Reverend Canon Andy Thompson, MBE

Reverend Canon Andy Thompson MBE, Chaplain of St Andrew's Abu Dhabi

Andy Thompson

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.

Andy and his wife Navina have been married since 1994 and have three children – Benjamin and Kathryn attend the British School in Abu Dhabi and Rianne who attends a 6th Form College in the UK.

For more information about Andy, go here.

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Reverend Gill Nisbet
Assistant Chaplain

Revered Gill Nisbet, St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi

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 Western Region as an engineer in the oil and gas industry.  They have 3 children (Sam, Josh and Mollie) who attend Brighton College in 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 Deacon Jo Henderson

Reverend Deacon Jo Henderson, Curate at St Andrew's Abu Dhabi

Jo Henderson

Jo is married to Ralph, a Civil Engineer, and they have two sons – James who is currently studying at the European International College and Tom who recently graduated from the British School Al Khubairat.

The Henderson family left the UK in 1997 when Ralph was offered a’ temporary assignment’ in Northern Greece and have now lived overseas for 14 years! Jo was able to put her Methodist Local Preacher training gained in New Malden, Surrey, to good use when worshipping and serving in Anglican Chaplaincies in Thessaloniki and Qatar. The Hendersons moved to Abu Dhabi in 2005 and the time felt right for Jo to pursue her increasing sense of calling to the Priestly ministry. Jo was licensed as a Reader in 2007 and was accepted for ordination training in 2010 and studied at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Oxford. Jo was ordained as a Deacon at St Andrew’s by Bishop Michael on 28 September 2012.

Pete Rizzuto
Youth & Community Leader

Pete Rizzuto - Youth & Communtiy Leader, St Andrews Church Abu Dhabi

Pete Rizzuto

Pete has a passion to see a generation of students pursue passionate faith in order to lead and impact their generation – which has led him, after more than seven years of full time youth work – to the Middle East and St Andrew’s in November 2011.  Pete holds an M.A. in Youth Ministry and Theological Education from King’s College at the University of London in the UK and BBA in Music Business from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to developing the youth ministry at St Andrew’s, Pete will also be supporting Christian youth work for various churches and organizations, training local students and leaders in effective multi-cultural youthwork, setting up leadership and character development programmes in local schools and establishing mentoring programmes for local students.

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Thomas Pape
Lay Reader

Thomas Pape, Lay Reader at St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi

Thomas Pape

Thomas and his wife Gabriele come from Germany and have been married for 26 years.  They have four children, Lukas (at university in Australia), Judith (at university in the UK) and Silas and Mia-Lital who attend the American Community School in Abu Dhabi. A former Lutheran lay minister, Thomas received his licence as a Lay Reader at St Andrew’s in October 2011. Gabriele also happens to be a Lutheran deacon.

A specialist in education and rehabilitation, Thomas is currently an advisor for a government agency in the capital where he plans and establishes institutions for people with special needs.  He has long-term experience in development work especially in Africa and he has also managed social enterprises for more than 10 years in Germany.

John Chandy
Honorary Bursar

John Chandy - Honorary Bursar at St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi

John Chandy

John and his wife Mary have lived in Abu Dhabi since 1977 and began attending St Andrews in 1978.  They have been married 33 years and have two grown up daughters, Ashita and Anushka. Before he retired in 2010 John worked for Etisalat as  Manager of their International Data Services. John has served on the Church Council at St Andrews since 1996 (he’s currently a council member) and served as the Honorary Treasurer from 2003 to 2010. John’s wife Mary also served on the Council from 2000 to 2006 and was the Church Warden from 2002 to 2006.

As the Honorary (volunteer) Bursar, John makes an invaluable contribution to the life of St Andrew’s – in particular related to the financial and administrative affairs of the church – with his many years of experience living and working in Abu Dhabi.

Helen Verghese

St Andrews Church Abu Dhabi - Helen Verghese

Helen Verghese

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.

Sheldon Antao
Assistant Compound Manager

Sheldon Antao, Assistant Compound Manager

Sheldon Antao

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.