Jo and Shahne Vickery

Jo and Shahne Vickery


Jo and Shahne moved from the Usk Valley to Christ Church in May 2002. They both have a distinctive but shared ministry. Jo has a passion to see worship reflect the creative nature of God, and for people to be inspired and equipped for living as followers of Christ in the whole of life. He is committed to his role as a work mentor to clergy in the Bristol Diocese and beyond and is also a Foundation Governor on the Board of Governors at Christ Church Infant’s School

Shahne worked as an education consultant in the Worcester Diocese. She is the author of numerous publications to support values education, Christian assemblies and children’s spiritual development in schools ( At Christ Church she is Assistant Ministry Head for Worship and is part of the Welcome team.

Shahne and Jo have two grown children, Matthew who is a PE teacher in a C of E secondary school and Angharad who is a primary school headteacher. Angharad is married to Joff and they have two children.

Likes: Rushing about with the grandchildren, walking the Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire coastal path with Flora the wild Westie, early mornings at the gym, theatre
Dislikes: Queues, crowds and concrete

Rev Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

Associate Minister

Paul combines his role as Associate Minister at Christ Church with the oversight of Haslemere Ventures for teenagers. At Christ Church he leads Mission and Outreach Ministry, which includes Alpha and Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, he is also a Foundation Governor on the Board of Governors at Christ Church Junior School and he also chairs the PCC.

In the summer months he can often be found on the cricket pitch, whilst the odd half marathon often features as winter approaches. Paul and his family moved to Downend in January 2010, after eight years leading a church in Bradley Stoke.

Likes: A good curry and most sports.
Dislikes: Cold, wet winter evenings.

Chris Dobson

Chris Dobson

Assistant Minister

Chris is married to Anita, and they have two children, Susie and Jonathan.

He grew up in Uganda, where his father, John, taught New Testament Greek at Bishop Tucker Theological College. At the age of 10 he returned to the UK and went to school in Norwich. He studied English at Aberystwyth University, worked for a year in a youth centre in Liverpool, then trained at Wycliffe Hall.

Chris has worked in parishes in Rochester Diocese and Harare, Zimbabwe. For the last 8 years he was Bishop’s Adviser for Links in Rochester Diocese and vicar of St Andrew’s church, Paddock Wood, Kent.

He is currently Ecumenical and Global Partnership Officer for Bristol Diocese.

Likes: Walking in the hills, African birds and climbing.

Aidan and Cathie Watson

Aidan and Cathie Watson


Aidan joined us as Curate in July 2019 after training at Trinity theological college, Bristol. Cathie is an ordinand with two years ordination training remaining at Trinity. Like Jo and Shahne they have shared but distinct ministries. They moved to the area three days before the birth of their son Reuben.

Aidan is passionate about discipleship, with the gathered church being a place of learning, growing and serving one another as together we become more like Jesus. His role at Christ Church will evolve over his 3-4 years with us but will include men’s ministry, musical worship and mentoring

Likes: Sport (playing, watching, refereeing, reading about, talking endlessly about, etc.), playing music, and podcasts.
Dislikes: Flour… “It just gives me the creeps”.

Cathie is more of a pioneer and keen to help the church exist for those on the fringes or where church feels irrelevant. After maternity leave she will be on placement with Christ Church as part of her training.

Likes: Baking, meeting new people, escape rooms and Welsh rugby.
Dislikes: English rugby, snakes and cauliflower.

Bryan Ashton

Church Warden

Bryan Ashton is one of our Church Wardens. He also manages the Christians Against Poverty food donations.


Anita Dobson, Head of Discipleship for all ages ministry

Anita Dobson

Head of Discipleship for All Ages Ministry

Anita works part time heading up the ministry of discipleship for all ages, which means encouraging people wherever they are on the journey of faith, to take a next step. We seek to equip and inspire both individuals and families to grow one step closer to the God who loves them.

In her spare time she sings a lot and walks the dog, sometimes at the same time.

Likes: Singing.
Dislikes: Vinegar – the smell!

Helen Buick

Head of Children's Ministry

Helen is a follower of Christ and a mum with a passion for fun and communication. After 2 years leading the Creative Media team at Christ Church, she is now heading up our Children’s Ministry.

Helen is also taking a lead in our monthly Messy Church along with Anita Dobson,  who does our Baptism preparation classes.

Helen has three lovely children and loves camping and entertaining. Originally she trained as a languages teacher (communication has always mattered to her), she is one of the team who Tweet and post on social media for Christ Church. Helen joined Christ Church in 2006, when she moved to Bristol.

Helen loves being with people and she loves worship. And the best of all is worship with other people!

