Like almost any church, our worship, work and mission depends on a community of dedicated individuals working together. Some work full time and receive a stipend, such as our Rector; others are part time, such as our Director of Music and Childrens and Young People’s Leader; most are volunteers, including those who serve on the Vestry, and who are trustees within the charity law in Scotland. Not everyone can be listed; below are a few to look out for.
Our Rector. Iain Lothian
Although from Scottish roots, Iain was born in New Delhi, India and has worked in England for most of his life, attempting to instil the joys of Shakespeare and poetry in students. He was ordained in Sheffield in 2005, where his most recent post has involved bringing an Anglican and Methodist church together. His experience of working in India, on placement, challenged his faith greatly and he has found wisdom in Creation Spirituality, Liberation Theology and the Contemplative tradition of Christianity.
He is married to Fiona, who works with refugees, as a psychotherapist and has two sons, one of whom has just graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds whilst the other is studying History at Manchester University. In his spare time Iain enjoys theatre, cinema, cycling and watching pretty much anything involving a ball.
Director of music. Suzanne Butler
Suzanne is an experienced musician, song-writer and facilitator. She is Event Team Manager for Edinburgh music charity Fischy Music who work in schools and churches all over the UK. She sees her church role as one of encouraging collaboration, creativity and team-work – making the most of the many musical gifts of congregation members, and providing a confident lead where required, especially in special and seasonal events at St James. Contact Suzanne here…. music[at]stjamesleith.org.uk
Treasurer. Colin Finalyson
Colin has been a member of St James all his adult life and was, until recently, an active lay reader. Formerly a secondary school headteacher he is now involved as a Trustee with local charity Building Bridges. He has been treasurer of St James for many years and sees his role as helping develop the church as an effective organisation, and worship and a church building fit for purpose in the 21st century
Secretary. Elspeth Grant
Elspeth is Vestry secretary (for the second time) and has been a member of St James’ for many years and is also part of the Music Group. She volunteers regularly with Scripture Union with catering in one of the residential outdoor centres. She has been a teacher and learning assistant in Primary schools, and a nursing assistant.
Associate Priest. Jolyon Mitchell
Jolyon specialises in Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding with particular reference to the arts and media at the University of Edinburgh, where he is Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion. He is also President, TRS UK (UK’s national association for Theology and Religious Studies) and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI). Contact Jolyon via the University website http://www.ed.ac.uk/profile/professor-jolyon-mitchell]
Chair of Vestry. Geoffrey Stevenson
Geoffrey is from the USA, and he has taught preaching at New College. He was the Director of the Centre for Christian Communication at Durham University, but was before that an actor, specialising in mime and physical theatre. Through it all, his heart has been for telling the Christian story in ways that can be heard in contemporary culture.
Worship Planning. Judith Stevenson
Judith chairs the planning group for our worship. She was a founder of the Christian Dance Fellowship of Britain, and for many years led the worship and pastoral care at the Christian Artists Conference, Europe. Following an MA in English at Durham University, she worked as Assistant Senior Tutor at St Mary’s College. She is working on her second novel.
Protecting Vulnerable People
The Scottish Episcopal Church recognises the special status of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
They are to be respected as persons in their own right, created and loved by God. We, therefore, commit ourselves to take all steps within our power to keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
Our PVG contact at St James can be reached via email at PVG[at]stjamesleith.org.uk