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 have recently joined St John’s as Assistant Curate, having been ordained as deacon at Ely Cathedral in July 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!

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: Kate Aylmer

Kate has been a Licensed Lay Minister (Reader) for over ten years, serving in local churches, and now works in the Diocese as the Senior Vocations Adviser with a team of advisers who walk alongside people wishing to explore where God might be calling them. She is married with two adult children. She trained as a teacher, and also spent some years as a management trainer with the John Lewis Partnership. She is now an Advisory teacher for Information and Communication Technology in primary schools in the county. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling from St John's College, Nottingham, and also works as a Spiritual Director. For refuge she hides in her workshop woodturning or takes her camera for a walk.