Diane Paddon

Diane Paddon

Head of Youth Ministry

Diane is married to Jamie, whom she met whilst watching Bristol Rovers at Twerton Park. Diane cared for patients in Frenchay Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, before leaving nursing for the best job in the world of becoming full time mum to Luke and Joshua.

Diane puts her faith into action by serving in a variety of voluntary roles within the community, not least as Youth Worker. She enjoys sharing quality time with family and friends and has recently taken up playing piano, though is not quite up to the standard of the Christ Church worship band…… yet!

Likes: Music, holidays and seeing all people from the youngest to the eldest; living life to the full.
Dislikes: Litter and injustice; but is not afraid to tackle either!

Elissa Wiltshire

Parish Administrator

Elissa recently got married to Keith – she grew up in Downend and attended Christ Church for many years. She has worked in France, studied in London, run two successful businesses in Wales and is now back! She is fluent in French and Spanish and enjoys playing the piano. Elissa briefly returned to Bristol in between to complete her Master’s Degree (MSc) in Information Technology.

She has a son and daughter (grown up!)  and is looking forward to spending more time using her VW Type 2 Camper van, travelling with her husband Keith, and creating stained glass.

Likes: VW Camper vans, doing crafts of any kind, especially stained glass , music and playing the piano.
Dislikes: Housework and gluten (as a coeliac sufferer).

Maggie Nichols

Church Warden and Assistant Parish Administrator

Maggie is Church Warden and also Christ Church building manager and arranges all bookings for the Church building. She has been attending Christ Church for many years and was married here in 1969. She enjoys spending time with her five granddaughters who range in age from 18 to 5 years, which can be quite challenging at times.

Likes: Flowers, gardening, reading & walking

Dislikes: Litter, untidiness

Maggie is our Assistant to the Parish Administrator. She is usually in the Parish Office on Thursdays and Fridays.

Kathy Prosser

Kathy Prosser


Kathy is married to Dave and they have two children. As a family they have been active members of Christ Church for many years. Having left her employment as a social worker, Kathy has worked for Christ Church Downend as Pastoral Coordinator/Parish safeguarding Officer (2013-2015), Head of Ministry of Wholeness, Pastoral Care, Safeguarding (2015-June 2017) and is currently a Chaplain with specific ministry in local sheltered/residential homes and links into local hospitals. Kathy is passionate about the healing and wholeness God generously provides for us and in our relationships; every act of love, gratitude, kindness; every act of equity, justice; every act of prayer in God’s Spirit for healing brokenness, finds its way through God’s power into the new creation God will one day make and fulfil; this is our seed of confidence in every day. We live with hope even in the darkest hour.

Kathy also has an active Spiritual Direction ministry within the Bristol, Gloucestershire and Bath and Wells Dioceses.

Likes: reading, walking, gardening, theatre productions, films, art, music, particularly our children’s musical talents, coastal walks/scenery, camping, ‘catch up’ times with friends and family, holidays in Cornwall.
Dislikes: crowded buses, trains or tube trains!

Leyla Fellows, CAP Centre Manager

Leyla Fellows

CAP Centre Manager

Leyla and her husband James have lived in Bristol since 2009 and have three energetic and lively children.  Leyla’s passion for social justice inspired her to join Christians Against Poverty (CAP) where she currently works as Centre Manager for the North East Bristol Debt Centre.

Contact Leyla email: or call 0753 090 0957 to discuss in confidence any personal financial issues you may be facing.

Likes: Sunshine, spicy food, reading, chocolate and running (to work off the chocolate!)

Dislikes: Resorting to instruction manuals, trying to get out the house on time – especially for the school run!

Dave Tooby portrait

Dave Tooby

Planned Giving Secretary

Dave is married to Barbara and has been a member of Christ Church Downend for over 50 years.  They have three children and four grandchildren.  He has held many ‘behind the scenes’ roles in the church, including serving as church warden for four years.

After retiring from the Police Service in 1994 he has been able to devote more time to his passion of working with wood, and ‘Learning to Live the Life.’

He is a good listener.

Likes: Family, walking, travel, good design and creating things made of wood.

Dislikes: Broken things and things that don’t work!

Andy McNeill

Andy McNeill


Andy was born a stone’s throw away from Christ Church Downend where he was baptised and confirmed at eighteen so he is a real local lad. Andy is the Verger and he relishes spreading the word in and around the parish. Always taking time out to listen to anyone with a problem.

Andy is married to Ruth who was church warden and is now the church’s sacristan.

Likes: Cooking, anything from sushi to beef wellington.
Dislikes: TV advertisements!!! and semolina pudding (bad school memories!!!)