Welcome our new rector, Rev. John Symonds. Father John joined St. James’ in December 2015. Previously, he served as Rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Blair, Nebraska, Curate at St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA and was also on-call Chaplain at Lancaster General Hospital.
Prior to ordination, Father John served as Recreation Director for the City of York, PA; Executive Director of the Lancaster County Conservancy; and Environmental Planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission in Morristown.
His education included an Education Diploma in Anglican Studies from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, where he was recipient of the Bishop Leo Alard Award in Hispanic Studies. He holds a Master’s of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA and a Bachelor of Science, Environmental Planning and Design from Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
Father John is married to Kimberly (Kim) Dawn Symonds and they have two children, Macayla Sanni Kai Symonds and David Sean Symonds. He and his family enjoy hiking, camping, running, soccer, traveling, reading, gardening, and the Pennsylvania Rail Road.
You may contact Fr. John calling the parish office.
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.
Organist – Choir director
Jill Lewis became the organist at St. James’ Church in August 1990. Jill has two children. Greg graduated from Shippensburg University in 2012 and her daughter Kerri will graduate from Temple University in 2016. When she’s not working Jill enjoys Phillies baseball, cycling and playing jazz piano. A highlight of her musical career was playing the organ at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia accompanied by the brass quartet from the Philadelphia Orchestra.
What Jill likes best about her job is leading the congregation in sung prayer, working with a truly dedicated choir and the kindness and gratitude she regularly receives from the congregation.
You may contact Jill through the parish office.
Thrift Shop Managers
Shirley Tompkin, a long time member of St. James’ Church, began co-managing the thrift shop and has faithfully carried out those duties for nearly a quarter of a century! She attributes her long tenure to the fact that she has met many very nice people who shop at the store and worked with very nice volunteers over the years.
Anna Filoromo began serving as a volunteer when her son was a student at St. James Pre-School. After ten years, she became a co-manager of the Thrift Shop in 2002. A native of Bremmen, Germany, Anna also loves cats and enjoys volunteering with the Downingtown Public Library. As a “people” person, she also values the relationships she has made through the years with customers and others associated with the Thrift Shop. Their consistent gratitude warms her heart.
Shirley and Anna can be contacted directly by visiting or calling the Thrift Shop.
Lauren Downey is a native of Southampton, NY and she has been in Pennsylvania since 2007. She attended Downingtown West High School as well as the Technical College High School Brandywine Campus where she earned a certificate in Early Childhood Education. She is a mother to a beautiful 4 year-old daughter named Paige who is also a student at St. James’ Preschool. In addition to parenting, Lauren’s interests include: photography, gardening, and caring for the family pets — a kitten, three guinea pigs, and their dog Izzy. Lauren enjoys working as a Sunday Nursery Attendant with our parish’s youngest members.
Nursery attendants have undergone background checks and are trained and accredited by the Safe Church training required by the Diocese of Pennsylvania. They create a warm and inviting place for young children in their earliest experience of church.
You may contact Nursery Attendants through the parish office.