Ruth Carter

Born and brought up in the north-east of England, Jane studied German and Dutch at Liverpool University, and married Chris, a science teacher, now retired in 1982. She worked in marketing and advertising for a number of years before leaving to be a full time mother to four boys. She later trained as a primary teacher and worked in schools in Devon and Cornwall for ten years before exploring a call to ordination. Having trained residentially at Westcott House, Cambridge and served her curacy in West Cornwall, the move to the diocese of Chelmsford was a big one, but one Jane and Chris haven’t regretted yet!!


Ruth Carter

Ruth Carter has been a member of the St Peter’s congregation since 2010. She is a professional singer and garden designer, and has recently spent a year renovating and managing a historic garden for the National Trust. She lives in Brentwood with her husband and two teenage sons.

Gill Strachan

Gill Strachan has been attending St Peter’s Church South Weald for over 40 years with her husband Ian and has been involved in church life during that time. She has three grown up children who all attended the primary school and sang in the church choir. She now has grandchildren who attend the school.
During her years at St Peter's she has been a Sunday School Teacher, a school governor and served on the committees of Young Wives and Mothers' Union. Gill now runs Thursday at Two with two of her friends and she is a member of the acting verger team. She is currently the Secretary of Brentwood Deanery Synod.

PCC Treasurer

Sally Laycock

Sally Laycock is a Chartered Accountant currently working as a Financial Controller for a leading digital marketing agency based in London. She is married to Dion – a bell ringer - and has two young boys - Jack and Max who keep her on the go. Away from the world of accountancy she enjoys skiing holidays with her family.


Iain Gunn

It has been my tremendous privilege to have been involved with St Peters School since 2002. I have been the head since 2007. I grew up in the Lake District in a place called St Bees, which is a beautiful little village on the West Coast of Cumbria. I moved down South in 1991 when I trained to be a teacher.

PCC Secretary

Gill Bitschine

Gill Bitschine is married to Michael and has lived in and around Brentwood for over 35 years. She worked for over 45 years in secretarial and administrative roles, but is now retired. Her most memorable working day was when she escorted a tiger cub about the head office, people's reactions were amazing. Gill is interested in reading and gardening and boasts that she has succeeded in going through life without ever changing a nappy!

Director of Music

Alan Ball

Alan Ball has been Director of Music at St Peter’s Church since 1998. He also works as a piano teacher both at home and at Woodlands School, Great Warley, although his degree was in Maths and he used to be a Maths teacher.
He is married to Katherine and has two boys, Peter and David – all three of them sing in the choir, so the whole family is involved in church music.
Alan enjoys walking, reading and playing games with the family.

Pastoral Assistant

Hilda Witchalls

Hilda Witchalls is a retired Nursing Sister, having worked in a Casualty Department and a Doctors’ Surgery. Although retired she still works two awake nights supporting three gentlemen with learning difficulties. When she has a holiday from work on a Friday night, she goes out as a Street Pastor in Brentwood.

Occasionally Hilda babysits her two lovely grandchildren, a granddaughter age 4yrs and a grandson age 7yrs.

Her hobbies are Genealogy (she can “bore” you for ever on this one!!), Victorian History, and has just become interested in Medieval History, reading, crossword/jigsaw puzzles, knitting and crocheting, amateur flower arranging, and walking her dog (a good time for praying).