The staff team are a dedicated bunch of multi-talented people. Here’s a bit about the people you'll find on a weekly basis in the church office.

 Vicar  Rev. Canon Chris Russell

Rev. Canon Chris Russell

Chris is the Vicar at St Laurence and has been here since 2001 working to the mandate of building a multi-generational community, with a particular mission amongst young people. Chris trained for the Ordained Ministry at Ridley Hall during which he also did an M Phil in Dogmatic Theology at Cambridge University. He was ordained in 1996 and later made a Canon of Christchurch Cathedral Oxford in 2013.  Alongside his role as Vicar of St Laurence, he also works part-time as the Archbishop’s Advisor for Evangelism & Witness at Lambeth Palace on Wednesdays & Thursdays. He is married to the beautiful Belinda and has three lovely girls: Hope, Jessie & Dora.

 Associate Vicar  Rev. Chris Jones

Associate Vicar
Rev. Chris Jones

Chris is our Associate Vicar and joined Saint Laurence in September 2017 to work with the team in shaping and growing the church through its mission. Before joining Saint Laurence Chris completed his curacy at St Luke’s Watford, having trained for ordination at Trinity College Bristol. He previously worked for J.John’s ministry, Philo Trust, as the Graphics and Resources Manager for 12 years. Chris is married to Becky, who was part of the team that left Soul Survivor Watford to join the Russells in 2001; they have three children, Ollie, Jasmine and Levison, and a bouncy cockapoo called Banksy.

 Vicar’s PA & Office Manager   Claire Brow n

Vicar’s PA & Office Manager
Claire Brown

Claire is the Office Manager & Chris’ PA at St Laurence and has been on staff since 2013. She provides administrative & advisory support to Chris and enables the smooth running of the office with specific responsibilities for Service Administration, Events & HR. She also oversees the Financial Administration. Previously she worked in various administrative and fundraising management roles within other churches and the charity sector. Claire qualified as an Occupational Therapist at Brunel University in 2012 but decided to take on her role at St Laurence instead of pursuing this as a career. Claire is married to Ben and together they have been part of the church community since 2009. They have two children, Noveah and Gibson.

 Finance Administrator  Marion Shepherd

Finance Administrator
Marion Shepherd

Marion is a self-employed Finance Administrator and has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the church finances and the reconciliation of all income and expenditure. Marion is a member of LifeSpring Church where she is employed as their Finance Administrator and she also supports Reading Family Church in this as well. Marion is married with 2 grown up children and has recently become a Nanna to William. 

 Youth Work Director   Chris West

Youth Work Director
Chris West

Westy, as he is better known, completed a Youth & Community Work and Applied Theology Degree from the Centre for Youth Ministry Oxford in 2007 and took on the role as YWD that same year. Westy has oversight of all the youth work we undertake as a community. He is married to the lovely Gem - one of the ‘original’ team who moved to Reading with the Russells in 2001 - and they have a charmingly cheeky daughter, Phoebe. When Westy isn’t working, he can be found in his workshop making amazing things with wooden pallets.

 Youth Counsellor  Zanelle Brackin

Youth Counsellor
Zanelle Brackin

Zanelle is a qualified counsellor who offers specialist support to our young people as well as other clients elsewhere on a contract basis. She’s been part of the team since 2015 and is a committed member of the worshipping community at The Globe, Reading where she’s been for 2 years. She is married to Vaundel.