Our Team

Kimberly Sawyer

Priest in Charge

Kimberly’s greatest joy is to help people to know Christ and to be His people in community. She loves to connect with all ages and began her formal ministry as a school Chaplain before moving to Parish ministry. Kimberly says, “Being able to lead such a vibrant community of faith here at St John’s is a wonderful privilege”. 

Kimberly arrived in Cooks Hill with a menagerie of animals. She has two adult children. In her spare time she may be found with her new dog park friends or swimming with the locals.

Ken 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 and baptism ministry with Kimberly.

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.

Lyndsey  McKenzie

Children and Youth Minister

Lyndsey moved to Newcastle in 2012 with husband Craig and 3 young children, after serving 12 years in the UK Royal Air Force.  Lyndsey has a great passion for children’s ministry and loves to see the great bonds of friendship formed between children and families in the church.

Living so far from her native England, Lyndsey sees church as her adopted family.  When not at work, you can find Lyndsey with a cup of tea and her nose in a good book.

Mark Thornton

Children, Youth & Family Minister and Lay Reader

Mark is enthusiastic about making the simple but powerful message of the gospel known, and is excited about finding new and interesting ways to explore faith with people where they are, however that might look. Mark trained in theology and is licensed as a lay worker in the parish.

When not at church, Mark enjoys spending time with his wife Irini and his daughter Winifred. He plays a range of musical instruments and has a weakness for country music. When time permits, Mark can be found taking his border collie Bernie on long walks and cheering on the Newcastle knights.

Sophie Smith

Office Administrator

Sophie moved to the Hunter Region in 2019 to escape busy Sydney and now lives in peaceful Maitland with her husband Mitch and their two toddlers.

Before kids, Sophie worked in Communications and Panel Management roles at The Nielsen Company and Scripture Union NSW.
She loves writing and finding creative ways to engage people and help them get connected.
Sophie became a Christian at age 13 and has been following and serving the Lord ever since.