Reverend Canon Andy Thompson, MBE
Andy Thompson joined St Andrew’s from St Paul’s Church in Kuwait in June 2010. He was ordained in 2000 and made an Honorary Canon of Bahrain Cathedral in August 2011. Andy was awarded the MBE in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2011 Honours List for his contribution to inter-faith relations and his work in Kuwait.
He is the author of Christianity in the UAE and Jesus of Arabia and is actively involved in Christian-Muslim Dialogue in the region. Andy is a keen magician and has published books on using magic tricks and illusions as visual aids for teaching the Christian faith. He is the subject of an award winning documentary called Hartom.
Andy and his wife Navina have been married since 1994 and have three children – Rianne, Benjamin and Kathryn.
For more information about Andy, go here.
Reverend Gill Nisbet
Gill Nisbet has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2005 and worshipped and ministered in a non stipendiary role at St Andrew’s. Ordained in Liverpool Diocese in 2003, Gill previously trained with the Church Army and was a member of a Christian community in North Devon for a couple of years. Gill is married to Howard, who works in the oil and gas industry. They have 3 children. Sam is studying Physics at York University in the UK and Josh and Mollie attend Brighton College, Abu Dhabi.
About her ministry, Gill writes: “I have a pastoral heart and am excited seeing others grow in their Christian faith and life. I value working and praying alongside others within the Church family, discovering that we all have a part to play in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in all its fullness, by using the many gifts and passions God has given to each of us. In my spare time I enjoy reading, particularly anything on spirituality and I like to keep fit at the local gym, I enjoy visiting the beautiful coastal Cities and towns in the UK on my yearly summer returns and I always cherish opportunities to catch up with friends and family”.
Reverend Michelle Jean-Mary
Michelle was ordained by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2012 while serving as a Staff Chaplain at Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Her vocational call to the specialized ministry of hospital chaplaincy is supported by a desire and ability to care for all of God’s people, irrespective of religious background and affiliation. Her passion is helping diverse peoples access faith, hope and courage during times of crisis and uncertainty. That said, Michelle has had extensive involvement in the Church, particularly with children, youth and families. Among her previous experiences was serving as Director of Educational Ministries at Bedford Presbyterian Church in upstate New York. It was during her ministry with young people that Michelle felt compelled to complete her Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary and pursue ordination.
In September 2013, Michelle moved to Abu Dhabi with her husband, Ralph, an executive at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Since then, their family has expanded to include Sophie Amelia and Olivier Escan. While her young children remain her primary focus, Michelle is eager to share her ministerial skills and abilities with the St. Andrew’s Church family. About this opportunity, Michelle believes it is “God’s invitation to me to re-engage in the life of the Church universal.”
Russell and his wife Maggi have lived in UAE since 2010, Previous to that Russell has lived and worked in a number of different countries, that give him a wide, diverse, of cultural experience. They have been married for 18 years and have two daughters, Phoebe and Lois.
Before this Russell worked for a UK based Charity MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) for 10 years as base and logistics Manager in Tanzania. Serving the wider church and NGO’s world wide. Russell has served on the Church Council at St Thomas and since 2013 and warden for the church.
Russell say’s “being part of a church family is especially relevant here in the UAE with such diverse, rich cultures, and vibrant communities in this place.
Church is family to them.”
Jill joined the team at St Andrews in February 2015. She is a youth worker from England with 13 years experience and a degree in Youth & Community Work with Applied Theology. She has worked in various contexts including spending 4 years in Durban, South Africa, as well as working for several churches, charities and statutory organisations in England.
Jill is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential in all aspects of life, to ask questions, explore issues and grow in faith and as disciples. She believes that leadership is of the upmost importance and therefore makes raising young leaders and training & supporting adult volunteers a key priority.
Helen first came to visit the UAE from her home in Mumbai in 1992, but came to live in Abu Dhabi 5 years later. She joined St Andrew’s in 1998 and they currently live near Al Wahda Mall on Airport Road. Helen and her husband Chandy have been married for 30 years and have three grown up children; their son Hansel (married to Sakshi) and two daughters, Vilona and Vilma. As the Secretary at St Andrew’s Helen not only has the daunting task of keeping Andy organised 🙂 but also preparing pew/service sheets, coordinating with a lot of outside organisations, arranging visits and a hundred and one other things – and then some!
Helen says: “I like meeting people from all over the world. This job has taught me a lot about different cultures, customs and forms of worship and most of all that God loves us all just as much no matter who we are or where we come from. Also, life in Abu Dhabi has helped me grow in my relationship with God and taught me to live one day at a time, for His glory.”
Assistant Compound Manager
Sheldon Antao, graduated from High School and studied Computer hardware and networking, in Goa, India. He joined St Andrew’s in 2009, as an assistant clerk. He is now the Assistant Compound Manager, and takes care of booking schedules and other duties on the compound. His parents and younger brother live in Goa.