. So although she mainly lived in London, she has always felt St Andrew's to be her church family.


 After school, Jane achieved her long held dream of studying Medicine. She qualified as a doctor from The University of London (King's College) and then trained as an Anaesthetist and enjoyed a busy career in front line medicine. 


Her Headington roots remained deep and she finally returned to the family home in 2010, so her 2 children could complete their schooling in Oxford and so she give extra support to her widowed mother. She continued to work full time in London but was able to gradually become involved in the local community. Jane retired in 2019 and now has time to enjoy new friends and new activities.


Her interests are varied, enjoying cooking, the creative arts including sewing and gardening. She passionately believes in the importance of caring for the environment, supporting the community and looking after our physical and mental wellbeing. 


Jane feels hugely privileged to serve as churchwarden, and is looking forward to becoming more involved and getting to know everyone better.

Malcolm Nichols

Malcolm has lived in Headington since 1962 and has had a long family and personal association with St Andrew’s Church, on an intermittent and sometimes extended basis from that time until today. As a churchwarden he aims to serve the church, clergy, colleagues, parish and congregation. His interests are in the history of art, architecture, civil engineering, science and technology, photography, aviation, reading and gardens.

Richard Bennett

Richard is the Director of Music at St Andrew's. Richard trained as a schoolmaster, began his working life as a teacher of chemistry, and has been a successful businessman, including running a group of children’s day nurseries. He served for many years as Ward Councillor and as Leader of the Majority Group on a local council in Surrey. Richard was a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, began studying the organ in 1968, served for many years as a church choir director, and has worked at St Andrew’s since 2012. In that time he has formed and developed our wonderful choir. He is always looking for more people to join, so do speak to him if you are interested! Richard is married to Alison and they have two adult sons.

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