Who We Are

The Deanery of Bedford is a group of 22 neighbouring parishes. Together these 22 parishes form an administrative area.

The Deanery of Bedford is overseen by an Area Dean, The Revd Dr Sam Cappleman, and a Lay Chair, Mrs Pauline Kendall.

The Deanery of Bedford has a Deanery Synod made up of the clergy and elected lay representatives from the parishes.  The Deanery Synod is a forum for the parishes to exchange views on issues affecting the Deanery of Bedford.  Its members also elect representatives to the Diocesan Synod and also to the General Synod, which is the legislative and deliberative body of the Church of England.

Who's Who?

The Revd Dr Sam Cappleman

Area Dean


Sam is associate priest at Bedford St Mark’s and Area Dean of Bedford. He is currently the Executive Chair of the Lee Abbey Movement and involved in a number of other Christian Charities.

His biblical and theological interests include the Jewish origins of the Christian faith and liturgy and how the church today relates to the society in which we live. 

Mrs Pauline Kendall

Lay Chair

Pauline has always enjoyed opportunities to meet with other Christians – regardless of tradition- who have the gospel at the heart of all that they do .


Pauline worships and lives in Wootton and

is the Deputy Head at The Bedford Sixth Form on Bromham Road.

The Revd Paul Messam

Assistant Area Dean

Paul is Priest-in-charge of the Elstow Abbey Team and Assistant Area Dean of Bedford. Paul has been at Elstow Abbey since November 2016 having previously held Church and Chaplaincy posts in Coventry Diocese and Leicester Diocese.


With a background in Design and Advertising Paul continues to have a keen interest in Apologetics and the Mass Media. He is also an active member in the Society of Catholic Priests.


Richard Kirby

Deanery Treasurer

Richard is a retired chartered accountant, in his 20th year as Treasurer at St. Mary the Virgin, Goldington. He is married to Dorothy, a retired civil servant, and they have two children and one grandchild.   Dorothy is a keen bell ringer and helps lead the church catering team at St. Mary's and Richard sings in the choir.


Richard enjoys playing bowls, gardening and listening to music but his main passion is walking, especially long ones.

Mrs Ann Mason

Deanery Synod Secretary

Ann has lived in Bedford since 1981 and has attended St Andrew's Church since then.


Ann worked as a Parish Assistant and, once retired, joined the Diocesan Synod for three terms before taking on the role of Deanery Synod Honorary Secretary.


Ann is married to David, a retired priest, They have two daughters and three grandchildren. Ann enjoys going to the theatre, concerts and going on holiday.

Licensed Extra Parochial Chaplaincies

Mr Neil McCleery
 Lay Chaplain to Bedford School


Neil joined Bedford School in 2018, having previously served as a chaplain in prep and senior schools, two Oxford colleges, and latterly a cathedral.


He bears responsibility for the life of the School Chapel, as well as teaching Theology, Philosophy, and Religion, providing pastoral support to pupils, parents, and staff, and taking an active part in wider School life. Find out more here


Formerly a professional musician, he is keen on aviation and the outdoors, coaches target shooting, and takes an interest in all things French.

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