The Revd Dr. Preston Parsons


After working in youth and camping ministry in Winnipeg and Northwestern Ontario, Preston began his training for the priesthood in Berkeley California in 2001. After his ordinations in 2004 and 2005, Preston served as a hospital chaplain in Sacramento, California; not long after, he was appointed to St. Mary Magdalene, a multi-cultural parish in the south end of Winnipeg. In 2012, Preston moved to England, where he pursued a PhD in Christian Theology at the University of Cambridge, while serving as Priest Vicar at St. John’s College, and Director of Studies at Westminster College.

Preston moved to Waterloo in 2017 with his wife, Karen Sunabacka, who took a position as Associate Professor of Music at Conrad Grebel University College.

The Reverend Paul Kett

Assistant Priest

Paul serves as an Honorary Assistant at St. John’s. In this role he assists in Sunday worship and preaches and presides occasionally.

Paul also provides leadership for an adult study group that meets regularly from September through May. This lively and committed group are stimulated and supported in their common Christian journey by these study opportunities. Paul has begun meeting with a small group of university students, who wish to explore their place in the church and Christian faith.

Paul and his wife Kathleen joined St. John’s parish after he retired from active parish ministry in the Diocese of Toronto. Before ordination in 1980, he taught in the Ontario secondary school system for ten years.

The Venerable Ken Cardwell

Assistant Priest

As an Honorary Assistant Ken assists with worship services and preaches on occasion. Ken is a graduate of Hamilton Teachers’ College, McMaster University, and Huron College.

Ken retired in 2003 after 34 years as a parish priest in the Dioceses of Niagara, Keewatin and Moosonee. He also served as Archdeacon of Brock. For ten years after retirement Ken served in a number of Interim Ministry positions for parishes in transition.

Ken and his wife Sarah moved to Kitchener in 2013.

The Reverend James Brown

Assistant Priest

As an Honorary Assistant, James preaches and presides occasionally at worship and leads or assists in various short-term projects relating to the mission and ministry of our parish.

Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 1991, he has served Lutheran parishes in Stratford and Waterloo, participated in a cross-denominational, trans-Atlantic pulpit exchange in the Church of Scotland during the summers of 2010 to 2015, and was Interim Priest-in-Charge of St. Columba Anglican Church, Waterloo (2019-2020).

A lifelong, self-confessed ecumaniac, James is Chair of the Steering Committee of Christians Together Waterloo Region (successor organization to the Kitchener-Waterloo Council of Churches). He also served people of all faiths and no faith as an on-call chaplain at Grand River Hospital for 27 years.

Prior to ordination, James was a full-time church musician for parishes in Brantford and Kitchener (1971-1989). James and his wife, Paula, live in Baden, Ontario.

David Harrison

Music Director
E-mail David Harrison

David Harrison has spent his entire life making music in the Church. After singing treble in the Men and Boys’ Choir at St James’ Cathedral in Toronto, he studied organ with Norman McBeth and John Tuttle, and was awarded his Associateship of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (ARCCO) in 1993, winning prizes for overall achievement and theory. He has served as the Assistant Conductor of the Hart House Chorus and Organ Scholar at St Thomas’s Church in Toronto. An ordained Anglican priest, David served most recently as the Rector of the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Toronto. He considers himself a musical and liturgical omnivore.

Rebecca McKay

Parish Administrator

As parish administrator Rebecca provides administrative assistance for St. John’s, including communications, scheduling and coordinating internal and external groups, maintaining records, preparing documents, and answering inquiries.

Rebecca also provides administrative support to various parish ministries. She works with the Rector, the wardens, other staff, and members of the parish

A Kitchener native, Rebecca obtained a Bachelor’s of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University in Voice and Music Education, and recently completed a Master of Arts in Community Music at WLU. In addition to her studies in voice and choral leadership, studied organ and church music. She has been an active choral singer having performed with the Laurier Singers’ Chamber Choir, Spiritus Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Choir, The Elora Singers, St. John’s Elora and is an active recitalist. In addition to her work at St. John’s, ‎Rebecca is a vocal instructor at the Laurier Conservatory. Rebecca has been a member here at St. John’s since 2011, joining the choir as a choral scholar while pursuing her undergraduate degree. Rebecca brings with her a wealth of knowledge in non-profit administration, Anglican service music and liturgy, and office administration.