John E. Anderson
John became a priest in the Diocese of Toronto on April 25, 2010, while serving as an Associate Priest at Christ Church, Stouffville. John’s first incumbency was at the Church of the Ascension in Port Perry, where he successfully rebooted this small-town church into a thriving parish. In
September 2017, John came to St. James’, and it has been exciting for him to return to a larger church in a downtown setting where mission and outreach is a vital ministry. Throughout his own ministry, John has become fascinated by congregational development and helping parishes continue to thrive and live out the gospel.
Prior to ministry, John practised law for nearly sixteen years, mostly in the City of Barrie, where he was a partner in the law firm Stewart, Esten. John’s practice was largely in employment law and civil litigation. John obtained his B.A. from McMaster University in 1986, his law degree from Queen’s University in 1990, and he completed his Master’s in Divinity from Wycliffe College in 2008.
An important part of John’s ministry is serving the wider Diocese. He has been on a number of committees, such as the Canons & Constitution Committee, the Governance Working Group, and the Diocesan Response Team. John currently is appointed to the role of Canon Pastor and is charged with the administration of the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy and investigation of complaints.
John and his wife Lisa have two wonderful children, twins Gareth and Maggie, who are amazing musicians and singers. John takes no direct credit for this, except for having music on in the house a lot when they were small! John and Lisa love to garden, hike, read, and there is always a dog hanging around their house!
Rev Phil Gearing
Phil was ordained a deacon at St. James cathedral on May 5 th of 2020
and was priested at Church of the Ascension, Port Perry on February 9 th
2019. He joins the staff at St. James, Orillia serving as an Assistant
Curate. This is a bit of an old fashioned term which effectively means
assistant priest. In this capacity Phil is able to assistant in all priestly
ministries while completing his formal training under the guidance of
This is Reverend Phil’s third stint as a member of the St. James family. In 2013, while at seminary, he completed a 12 week placement here and in 2018 he was a postulant for ordination and spent about a year with us. Father Phil speaks fondly of this new placement at St. James as “coming home”.
Prior to ordination Phil worked as an elementary school teacher for thirteen years. He also ran a small service business in Muskoka for about ten years.
Phil loves stories. He devotes considerable time to the study of our “holy stories” found in the bible. He also delights in listening to people’s lived stories. So if you get the chance to sit down with him he’d love to hear yours. Phil is a keen reader with an interest in British fiction. He enjoys walking and is an avid fan of Toronto’s sports teams. Go Leafs Go!
Rev Carol Hardie
Director of Music & Organist
Jeff began his piano lessons at the age of 4 with Nelles Davie of Barrie (who along with his parents & siblings formed the once popular “Davies of Canada” musical tour group). His pipe organ studies commenced in 1994 at the Orillia Presbyterian Church with organist, Marshall Martin. From 2002-2008 Jeff was the organist at First Baptist Church in Orillia and from 2008-2017 Jeff was a regular guest organist in over 10 churches in Barrie, Orillia and the Muskoka’s. Jeff began his duties as organist of St. James’ in February 2018 following the retirement of Albert Greer.
Outside of his musical interests, Jeff owns and operates “The Water Market” (a busy water treatment company in downtown Orillia), and when he can find free time, he enjoys restoring and showing his collection of antique farm tractors at events around Simcoe County. Jeff and his family live in nearby countryside of Oro-Medonte Township.