St Helens Church, High Street, Wheathampstead, St Albans, AL4 8AA. Worship Times: 10am every Sunday

Our Team

The Rev’d Richard Banham, Rector. Richard was ordained in 2006 in the Diocese of Bristol, after training at Trinity College. Before donning the dog-collar he worked as a Project Manager for an international bank. He moved to Wheathampstead with his family in 2010, and ever since has been excited to see all that God is doing here. Richard is particularly keen to encourage ways in which the church can “face outwards” and serve the local community. He enjoys both traditional and contemporary forms of worship. Richard is married to Claire; they have two teenage children, which stops life from ever being boring!
Linda Thomas, Children and Families Minister and Reader, has lived in Wheathampstead for over 30 years and has been part of St Helen’s church family for over 25. She loves helping children to worship God in lots of different ways and maintaining links with all the schools in the village, especially St Helen’s, our church school. She loves singing everything from worship songs with actions, to choral music, great traditional hymns and Taizé chants.
 Hilary Hollick, Churchwarden
 David Hartley, Churchwarden
Keith Andrews. PCC Member, Deputy Church Warden and Church Reordering Project Lead. Keith is married to Kath with 2 adult children and a growing number of grandchildren. They have lived in Lower Gustard Wood since 1989 and regularly worship at St Peter’s Church. Keith in a semi-retired chartered surveyor and project manager. He is treasurer at Wheathampstead Lawn Tennis Club, a trustee of the James Marshall Foundation (chairman 2023/25), and director of St George’s School foundation company. Keith enjoys golf, tennis, gardening, diy , travel; and watching Lowestoft Town FC and Watford FC.
Simon Best. Vision Steering Group Chairman, PCC Member. Australian-born, Simon has lived in Peters Green and worshipped at St Helen’s for 30 years. He is a retired investment banker, married to Jane, with four adult sons and seven grandchildren. He is Captain of Mid-Herts Golf Club 2018, and enjoys gardening, around regular travel to Australia.
Claire Banham is a Reader which in her case means “being able to do the fun bits.” She helps with Children’s and Youth work at St Helen’s, with involvement in a wide range of ministries, ranging from helping to lead Kids Worship to being on the Youth Group team. One of her real passions is that children get to experience for themselves how great God is, and so Claire is committed to anything to help children feel totally welcomed and engaged in church life. She also is Director of The Haven, a Christian support service for young people’s mental health. Claire is married to our Rector, with two grown-up children. In any spare time left (!?!) she is addicted to books, and loves a good weepie film. The whole family is also rather partial to pitting themselves against an Escape Room!
Barbara Doye
Carol Hopper. In addition to being a licensed Reader, Carol is a wife and mother (of twin sons) and a partner in an international law firm. She enjoys being a “bridge” between the people not just of Wheathampstead, but in the working communities she is part of through her legal practice. As part of the Ministerial team here at St Helen’s and St Peter’s, she shares the lead in worship offered at St Peter’s with Pippa Legg, and is helping Richard lead a Developing Disciples course for a number in our congregation in 2024.
Pippa Legg has been a Reader at St Helen’s and St Peter’s churches for 27 years. She moved with her husband Brian to Wheathampstead in 1975, just before their daughter was born. They now have two married children and four grandchildren. Pippa is a biologist who worked in the Plant Pathology department at Rothamsted before the children were born.The family spent two years in Australia, and on their return Pippa began teaching part-time at Loreto College, St Albans. She retired in 2006. Her interests include golf, playing the French horn, walking, bird-watching and crossword puzzles.Photo: Pippa completes documentation before a Taize service at St Peter’s.
John Gladwin
Geoff Barter
John Grace was born in 1938 and brought up in a churchgoing family. After grammar school he joined Cable & Wireless pursued a career overseas in telecommunications engineering. After his first wife died, he felt called into the ministry and was licenced as a Reader in 1997 – that same year Ros and he were married. They take a keen interest in their five children, ten grandchildren and now a great granddaughter!  They all keep us very much on our toes. They joined St Helen’s and St Peter’s in 2005 and feel privileged to be part of such a loving church family as we all journey together following Jesus Christ as the way and the truth and the life! 
  Harry L’Estrange 


Imelda Tay (Mel), Church Administrator, is from Singapore. She has a background in education: teaching sixth form and formulating government policy for tertiary education. She settled in the UK in 2005, and is enjoying looking after the day-to-day business of church. She lives in Wheathampstead with her husband Stephen and her two sons.