Changing lives for Jesus

Who’s Who

Reader – Jeff Hacon

Jeff is a retired Science Teacher. He was licensed as a Reader in the Ely Diocese in 1991 and is an energetic and gifted speaker. He moved to Shiphay in 2014 and has been part of St John’s ever since. He is married to Debby, who is involved with the worship team. His other main interests include bird watching, natural history and the England Cricket Team!

Church Warden – Jenny Brennand

Jenny was appointed as Church Warden from May 1st 2019. She is married to Bob and says that their wedding took place on a very hot day in June 1975. She is in full time employment as a funeral director. Jenny began her career in this industry over 30 years ago working her way up from a junior post to her current role as director. Her hobbies include cooking, reading and sewing. Jenny has also been our Synod Rep for the past 4 years and enjoys being a member of the Sing for Joy choir.

Prayer Ministry Co-Ordinator – Jenny Ledger

Jenny is a Specialist MRI Radiographer and has lived in Shiphay for 34 years. She is a mother and grandmother and has been involved with St John’s for over 30 years. She has undertaken numerous responsibilities in the church, ranging from Sunday School work to being the Synod Representative and a member of the PCC. For many years she has co-ordinated the Prayer Ministry Team which is currently her main responsibility. Jenny is also actively involved with the Music Worship Team.

Sacristan - Gill Cranch

Gill is the Church Sacristan, preparing the elements for communion services. She makes sure that the correct altar frontals for the church year are in place. Gill and Derek, her husband, married at St John the Baptist Church in the 1970s and they have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. She worked in the NHS as a shorthand typist for 8 years and after having a family returned as A&E receptionist for 20 years. Her hobbies include card making, flower arranging and other crafts.

Treasurer – Jill Richardson

Jill has lived in South Devon for 50 years, moving from Brixham to Torquay in 1997. Before taking early retirement at the end of 2011 and having qualified as a solicitor, she worked as a Legal Advisor in the local Magistrates’ Court. She has been a member of St John’s since Easter 2008. She has been on the Flower Team since Christmas 2012 and was appointed Treasurer in April 2017. She is married with a grown up daughter and son.

Parish Administrator – Sonia Collings

Sonia is the administrator at St John’s where as the receptionist she shows a friendly face to the outside world. She responds to all enquiries, supports the Vicar and Church Wardens and deals with all the bookings for the Church Hall. She aims to make the church office a lively communications hub. She particularly enjoys preparing for marriages and baptisms. Sonia lives in Shiphay with her hushand and youngest daughter.

Sunday School Leaders – Paul Williams & Cathy MacPherson

Paul and Cathy are a married couple who lead the children’s ministry at St John’s. They have undertaken this role since 2007. Previously they were Sunday School leaders in Christchurch, Spitalfields. Cathy is a Special-needs Co-ordinator in a Torbay Primary School. She was formerly a head teacher working in the east end of London. Paul is the Senior Educational Psychologist in Torbay. He also works for the Open University and previously he was a Primary School Teacher in the East End. They have a heart for sharing the gospel with young people and especially welcome children with special educational needs. Paul and Cathy are mum and dad to Kate who is studying Theology at Exeter University and John who is studying A Levels at St Cuthbert Mayne.

Easy Worship Leader – Bob Brennand

Bob was born in London in September 1949 and educated at Pinner Grammar School. Initially he worked for Midland Bank plc as a Computer Operations Instructor. The Bank transferred him to Sheffield and he was subsequently made redundant. He then moved into public transport and drove for First Group. He moved to Devon in 2000 and continued driving buses until his retirement in 2014. Bob is married to Jenny and both he and his wife are involved in voluntary work at St Johns. Bob is also responsible for church health and safety; he is Chair of the Hall and Fabric Committee; he is responsible for electrical safety tests and he also volunteers at the Monday market.

Music – Mary Hutchison

Mary has been involved with church music teams most of her adult life but became church organist/pianist at St John’s in 2016. She currently looks after the church website. Mary has had a varied career in administration, including working for a publishing company, a stockbroking and financial services organisation, a charity delivering relationship skills training in prisons and a college for secondary school age children with special needs. She has three children, eight grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. She also loves history, knitting, cross-stitching and other crafts. She has spent time in Rwanda and is still active in raising funds for various projects in that country.

Music & Prayer Ministry - Marion Adams

Marion is a full-time editor, proofreader and copywriter providing services for a wide range of academic, corporate and individual clients. She has undertaken projects for the Bible Society and produced Bible translations and commentaries for MissionAssist's Easy English Bible. She also writes poetry and children's books. She has played piano and keyboard in church bands over the last 20 years. She joined St John's in 2004 and has since served in the worship team and prayer ministry team. Her other interests include animal rights and environmental issues. Marion is married to Carl and they have two grown-up children, Laura and Tristan.

Music– David Williams

David was born and bred in Torquay and prior to retirement he was Torquay and District Senior Administrative Officer for British Gas. After retiring he served at St Mary Magdalene in many capacities, as organist at the Chapel of St Francis at Channings Wood Prison and pianist and organist at Preston Baptist Church. He was also for some time organist and treasurer at St John’s. He has directed church choirs, ecumenical choirs and police choirs and still directs Exeter Police Choir. He now plays the piano and organ at St John’s on the third Sunday of each month. David has a heart for Christian music and pastoral care across denominational borders.

Special Events Facilitator – Francesca (Fran) Yates

Fran is a long term resident of Shiphay and worked for many years in local government and the Civil Service. Before retiring she was a child-minder and respite carer and has cared for 140 babies and small children, including those with special needs (not all at the same time!) She is a poet, a creative writer and a worship leader. She has even driven a Pizza van in the past! She now paints and up-cycles furniture. Fran has three daughters and five grandchildren.

PCC Secretary and Deputy Warden - Janet Thomson

Janet's parents moved from Coventry after WW2 when Janet was 6 years old to open a hotel in Paignton. She attended Oldway Primary School and Torquay Girls' Grammar School before qualifying as a teacher. Janet and her husband taught in both primary and secondary schools in Devon and Somerset. During her career, Janet mentored Exeter University students and ran workshops for teachers. As a member of St John's Janet is a Deputy Warden, leads the Flower Team and assists with Monday Market. She also organises Lee Abbey visits and community events. Her other interests include theatre, travel, literature, history and arts and crafts.

Other activities associated with the church include:

PCC membership
Bible reading and Intercessions at Sunday services
Coffee Bar
Prayer Chain


Please see any church member for details of these and other activities.