The Venerable Stephen Taylor
Archdeacon of Maidstone
Stephen attributes the start of his Christian journey to his attendance at Sunday School in the open evangelical church of St Peter’s Shipley, the church where he later became confirmed and where he married his wife Julie, a Senior Educational Psychologist.
After training at Cranmer Hall, Durham, Stephen served his curacy at St Mary and St Cuthbert at Chester le Street, before becoming incumbent at St Matthews, Newbottle in Durham Diocese. Between 1983 and 2000, Stephen was the vicar of All Saints Stranton, Hartlepool, a town centre church with a church plant and youth work team; during this time Stephen acted as a training incumbent.
In 2000 Stephen moved to Sunderland where he worked with the local community to make the church accessible and relevant to the people of Sunderland by creating the Urban Minster in the city.
Over recent years Stephen led an ordained team including a University Chaplain, Industrial Chaplain and Minster Chaplain. From 2006-2011, Stephen chaired the Sunderland Local Partnership which worked strategically with among others, the City Council, Primary Care Trust, Chamber of Commerce and Voluntary Sector Organisations. Stephen, who sat on General Synod between 2000 and 2005, was also the Chair of the working group of ‘Church and Society’ for Durham and Newcastle Dioceses from 2005-2006. Over the last ten years, Stephen took the lead in various initiatives in Sunderland including making it a ‘Fair-Trade City’ and establishing a ‘Faith in Communities’ programme to help churches and other partners work together especially for the support of the most vulnerable.
Outside work Stephen and Julie enjoy cycling, exploring Scotland in their small motor cruiser and taking holidays in the Isles of Scilly with their three grown up children and grandchildren.
Stephen became the Archdeacon of Maidstone in September 2011.