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Chalke Valley Churches - About Us


We aim to

Deliver high quality worship and develop a range of Christian worship so that all are welcomed and enriched in their faith.
Love our neighbours and demonstrate this by giving our time and sharing our resources. 
Serve and support our village communities and especially those who are disadvantaged.
Work with the schools in our valley to support them as they nurture young people early in their faith journey.

We are part of the Chalke Deanery, within the Salisbury Diocese.

Chalke Valley Churches - Team Rector

Revd Dr Ruth Howlett-Shipley

Picture: /imgresize/w288/images/revd-dr-ruth-howlett-shipley-a.jpgRuth studied medicine at University College London before embarking on a varied medical career. She spent the last 20 years of her medical career as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine specialising in the management of complex outbreaks and pandemics.

She trained for ministry at Sarum College and on the Portsmouth Pathway at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.

Ruth was Ordained in 2019 in Portsmouth Cathedral and served her curacy in the parishes of St Nicholas, Wickham and St John the Baptist, Shedfield. In September 2022 she took up the post of Team Vicar in the Chalke Valley Benefice and following a further recruitment process has recently been appointed Team Rector.

Team Vicar - Revd Canon Jenny Taylor

01722 503081 - revjennytaylor@gmail.com

The Revd Canon Jenny Taylor

Currently Jenny has responsibility for the churches in Coombe Bissett, Homington and Bishopstone. She also "chaplains" Coombe Bissett School.

Jenny was ordained in 2001 and worked at St Thomas's, Salisbury until 2009 when she became an Associate Team Vicar in the Chalke Valley.  Jenny was a teacher and for 16 years was Chaplain and Head of R.E. at Salisbury Cathedral School. She "retired" in 2013, when she joined the Chalke Valley team as Team Vicar.

In 2010 she gained an MA in Religion from Winchester University. For some years she was also the Support Officer for all Associate Priests in Sarum Archdeaconry.  She also had responsibility for the Chalke Valley LPAs, both training and supporting them.

Jenny has been married to Geoff for 46 years and they have two sons, and two granddaughters.
When not in the Valley, Jenny reads copiously, cooks, watches television and walks Connie, a 6 year old Working Cocker Spaniel.

The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtham, the then Bishop of Salisbury, asked Jenny became a non-residentiary Canon of Salisbury Cathedral in 2018. This is a huge honour and one greatly enjoyed.

In 2024 she is going to be Chaplain to the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, a role she is looking forward to immensely.

Picture: /imgresize/w288/images/alison-waterhouse1.jpgTeam Vicar - Revd Alison Waterhouse

Picture: /imgresize/w288/images/katewoolvenpic.jpgAssociate Priest -  Revd Kate Woolven

Kate was brought up in the Chalke Valley.  Following her marriage to Jonathan in 1988, she trained as a garden designer.  They set up and successfully ran their own landscaping company in the Chalke Valley for 13 years.  In 2004 they joined the community at Lee Abbey in North Devon.  They ministered there for six years, and it was during this time Kate felt called to ordination.


Kate trained for ministry at Trinity College, Bristol and was ordained in 2009.  She served her curacy in The Five Alive Mission Community in the Exeter Diocese.  Following this Kate became Priest in Charge of the Parishes of Uplyme and Axmouth, also in the Exeter Diocese.  In 2015 she was appointed as Rector to these two parishes.


In 2019 Kate and Jonathan returned to the Chalke Valley.  Following Covid, she assisted the Chalke Valley clergy taking occasional services.  She has recently been appointed to a part time role as Associate Priest with responsibility for Bowerchalke.

Chalke Valley Churches - Our Administrator

Emily BroomheadEmily works part time as Team Administrator for the Benefice.

Her main responsibilities are managing communication and the organisation of Team wide activities.

Emily Broomhead - 07890 262376 - thechalkevalleychurches@gmail.com