If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:11
Richard Coombs, Vicar
After a Psychology degree at Durham and Theology degree in Cambridge, Richard served curacies at Christchurch, Cockfosters and St Helens, Bishopgate. He has been Vicar of Burford since 1998. Richard is passionate about seeing the church flourish and grow in rural parishes. He has an interest in theological education, serving as a selector on Bishops' Advisory Panels, a council member of Wycliffe Hall and a trainer of curates and theology students. Richard is married to Nicola and they have four children: Rebecca, Charlie, Ben and Jack. Richard enjoys reading, theatre, films and music. He is most at home walking his dog around his Cotswold parishes.
Robert Wainwright, Curate
Robert went to school in Scotland but never picked up the accent. He read history and had a lot of fun at St John’s College, Durham, and then carried on as a postgraduate student at Christ Church, Oxford. His doctorate was on the sixteenth-century Reformation. After travelling across America, up and down Italy, and around Turkey, he read theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and was awarded the Denyer & Johnson and St Catherine of Alexandria Prizes. He was ordained in 2015. He likes reading classic novels, walking – usually uphill – and spending time with his friends.
Alex Ross, Associate Vicar
Alex lives in Bradwell Village with his wife Lynne. He was a salesman for 7 years during which time he became a Christian and was ordained in 1975. He subsequently served as a vicar in Basingstoke, Brighton and London - something he describes as the best job in the world: being paid to talk about Jesus Christ. After being diagnosed with a tumour he was advised to retire early; however in retirment he still preaches at Burford as well as working part time as an associate tutor at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Alex has played sport all his life, although golf has now replaced rugby and he is a regular at Burford Golf Club. Alex and Lynne have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Cedric Reavley, Associate Vicar
Cedric Reavley is a member of a Christian family, has always lived in Burford and has worshipped throughout his life at the Parish Church. Cedric's grandfather bought the pharmacy in the High Street in 1918 and Cedric is now the third generation of pharmacists to serve the town. As a member of the congregation, he has sung in the choir, played the organ, edited the Parish Magazine, served on the PCC and been a Churchwarden. However, in the year 2000, he came to realise that God was calling him to another ministry, and Cedric was ordained in 2005 to continue working for God in these parishes.
John Leach, Lay Minister
On retirement after a lifetime in education and research John trained as a Licensed Lay Minister (LLM) and was licensed in 2000, becoming an Archdeaconry Advisor for LLMs in 2008. He sees his calling as one to share the teaching and preaching of Christ's Gospel in the various parishes of the Benefice, where his wife and he have lived for 31 years.
Roy Tarbox, Lay Minister
Jo Vickers, Part-time Childrens' Ministry Coordinator
Jo taught at a boys prep school in Wandsworth, London, before moving to Shipton Under Wychwood in 2003 with her husband Tim. They have three children, Anna, Toby and Tessa. Tim, Jo and the children have spent the last five summers in Europe whilst Tim runs IFES Bible and Culture - a four week training course for young graduates across Europe and Eurasia. Back home, Jo loves playing competitive board games with her family and running across muddy fields with her dog!
Ben Turner, Operations Team Leader
Ben grew up in a devoted Methodist family in Surbiton and John Wesley is still his greatest hero. After marrying Clare, the family attended Emmanuel, Wimbledon for 25 years. They have four children and four grandchildren and now live in Witney. Ben worked mainly in the print and paper industry and then spent seven years running Richmond Christian Holidays. Having joined St John’s in 2016 Ben was looking for a move into the Christian or Charity sector and was delighted to find a position here. Ben sometimes plays in the band, is also on the Outreach team and loves leading either Christianity or Life Explored. “Oh to see my name written in the wounds”, “Land me safe on Canaan’s side” and “from life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny” are some of his favourite lyrics. Luke 17:10 is Ben’s favourite verse.
Tarnia Usher, Church Secretary
Tarnia moved to Brackley when she was eight. Although she was not brought up in a Christian family, she became involved in her local church and began bellringing when she was 15, however it was during a trip to South Africa in 2009 she became a Christian. She moved to this area in 2015 for her children’s school. Tarnia has two children, Taylor and Lelani. In her spare time, she can be found helping at her daughters Brownies, singing in her band, or taking her dog on walks across fields.
Miriam Owen, Warwick Hall and Church Bookings Manager
Miriam finds herself a long way from her native Scotland, where she spent her earliest and most idyllic years, growing up in a remote fishing cottage with a white pony misty for company (and her family of course!). She later returned to Scotland to study at St Andrews and Heriot Watt Universities, before dipping her toes into the corporate world of work in London. She has lived in the Burford area since 2009, when she married her husband Roger. In 2012 Miriam swapped the high heels of work for some trainers, which almost allow her to keep up with her 2 young sons. Miriam has her parents to thank for her faith in Jesus; she gave her life to him at the tender age of 3 and has continued on that path ever since.
Jonathan Bright, Ministry Trainee
Jon grew up in the Docklands of East London in a Christian home with 5 siblings and has always considered himself a follower of Jesus. He studied History & Politics at the University of Winchester and after graduating worked in various sales roles before joining King’s College London working in communications. He spent one year commuting to London from Winchester and one year at their King’s Service Centre in Cornwall, which is where he joins us from. Jon is married to Olivia, whom he met at university, and together they have a son, Will. Jon enjoys reading classic children’s literature, walking on windy Cornish cliffs and playing his guitar.
Ruth McCalman, Pastoral Care Leader
Lynnette Derry, Verger
Lynnette has a degree in English Literature from De Montfort University and a Masters in Public History from Ruskin College, Oxford (Independent).
After a career in publishing and a working interest in women’s complementary health and wellbeing, Lynnette finally and conclusively heeded the intention for her life to serve as a Verger of St John the Baptist.
Lynnette’s life motto is pretty urbane:
Eat more vegetables
Stephen Price, Verger
After taking early retirement from a life in book publishing I looked for something useful and interesting to do. When the church announced a vacancy for a verger I felt God's call to do it. Thirty-eight years behind a desk left me wanting something completely different and the verger's role fits the bill because I spend most of my time on my feet. Being a verger in such a beautiful building is a privilege and appeals to my love of history and heritage. But the thing that I enjoy most is speaking to visitors, not only about the building but also about the Christian faith and Jesus who I believe is "the Way, the Truth and the Life."
Andrew is semi-retired from a career managing health services in England and advising on health management across the UK and overseas. He has also been a director and trustee of a number of charities including for 17 years of Rock UK a Christian provider of residential activity centres for children and young people.
Andrew and his wife, Judith, moved to Burford in 2010. He has been chairman of the Warwick Hall Project Team since 2012 and has led one of the church’s home groups. They have three married children and eight grandchildren.
Jane trained as an Interior Designer and worked for many years for an Architectural Practice in Plymouth. Although brought up in a Christian home she became a committed Christian through the House Church movement of the 1970s. Initially she was involved in charismatic churches but became a member of an Anglican church in Cornwall 15 years ago. In 2014 she and her husband Gareth, a Textile Designer, moved from Cornwall to the village of Fifield just north of Burford to be both nearer their family and the Burford Church. Shortly after moving, her husband, Gareth, went to be with his Lord. Jane is an active member of the church with a heart for prayer and worship.
Jane has 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Loves sailing, gardening, dog walking, most things creative and a little painting on the side.