Our ministry team

Priest in Charge: James Shakespeare


I come to St John’s after 18 years’ ordained ministry in the Church of England, much of it in the diverse City and Diocese of Leicester.


I served as Policy Adviser & Chaplain to the Bishop of Leicester, as Rector of the large Parish of Birstall & Wanlip, and Team Vicar in the Market Harborough Team Ministry. Alongside parish leadership, I have also had roles leading Churches Together, as an active Street Pastor, and as a spiritual director and regular Quiet Day leader. I am a member of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis, a community of people seeking to follow St Francis’ spirituality in everyday life. I am also a member of the Cursillo movement.


Originally I read theology & religious studies at Cambridge University, and trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge. Before ordination I served in the voluntary sector and in local government, and have a passion for Christians engaging in social action and responsibility. I have also studied at the University of Manchester (Social & Pastoral theology) & Sarum College (Christian spirituality). I was ordained at Ely Cathedral in 1999 and 2000.


I am married to Alison, who is a school business director, and we have two teenage children, Hannah & Edward. As a family, we enjoy the countryside (especially North Norfolk), music & the arts, reading, and travel. We also have a very affectionate cat named Fred!

Assistant Curate: Chris Campbell


I joined St John’s as Assistant Curate, after ordination in Summer 2018.


I have lived in Cambridgeshire since 2010, having previously lived and worked in London. I studied Applied Mathematics at Imperial College London and before having children, I was a secondary school mathematics teacher in central London. Prior to ordination training, I was the Children and Family’s Minister at St John’s, Waterbeach. I have just spent the last two years studying for a Diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission at Westcott House in Cambridge.


I am married to Iain, a technical consultant with Accenture and we have two children. As a family we like country walks, Lego, board games and craft projects!

Assistant Curate (Part-time):

Muthuraj Swamy



Honorary Priest: Peter Heslam


Peter is an Assistant Priest at St John's church and is Director of Transforming Business, a project at the University of Cambridge on enterprise solutions to poverty. He is a fellow in the Divinity Faculty and a Senior Member of Trinity College. Peter works closely with economists and business leaders, and is a prolific writer, speaker and researcher in this field. He was attached to St John's as an ordinand in 1993–95, returning in 1999 when he became a lecturer and director of studies in the Cambridge Theological Federation and at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

Retired Priest: John Hillier


I was a Reader for 14 years and was ordained in the Diocese of Southwark as a self supporting priest in 2002. My working life was spent in the architectural profession from which I retired in 2003. My wife Audrey is physically disabled but we have good family support with three adult children and four grandchildren three of whom live in Cambridge.
I am delighted now to serve as an honorary priest at St Johns.

Reader: Canon Kate Aylmer


Kate is our Licensed Lay Minister (Reader) 

ALM (Pastoral): Anne Rigby


I completed the ALM course in pastoral work in the autumn of 2018. The pastoral work I carry out for St. Johns involves both ends of the age spectrum. I help to facilitate a busy toddler group on a weekly basis and I visit the very elderly, housebound, listening, talking and praying with them. My work is rewarding and I feel privileged to be able to do this.

Pioneer ALM: Sian Binley


I started attending St John’s about 8 years ago when I first started bringing my youngest daughter to Toddle-Along. I am married with two daughters and as a family we enjoy walking, visiting our caravan, festivals and the beach!. Since coming to St John’s I have become part of the Children’s Church team, the Messy Church team and also a Server. I have recently become part of the ministry team since training as a Pioneer Lay Minister. I have really enjoyed my training and look forward to putting it into action!

Jane Gardiner


Lucy Holden


I worshipped at St John’s as a teenager and was a member of the choir and the youth group. After an American Studies degree at Nottingham University and the University of Wisconsin I worked for 15 years in children’s book publishing in London and studied part-time for a Masters degree in Children’s Literature at Roehampton Institute. I moved back to Cambridge in 2010. and started coming to Toddle Along with my daughters. I set up Messy Church at St John’s in 2013, and enjoyed helping as a volunteer at Toddle Along. I was then privileged to be employed as part-time Children’s Worker at St John’s from 2015-2018. I now work as a Special Needs teaching assistant in a local primary school and try to help at church whenever time permits. I am blessed to hold a home group, the Moveable Feasts, at my house and we occasionally help lead services, as well as sharing bible study, prayer and fellowship together. I have two daughters and we enjoy camping, spending time in our garden, at the coast, at festivals and reading and playing games.