St. John's is committed to spreading God's word through mission. We have a number of mission partners who we support as a church; their work reaches right across the globe. Some are short-term workers choosing to serve for a year or two, whilst others have committed many years to serving God in different ways and different places.
Details of all our mission partners, short and long term, are below.
The mission archives contain information from previous short-term mission work.
UFM - Kip and Rachel Chelashaw
Kip’ is originally from Kenya and served as assistant minister at East Dean Church, near Eastbourne.
Having spent half his life in the UK, he felt called to return to Nairobi.
In 2017, he and Rachel moved to Nairobi together with their 4 children (Elijah, Ezra, Susanna and Bethany) to lead a church plant there.
Rachel was born in South Africa to missionary parents, has worked as a nurse and served as a missionary and now looks after the children.
You can read more on the UFM website.
CMS - Catriona and Stephen Bennett
We are new CMS mission partners in training, preparing to work at Gahini Hospital. It’s a large mission hospital serving a rural community in eastern Rwanda with very limited surgical facilities.
Steve is a consultant surgeon, while Catriona is an anaesthetist – working for the NHS in Fife, Scotland. At Gahini Hospital, Steve will work full-time as the surgeon – performing surgery, training local doctors and establishing a safe surgical service. Meanwhile, Catriona will work part-time alongside nurse anaesthetists – providing complex anaesthetics and enabling professional development for existing staff.
We have both previously been involved in youth mission and student outreach. We hope that by using our medical skills we will be able to share God’s love with the people of Rwanda.
UCCF - Alex Lucas
Alex Lucas is serving with UCCF in London.
She writes: "I’m so excited to be working with UCCF as the London Arts Staff Worker. I can’t wait to serve and invest in art students through challenging their world views in such a diverse city with people from all around the world. Through working with the Christian Unions, I’ll be encouraging and equipping them to be reaching out to those who do not know who Jesus is, as they live and speak for Him in their day to day lives. I can’t wait to see how our glorious and beautiful gospel can change the lives of young creatives in London".
You can read more about Alex and the universities that she's working with on her page on the UCCF website.
OM UK - Jemma Fitzsimmons
Jemma writes: Operation Mobilisation is a global organisation that operates in 110 countries, and on one ship, the Logos Hope where I previously served for two years.
Their aim is to motivate and equip Christians to share God’s love, and to strengthen and plant churches especially in areas where Christ is least known.
OM UK itself seeks to fulfil a vision of “Mission at the Heart of the Church and the Church at the Heart of the Community”. My work as a missionary is no longer on the front line overseas, but my job as Public Ministries Administrator is an essential role within OM UK. As a Public Ministries department, we engage with members of the public and churches about the work of OM both in the UK and globally.
I will be doing a lot of organising and administrative work, as well as attending church meetings and conferences nationwide. I will value your support and prayer in this new and exciting role with OM UK.
The Oakes - Jonny and Erica Greaves
Jonny and Erica Greaves are full-time missionaries working at the Oakes Holiday Centre in Sheffield.
The Oakes Holiday Centre has run residential holiday camps all year round since 2000 in order to bring the message of Jesus to children from all over the UK, ages 8-18, in a clear and relevant way while giving them a great holiday with exciting outdoor activities.
Erica has been working as the Oakes House and Bookings manager since 2008, helping group organisers plan visits to the Oakes and being in charge of the ministry of hospitality. Jonny has been the Office Administrator since 2011, responsible for overseeing the day to day running of the office and being the first point of contact for the Oakes.
Jonny and Erica were married in September 2012 and live in south Sheffield. They have two boys, Malakai and Zachariah and two cats, Oscar and Jabu.
Western Kenya - Robert Matati
Canon Robert Matati is an Anglican minister in Butere, Western Kenya. He is Area Dean administering five parishes, the Diocesan Education Secretary coordinating programmes in 61 primary and 35 secondary Anglican Sponsored schools and he is also Chaplain for Lunza secondary school.
Robert is married to Mary and they have three sons, a nephew at University in Nairobi, and Roberts’ ageing parents all to look after.
“My three roles dictate that I have to travel from office to schools, to Diocesan Education office from home and at times travel to conduct burials in the deanery or where the diocesan staff are affected. I LOVE serving my God. I love visiting schools encouraging teachers and students. I love pastoral care in parish”.
UFM - Johnny and Ann McClean
Working with UFM in Bangkok, Johnny and Ann McClean are currently involved with student groups that have been started in three universities.
Each group has between 3-15 students who are all believers and mostly from Christian families. The groups meet once a week for fellowship and bible study.
UCCF - Olivia Rigby
Olivia works with five universities: Keele, Staffordshire, Buxton, Harper Adams and Manchester Metropolitan Crewe Campus. Keele and Staffordshire Universities are the largest, so she spends most time with them. With respect to the percentage of the overall student body, Harper Adams has a huge CU, Derby CU is currently incredibly small, and Manchester Met (MMU) campus in Crewe is closing in 2019.
Each university has huge strengths, and it's exciting to work with the students, supporting them in evangelism, and nurturing their faith in and love for our wonderful Jesus!
You can read more about Olivia and the universities she works with on the UCCF website.
SAMS Ireland - Mags Southern
Mags Southern, our link partner works for SAMS Ireland as the Deputy Head at St Andrew's School in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Founded in 1963 by Thea Wedgewood, an English missionary, St Andrews College aims to provide its students with excellent educational skills whilst teaching them the Christian message in the hope that every student will come to know Jesus as their Saviour, Friend and Lord. There are presently approximately 360 students who attend St Andrews College.
SAMS Ireland also support other projects throughout South America, some of these being the Sewing Project in Paraguay, the Dona Marta Community Centre in Brazil and the Red Box Project in Argentina.
Please click to view the slides that Mags presented when she visited Hartford in July 2012, along with Gwen Carlisle, the headteacher.
As well as supporting individual Mission Partners, St John's also supports a number of Partner Organisations.
St Catherine's Tranmere - Helen Eccles
Helen Eccles has been at St Catherine's in Tranmere since September 2015, in the role of Young People and Families' Worker:
"Within the church I oversee the Sunday school and lead the toddler group (Cheeky Monkeys), after school club (Explore), and an 11-14s youth group (Investigate). I am also quite involved with the local school (Mersey Park) where I take assemblies (roughly every month) and lead a weekly 'Bible Club' on Wednesday lunchtimes.
I do struggle with being away from home, but God has provided me with a really beautiful house to live in while I am here, and the church family at St Catherine's are very supportive, so I am blessed in many ways".