Abridge Village Church


Pastors Martyn and Ruth Payne.

From mid September 2020, Martyn and Ruth Payne will be living up in the Manse in Abridge and helping to lead the church fellowship as the new joint pastors.

Ruth and Martyn have been married since 1976 and have two children, Rebecca and Tim. Tim is a chef in Salisbury and Rebecca is married with two children - her family lives in Southampton.

Ruth was born in Chelmsford and lived in Woodford briefly when she was young, but then moved to Chester where she met Martyn through the church youth group. Martyn went on to study in London and train as a teacher, while Ruth became a nurse at the Royal London Hospital.

Martyn taught languages in secondary schools in Tower Hamlets before taking up a post with the Church Mission Society for 8 years as its national children’s and family work coordinator. During this time Ruth was a practice nurse in Chingford following her time on the wards. In 1996 she developed a cancer but thankfully it was caught in its early stages. Following surgery and treatment, she went on to work for 20 years for an ovarian cancer support charity called Ovacome.

In 2003 Martyn began work with the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) leading creative arts RE Days and Inset in schools and latterly helping to establish and encourage a national fresh expression of mission church for all ages called Messy Church.

The family grew up at St Andrew’s Church in Woodford Green, where both were involved in pastoral care through home groups, leading all-age worship and the Sunday group for children. Since retirement Martyn has gone on to be involved with BRF in a freelance capacity and Ruth continues to be a volunteer with Ovacome.

Ruth and Martyn enjoy walking - they completed the Thames Path last year; Martyn is a keen runner and Ruth a swimmer. While Ruth enjoys reading autobiographies, particularly those with a medical connection, Martyn is a great fan of poetry and (so-called) children’s literature.

Martyn and Ruth are looking forward to getting to know the people of Abridge and supporting the existing church family at Abridge Village Church (AVC). They already know many in the church family through the assemblies each Monday and the seasonal events for the school that they have supported over the years.

Ruth and Martyn feel called to be involved in the village and pray that they may be of service both to the leadership of the church family and to the village community, as they share and receive God’s love, and live out the good news of Jesus in both traditional and creative ways. They will be living in Abridge, and she and Martyn will be working together through AVC.

Abridge Village Church is a registered charity

Charity Number: 1164783