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 Archdeacon consisting of the deaneries of Durham-Northumberland, Oshawa and Peterborough.

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
Assistant Curate

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 Canon John.

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
Honorary Associate

Jeff Campbell
Director of Music & Organist

Jeff’s musical journey began at the age of 4 when he began to study the piano with Nelles Davie of Barrie (who formed, along with his parents & siblings, the once popular “Davies of Canada” musical tour group). Jeff’s pipe organ studies commenced in 1994 at the Orillia Presbyterian Church with Marshall Martin. From 2002-2008 Jeff was the organist at the First Baptist Church in Orillia and from 2008-2017 he was a regular guest organist in over 10 churches in Barrie, Orillia and the Muskokas. Jeff’s tenure as Director of Music & Organist of St. James’ began in February 2018 following the retirement of Albert Greer.

Outside of his musical interests, Jeff owns and operates “The Water Market” in downtown Orillia, and when he can find some rare free time, he enjoys restoring and showing his collection of antique farm tractors as well as his 1926 Ford Model T convertible at events around Simcoe County. Jeff and his family live in nearby countryside of Oro-Medonte Township.

Albert Greer

CM, Director of Music Emeritus

Phyllis Johnson

Office Manager

Jenn Hill