About Us

The Rev'd Vivienne Starkie

Our Team Associate Minister and Safeguarding and Inclusion Lead

01889 - 271046

[email protected]

I was ordained as deacon in 2017 and appointed as Curate here. I have been ordained as priest in July 2018. I married Ian, and have two grown up daughters and two grandsons. I never imagined when I was 33 that I would be with two grown up daughters and two grandsons. I never imagined when I was 33 that I would be ordained as a minister when I was 63. I was then a Prosecuting Solicitor with the Crown Prosecution Service with two small children. I only began teaching Sunday School to avoid the embarrassment of chasing around church after a toddler!

As the years passed, I increasingly felt I should be doing more. Out of the blue, I decided to take early retirement. Still reeling from this unexpected change of direction, I suddenly realised that God was calling me to ministry and that my professional skills in advocacy, my passion for justice, my concerns for victims of hate crime and domestic violence, were all just preparation for a vocation in ministry. I still resisted: I was just not 'holy' enough!

I decided to take a Pathways Course and finally accepted that God was calling me to ministry. I feel very fortunate to be appointed as a curate in the MId-Trent Benefice, a rural team of 10 churches. Each church is unique with a wide range of services from Book of Common Prayer to café-style. Ever since I embraced my vocation, I've felt a bubble of joy within me.

The Rev'd Danny Payne - our Team Curate

07475 - 005055

[email protected]                  Please note that my usual non-working day is Thursday.

Rev'd Danny Payne joined us in October 2023 as "Curate on Placement" from St. Mary’s and St. Chad’s churches in Stafford, and is serving as "locum" minister during the vacancy for a rector. Having trained for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, he is currently working to complete his MA in Biblical Interpretation with the University of Wales Trinity St David; his particular focus is on John’s Gospel. Danny is a member of Inclusive Church and the Society of Catholic Priests (SCP).

Before training for ordination, Danny worked as a primary school teacher in Evesham, having been Head of Design, Media and Reprographics for The King’s School in his hometown of Worcester for several years. Danny’s interests include Star Trek, model railways and musical theatre. He lives with his civil partner Malcolm, who is training as a Reader, and their Scottish Terrier, Wilfy.

Danny is currently living in the curate’s house in Stone, so unfortunately he is not always available in the parishes. Please do get in touch, preferably by e-mail, if you would like to meet with him. Alternatively, he is usually available after Morning Prayer at St. Andrew’s Church, Weston, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9-00 am. His usual non-working day is Thursday, with study leave on Fridays.

Mr. Andy Cooper- Our Team Lay Reader / minister

At my age (mid 60's) - it is something of a novelty being the new kid on the block! But that is not to say I am new in the faith - and like everyone who loves the Lord I know I am on a journey and part of God's plan. My family was by tradition Methodist - but by no means active. My brother and I were parceled off to Sunday School - probably to give Mum and Dad a break, and I guess that was where the seeds of the Christian faith were planted in me.

Through a friend in my secondary school years, I joined the Boys' Brigade where I progressed through the ranks to leader/officer. When the BB Company (which was unusually associated with the local Anglican Church rather than the more typical Baptist church) folded, I joined the church's youth group where my faith really became challenged and stretched. However it was when working on a programme called Evangelism Explosion that I was confronted with the simple truth that my salvation was through the grace of God and not by my efforts. I had spent a long time in the church and in Christian youth work - yet only at that point coming to a real faith in Christ!

Over the following years I have lived in Burton and Derby, moving down to Handsacre and then Great Haywood in 2005.
A lot has happened along the way - often not noticed at the time - but looking back…… well that's a different matter. Life is like an ocean voyage - sometimes calm and blissful - often stormy and dangerous. It is only looking back that I see the people and events that God has used in His plan to bring me to where I am now. In spite of my own failings, I can also see that the one ever present thread through my life is the love of God
Meanwhile, I'm still in full time work as an engineer in the food & drink industry, dreaming of retirement!! In my "spare" time, I'm involved in local politics and I'm a member of Stafford Morris Men. When I get the chance, I like to get away in our motor-home with our rescue collie cross.

Warden:  Mrs. Pat Preece:  [email protected]

P.C.C. Secretary:  please see St. James the Great Church, Salt.

Compass:  please see St. James the Great Church, Salt.

                                                                             Administrators In Our Mid-Trent Team

Team Lay Chair: Mr. Stuart Hodson: [email protected] 01889 - 505414

Team Minute Secretary: Mrs. Shirley Hayes: <[email protected]>

Christenings (Baptism): Rev'd Vivienne Starkie: [email protected]

Weddings: Mrs. Elizabeth Jarrett: [email protected]

Funerals: Mrs. Janet Stubbs: [email protected]

Compass Magazine Editor: Rev'd Duncan Leake: [email protected]


Below is a report of our Church opening in Easter of 1876.

Opening Of A Village Chapel At Hopton.

This hamlet contains a population of about two hundred inhabitants, who are nearly two miles distant from their Parish Church at Salt. For some years past a great desire has been felt by the people themselves that they could have a little Church built in their village for the aged and infirm as well as for general use, when bad weather or the distance or other reasonable cause interfered with their attendance at Salt. Various circumstances, however, have prevented this plan from being carried out, but for the last year or two the Earl of Shrewsbury, to whom the village belongs, has very kindly made a temporary provision by sending a carriage every Sunday to convey those who most needed such help to Salt Church. A further improvement has now been made, which perhaps in the course of a few years may lead to a still better means being supplied. With the noble Earl's permission, a roomy barn about the centre of the village in the occupation of Mr. E J Mousley, who most kindly gave it up for the purpose, has been converted by Mr. F Ratcliffe, builder, of Stafford, into a simple and seemly Chapel, capable of containing about one hundred persons, where Divine Service may be occasionally performed under license of the Bishop of the Diocese. It was opened for this purpose on Easter Tuesday, April 18th, when a very full congregation attended, two thirds of it consisting of the evidently delighted people of the village itself. The Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury were present, and several members of families living in the neighbourhood. The Rev'd F S Bolton, Vicar of the Parish, the Rev'd W E Coldwell, Vicar of Sandon, the Rev'd S Plant, Vicar of Weston, the Rev'd R C Farmer, Vicar of Barlaston and the Rev'd D R Norman, Rector of St. Mary's, Stafford, who preached, were the officiating clergy. The infant daughter of Mr. John Marston, Skeath House Farm, in the Parish of Salt, whose family has long occupied one of the Earl of Shrewsbury's farms at Hopton, was baptised by the Vicar, and the Holy Communion was administered to more than forty communicants. The offertory, which will be applied towards defraying the expenses of altering and furnishing the building, amounted to £17-14s-11½d, including contributions kindly sent by Mr. Myott of Capesthorne (formally of Hopton), Mr. John Stubbs of Burston, and Mr. Timmis of The Brickhouse, who were unable to be present. On Sunday, April 23rd, when the Vicar of the Parish officiated at an afternoon service, the Chapel was crowded with people of the village, and a sum of £7-10s-8½d was given as an addition to the former collection.