Ministry Team


Our Ministry team includes Rev Canon Julie Ramsbottom (Rector), Rev Canon John Edwards (Associate Priest), Rev Hannah Higginson (Curate) and Paul Arscott (Eucharistic Lay Minister and Head Server). Other members of the congregation also lead our worship.
We also have a part-time Youth and Family Worker, James Lawbuary.

Rector: Rev Canon Julie Ramsbottom
Julie became Rector of the new parish of Finchampstead and California on Sept 1st 2011.  She is married to David who is also ordained; and they have two children and two grandchildren. Having started her ministry as a Lay Reader in the diocese of Durham, Julie trained on Southwark Ordination Course and served her curacy at St Michael’s, Bray (1991-97). Prior to coming to Finchampstead, she was for 14 years Rector of West Woodhay, with Enborne, Hamstead Marshall, Inkpen and Combe, and also Priest-in-Charge of Kintbury with Avington since 2005. Her last task before her move was to help these parishes unite to form the Walbury Beacon Benefice. The focus of Julie’s ministry thus far has been on sustainable mission combined with a strong emphasis on pastoral care.  Since late 2013, she has been Area Dean for Sonning Deanery and is now an Hon. Canon of Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford in recognition of her great work for the parish, the Deanery and the Diocese.
Associate Priest: Rev Canon John Edwards
John was licensed to St James’ Church as Associate Priest in February 2006 after several years at St Mary and St John, California. He is married to Sue and has four adult children and six grandchildren. He originally qualified as a chartered accountant and spent many years as a finance director in international engineering companies. Since ordination in 2001 he has worked half-time for the church (non-stipendiary) and half-time as a trustee of various occupational pension schemes and charities. He is Associate Clergy Officer for the Archdeaconry of Berkshire and a Bishop’s reviewer for Ministerial Development.  In January 2013 Revd John Edwards became an Hon. Canon, Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford – a richly deserved honour in recognition of his service both to this parish and the Oxford Diocese as a whole.  He continues to be Associate Priest at Finchampstead and California.
Associate Priest: Rev Julian McAllen
Julian was licensed and took up his post as Associate Minister to the Parish of Finchampstead and California in May 2017.  Previously he was Curate Assistant at Christ Church, Epsom Common after completing his theological training at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  Prior to ordination he spent seventeen years in the teaching profession and was Head of Economics at Hornsey School in north London.  Julian has been involved in various aspects of mission and outreach.  He has worked with the Mennonite Community in London, lecturing on applied Christian Studies.  More recently Julian was the Anglican representative on interfaith dialogue in the Epsom deanery.  This involved dialogue with the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, representatives from the Jewish Community in south London, and the various Christian denominations within the area.  Julian’s hobbies are football, rugby, cricket and naval history.
Hannah Higginson Curate: Rev Hannah Higginson
Rev. Hannah Higginson joined the Parish as a Curate in July 2014, having lived in nearby Crowthorne for most of her life.  Her ordination was in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford on 5th July. Hannah trained for ordination in Oxford for two years, having done a theology degree at Cardiff University prior to that.  Passionate about social justice she has been involved in a number of projects in college, as well as writing a dissertation on the issue of human trafficking.  Hannah enjoys strategic board games, films, amateur astronomy and is also a big football fan.   she is married to Matt and they have a beautiful baby daughter Elizabeth Grace.  Hannah will be on maternity leave until October 2018.
Licensed Eucharistic Lay Minister: Mr. Paul Arscott
Paul is licensed by the Diocese to administer consecrated bread and wine to those who are not able to come to Church. Paul has been a Chalice Administrator for many years and took on this role in 2006. In addition he is able to conduct Holy Communion by Extension – where an ordained priest has previously consecrated the Bread and Wine. A “cradle” Christian, Paul has also been an altar server for over 60 years. He committed himself to the Church of England when he was received into the Church on 25th June 2000 at Cantley Park by Bishop Dominic of Reading.
Part-time Youth and Family Worker: Mr. James Lawbuary
James started with us as part-time Youth and Family Worker in September 2014.  His role is to support our Sunday clubs at both churches and all other aspects of our current ministry to families with young people, and to plan the development of such ministry.  James is a recent Maths and Theatre Studies graduate who was also a volunteer children’s worker at his parish church throughout his undergraduate studies.

New members of the ministry team joining us in 2018:

New Communities Minister, Arborfield Green:  Rev Antonia (‘Tonia’) Elliott   (joining us Feb 2018)
Tonia is originally from Sunderland in the North East but moved to Reading with her family 17 years ago.  She is currently the curate at St Peters, Farnborough, where her ministry has been vast and varied. One of her main roles has been to lead the 5.30 evening congregation and building community between the people.
Tonia trained at St. Mellitus College in London which was an enriching and greatly enjoyable three years.  Before training, she worked as a conference organiser and also had her own wedding planning business.  She is married to David and they have two grown up daughters, Rebecca and Phillippa who both still live at home.
They are all looking forward to moving to Arborfield and Tonia is so excited to be working in this new community and overseeing St. Eligius church, where there are huge opportunities to build God’s Kingdom as people move into the area.
Curate: Gemma Wilkinson (joining us end-June 2018)
Gemma is originally from Leicestershire but spent her time before training working in Newbury as a Children’s and Youth Worker.  She is enjoying training for the ministry at Cuddesdon and in her spare time likes crafts and walking.  We are delighted to announce that upon satisfactory completion of her training, Gemma will join us at the end of June 2018.

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