After 19 years as Vicar at Christ Church, Rev Jo. Vickery retired in June 2021. We are currently have a vacancy, or interregnum as the Church of England puts it. As part of the interregnum process we are seeking input across our congregations and our community to feed into our parish profile, which will be used by prospective candidates to help the discern whether or not to apply.

We are excited to see where God takes us during and beyond this season, and praying for those who may apply and those involved with the interview process!

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. In addition leading us through our interregnum, Paul 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.

Aidan and Cathie Watson

Aidan and Cathie Watson

Curate and Ordinand

Aidan joined us as Curate in July 2019 alongside his wife Cathie who is also currently training for ordination at Trinity College Bristol. 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 includes music ministry, hosting our podcast and overseeing our Children’s and Families ministry

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

Cathie has a particular heart for making church accessible for those who have less experience of church. As part of her placement Cathie will be part of the preaching and service leading teams.

Likes: Reading and creative writing, Diettrich Bonhoeffer, good coffee!ts.
Dislikes: Snakes, early mornings!

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.

Maggie Nichols

Church Warden & 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 19 to 6 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 Mondays and Fridays.

Bryan Ashton

Church Warden

Bryan Ashton is one of our Church Wardens. He also manages the Christians Against Poverty food donations. Among many other things, Bryan is a big fan of Bristol Bears rugby!


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!

Liz Leeson

Acting Children's Ministry Co-ordinator

Liz is married to Tom and they have two young children. She started coming to Christ Church when her eldest was one.

Before having children, she worked in the area for a number of years as an Early Years Teacher, although currently is a mentor for Early Years settings and is also a full time stay at home mum.

Liz has recently taken on the role of Acting Children’s Ministry Co-ordinator, ensuring all the families at Christ Church are kept informed with what is happening on a weekly basis.

Liz loves being by the sea, singing and reading.

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 is married to Keith and has been working at Christ Church for 7 years – she grew up in Downend and attended Christ Church for many years. She has worked in France, studied in London, lived in Wales and is now back!

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.

Elissa works on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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).

Rosie Brydon

CAP Centre Manager

Since taking early retirement in 2017, Rosie has become increasingly involved with Christians Against
Poverty (CAP). She now works as Centre Manager for the NE Bristol CAP Debt Centre, which has
been run from Christ Church since 2008.

If you would like to access our free Debt Relief service, then please contact Rosie on 07483 410403
or by email on

Likes: walking, reading, time with family and friends.

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!!!)