Father John W. Symonds
The parishioners of St. James’ Church are saddened to have lost our beloved Rector, Rev. John W. Symonds on June 19, 2022 after enduring a six-month battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. We are comforted in knowing he is with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Fr. John was called to St. James’ Church, Downingtown to be our Rector in December 2015. He was a wonderful priest, enriching our congregation spiritually and supporting our various community outreach programs. His favorites being, The Father John Symonds’ Thrift Shop at St. James’ Church, Adopt-A-Highway and the Downingtown Ministerium.
Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he attended Penn Manor High School, Millersville University, Cook College Rutgers, Lancaster Theological Seminary and Seminary of the Southwest. He studied environmental planning and design, theology, and went on to get his Masters of Divinity. He was ordained into priesthood in February 2009. In addition to serving at St. James’ Church for 6 years, he also served as Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Blair, Nebraska for 5 years. His formative years in the church included time in Lancaster County at Bangor Church, St. John’s and St. James Episcopal Church. Before he was called to serve in the church, John was the director for the Lancaster County Conservancy. He thrived being a part of land preservation as well as helping people.
Parish Administrator – Bookkeeper
Luann McIlvaine joined the staff of St. James’ Church in 1999 as our part time Bookkeeper/Assistant Administrator. In 2004 she took over as our full time Parish Administrator/Bookkeeper. She earned her degree in accounting from Immaculata University and completed the Education for Ministry (EFM) program from the University of the South School of Theology.
Luann lives in Exton with her husband, Pete and daughters, Megan and Breese. When not working, she enjoys spending time in her gardens, reading, cooking/baking and training their two Golden Retrievers, Lucy and Minnie. She is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Exton, the West Whiteland Fire Company where she has been the Treasurer/Bookkeeper since 1990 and the Dog Training Club of Chester County
You may contact Luann by email, or by calling the parish office.
Jim Zeloyle became the organist at St. James’ in September 2018. Jim studied organ with the late Monnie Clark of West Chester, PA, and Dr. William J. Gatens at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, PA. Jim was an organist at Saints Simon and Jude Church in West Chester for 29 years.
Jim is employed as a Transportation Assistant with George Krapf Jr. & Sons, Inc., in the Tredyffrin Easttown School District. Raised in West Chester, Jim lives in West Norriton with his husband, Dan and cat, Squeaker. Jim’s hobbies include model trains, gardening and traveling to Italy.
John Eagles retired from Pepperidge Farm after 41 years of service, majority of the time was in the maintenance department. The last twelve years, he was maintenance supervisor.