The Reverend Andrew Sempell
The Reverend Andrew Sempell BA (UNE), BTh (Hons), Dip Min (ACT), was inducted as the sixteenth Rector of St James on 1st July, 2010.
Father Andrew grew up at Glenorie, NSW and was educated at James Ruse Agricultural High School, the University of New England and St Mark’s National Theological College, Canberra.
Andrew worked for a number of years in local government administration in Armidale. During this time he was active in the life of St Peter’s Cathedral and also served as a trooper and later as an officer in the Army Reserve with 12/16 Hunter River Lancers and the 1/15 Royal NSW Lancers.
Andrew was ordained by the Bishop of Grafton and served four years as Assistant Priest at Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton additionally holding at various times the positions of part-time prison chaplain, and chaplain with both the Naval Reserve Cadets and Army Reserve.
In 1993, he joined the Australian Regular Army as a chaplain and was posted for two years to the School of Signals in Melbourne, followed by a further two years in Townsville with 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. He then served four years at the Royal Military College in Canberra, initially as the Coordinating Chaplain and later as the Senior Instructor Chaplain. In 1999, he served with the Peace Monitoring Group on Operation Bel Isi in Bougainville. His final posting was in 2001 as the Coordinating Chaplain at HQ, 7th Brigade in Brisbane.
In 2002 Andrew became Dean of All Saints’ Cathedral, Bathurst. During this time he served as Deputy Commissary to the Bishop of Bathurst; was a member of the General Synod, (including the Defence Force Board and the Special Tribunal); and Deputy Chair of the All Saints’ College Council. While in Bathurst he oversaw the completion of the new bell tower for the Cathedral, he was President of the Bathurst Ministers’ Association and Secretary/Treasurer of the Australian Deans’ Conference.
In addition to being Rector, Fr Andrew is a Fellow of St Paul’s College, Sydney University, and a member of Sydney Legacy. He is married to Rosemary, who is an Archivist with the NSW Government and they have one daughter, Kate, who is currently overseas. The family also owns a farm at Black Springs, (near Oberon), where they run Angus cattle.
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The Reverend John Stewart
The Reverend John Stewart B.Min (ACD), Associate Rector of St James’, was licensed at Choral Eucharist at 10am on Sunday 14th April, 2002. He previously served in the Diocese of Wangaratta, Victoria.
Father John has a background in retailing, his earlier experience gained within what was then a family operated department store in Wellington, New Zealand. He then worked for David Jones, Sydney, for eleven years, his last eight years as the National Buyer of men’s footwear. He was a parishioner of Christ Church Saint Laurence and served in the sanctuary for a number of years. Having been accepted as an ordinand for the diocese of Wangaratta, Fr John began the formal testing of his vocation by commencing study in 1994 at Saint Barnabas’ Theological College, Adelaide. On completion of his Bachelor of Ministry Degree in 1996, he was made a Deacon, serving his curacy at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta.
Ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Paul Richardson in 1997, Fr John continued to serve at Wangaratta Cathedral as the Assistant Priest, until his appointment as priest-in-charge of the parish of Nagambie in early 1999. From early 2001, Fr John also served as the Rural Dean for the Acheron Valley, until he moved to the diocese of Sydney.
Fr John and his wife Jan have three children, Dominic, Emily and Matthew, who are still continuing their university or high school education.
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The Reverend Martin Davies
The Reverend Martin Davies became Director of the St James’ Institute in January 2012. Father Martin was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated Bachelor of Theology from the University of Otago, and later gained a Sydney College of Divinity Master of Theology degree in Christian Spirituality. Fr Martin was ordained priest in 1982, serving in NZ dioceses as a parish priest and later as diocesan ministry educator.
Fr Martin’s life and vocation are guided by the Benedictine tradition, which has attracted him for as long as he can remember. With the abbot and a member of the monastic community, Martin was a co-founder of the Associates of the Cistercian community of Southern Star Abbey, Kopua, NZ. He continues to explore themes from the monastic tradition, particularly in relation to lifelong spiritual formation, and the ministry of spiritual direction or accompaniment.
Fr Martin’s work at the St James’ Institute implements and develops the education and formation programme in the parish, the wider church and the community.
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