Our Team

Meet the team that co-ordinates and leads the ministry of St John’s Anglican Church, Newcastle

20151025-Sunday-St-Johns-Church-Newcastle-181433-240x360Murray Woolnough

Rector of St John’s

Murray moved to St John’s in 2014 with his wife Bridie and their two young boys after two years working on the Central Coast and 6 years training and working in England. Murray trained at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and joins us with experience of working in both large and small churches and with an appreciation for the many different styles of worship.

Murray has a passion for helping people to come to know and deepen their relationship with Christ, and is thrilled to be at St John’s and to have the opportunity to support everyone in their Christian journey.

Murray is originally from Tasmania, has spent time in Sydney and the UK, but is working hard on becoming a Novacastrian. When not hard at work, you might find him in pursuit of a good coffee, at the beach, out running, or trying to master the art of drawing and painting.

More information:

Murray was interviewed by radio station ABC 1233 Newcastle not long after he started at St John’s. You can find the interview here.

20151025-Sunday-St-Johns-Church-Newcastle-103937-240x360Ken Youman

Honorary Associate Priest

After retiring as an Electrical Engineer, Ken retrained as a Minister and after a time in full time ministry, moved to Cooks Hill with his wife Margret. He now volunteers his time at St John’s, leading a number of services and activities each week and sharing our wedding andbaptism ministry with Murray.

Ken has a great heart for people, and has a warm and deep spirituality. Ken leads our fortnightly mindfulness group for Listening, Healing and Meditation.


20151025-Sunday-St-Johns-Church-Newcastle-103905-240x360-2Rob Woolfrey

Children and Youth Minister

Rob and his wife Ruth moved from Sydney in 2014 to join us at St John’s and enjoy living in Newcastle with their two young sons. Rob is an evangelist at heart, believing that Christ Jesus is the author of life. He loves nothing more than sharing this good news with children and young people and trying to engage them in fun and interesting ways.

Rob’s interests include reading, table top gaming and 90s pop punk music. When not working, he balances being a dad with studying to be a teacher and crossfit, which he finds helps him to balance out a love of good food and coffee.

More information:

Rob was a speaker at the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle event ReCreate2. More details here.


Mark Thornton

Student Minister

Mark and his wife Irini have lived in Newcastle for several years. After completing a degree in Theology in 2017, Mark joined the St John’s ministry team as an intern as he prepares for ordination as a licensed minister. He is passionate about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in new and exciting ways, and reaching out to those who are hungry for God’s Word in their life. With a deep sense of curiosity and interest in others, Mark very much enjoys getting to know people and sharing God’s love with them.

Mark’s interests include football, politics, and country music. When not at work, Mark enjoys long distance running, especially when accompanied by his blue-eyed border collie Bernie, practicing his banjo playing (and testing the patience of his wife in the process) and sharing his love of health and nutrition with others.