St John the Baptist Parish Church

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News from the clergy

Rev Lisa Cornwell

Lisa Cornwell began her working life at an insurance company in Watford, where she spent three years before changing direction to study for a theology degree at The London School of Theology. Following this, she trained as a secondary school teacher in Oxford and then took up a post as Head of R.E. at a school in Maidenhead for five years. During this time she undertook a Master's Degree in Religious Education at King's College, London. Lisa enjoyed her teaching career but sensed that something else was round the corner. She tested out a call to the ordained ministry and it snowballed from there on. She trained at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

Ordained in June 2002, Lisa served her curacy in the benefice of Newport Pagnell (which usually rings a bell with people when they think of journeying up the M1 and stopping at the service station!) During her four years there, Lisa also trained in spiritual direction and wrote a book, which rather complements the spiritual direction work. Her book "Dreams - The Path to Wholeness" was published by SPCK in August 2006.

Read more: Rev Lisa Cornwell

David Ramsbottom



David Ramsbottom

David will be our Assistant Curate from 30th June, 2012.  We asked him to introduce himself.

“My ordination as a Deacon on June 30th, 2012 in Oxford Cathedral followed careers in the Civil Service and Primary/Nursery teaching. I have been aware of my vocation to serve God in the ordained ministry since my early twenties, but that’s a long story... In the Civil Service I worked for the Benefits Agency in several locations from Durham to the giddy heights of Brixton (arriving the morning after the 1985 riots), and a decade for the Energy Regulator OFGEM in Reading and London. I re-trained as a primary teacher in 2004 and spent six exhilarating years working my way down the junior and infant age ranges, finally specialising in the ‘Early Years’ – three and four year olds, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However last November I swapped my nursery class for just one eight-month old – our new granddaughter Sophie, who I now look after four days a week (three from September 2012). As well as her mother Sarah, also a primary teacher, we have a younger daughter Catherine, a junior case-worker in family law. Both work in London. I am married to Julie who has since last September been Rector of Finchampstead and California.


My own training for the ordained ministry has been with the Oxford Ministry Course, shortened to two years because of my previous theology degree (a London University Bachelor of Divinity, completed in 2003). Training has involved (Iong) Tuesday evenings, at least two residential weekends per term, a summer school and an Easter school. Producing essays and portfolios and to MA standard has been a huge effort, but enormously worthwhile, as the teaching has all been excellent and the courses highly relevant: for instance the last set of six lectures on Christian Ethics and my final written portfolio on youth ministry (based on a placement earlier this year with the amazing youth ministry team at St Lawrence's Reading).  As for my previous ‘church’ experience – starting as a chorister aged seven – well that’s a pretty long story too...!  Other interests?  These include our Airedale terrier, a 1955 MG, singing and choir-training, walking, cycling and organic gardening – time permitting!

I am really looking forward to sharing ministry and mission with the people of St John’s”.