Meet Our Staff

Baden Stace

Senior Minister
E-mail Baden Stace


Baden has served in leadership in the Sydney Diocese in a range of roles, including as a parish Rector, associate minister and itinerant evangelist. Before training for Christian ministry he worked in corporate marketing in the IT industry.

He considers the good news of Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection to be life changing and sees it as a great privilege to spend his life sharing this good news with others and encouraging Christians to live their lives in light of it. In his spare moments he loves spending time with his wife Karin and children Caleb, Huntley and Abby. He has also been known to enjoy a round of golf and is putting the final touches on a PhD in church history.

Baden oversees the work of St Stephen’s Normanhurst and loves being part of such an amazing and vibrant church community with a fantastic, godly and gifted staff team.

Peter Hughes

Assistant Minister
E-mail Peter Hughes


Pete was born and bred in Sydney. He has worked in a variety of ministry positions including church planting, campus work and church ministry. He is married to Audrey and they have 3 kids: Calvin, Kia and Evangeline.

He loves movies, what they mean and how they communicate, including the ones where stuff just blows up.

Pete also loves Jesus and explaining who he is. As well as reading and watching most sports. He doesn’t like country music.

Chris Jones

Families & Youth Minister
E-mail Chris Jones


Chris is very thankful to have grown up in a Christian family, who continue to remain a great encouragement to him in his faith. He is also very thankful for his wife Claire, and his two children.

Prior to undertaking theological studies Chris trained and worked as an architect. He completed his Masters of Divinity at Sydney Missionary & Bible College (SMBC) in 2010, and has been working in full-time ministry since then.

Both Chris and Claire are passionate Sydney Swans fans, and can often be found at local games on a Saturday.

Chris is responsible for the kids and youth ministries at St Stephen’s. He has a keen passion to train and equip leaders in order that the young people of our local area may come to know Jesus, and grow in their relationship with Him.

Karl Bonner

Young Adults Minister
E-mail Karl Bonner


Karl lives with his wife Lani, their son Ambrose, their cat, and their dog. He became a Christian in his teenage years, and has had a passion for sharing the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ ever since. When not working, he enjoys all things creative and is known for taking on an endless list of DIY projects. Whether cooking, painting, writing, filmmaking, or just having a nap; Karl tries to make the most of each day believing every living moment to be a graceful gift of God to be embraced.

Karl is responsible for our Young Adults ministry, particularly through our 7pm service, as well as our senior high school youth group members. He is always happy to make new friends and meet new people.

Lea Pilon

Children's Minister
E-mail Lea Pilon


Lea grew up in a Christian family and as a local has been attending St Stephen’s Normanhurst all her life. From Sunday school and then Youth group, to teaching and then co-ordinating various groups within the church, she has seen the growth of the Gospel from many angles

At Uni while studying a Primary school teaching degree Lea was also involved in leading on several Anglican Youth Department camps where she subsequently met her husband Brett. They have 3 gorgeous daughters; Jordan, Danielle and Ashleigh. As a family they are all very involved in Netball and spend most of their Saturdays in Winter down at the courts. For relaxation, Lea loves to scrapbook, make cards, cross-stitch, read a book or spend time with their ever growing menagerie of pets while enjoying God’s creations. Lea has a passion to teach children about God and to nurture and guide them in developing their own personal relationship with Jesus.

Jess Donohue

Community & Pastoral Care Minister
E-mail Jess Donohue


Jess praises God for her family who led her to faith at a very young age. She has a deep love for God and for people; which makes her passionate about the church being a people who demonstrate God’s love and care to one another and the world around them.

Jess trained as Secondary Teacher before completing her Masters of Divinity and moving into vocational ministry. She is thankful to have had the opportunity to serve in a number of churches and ministry contexts in Normanhurst and the neighbouring suburbs.

Jess is married to Andrew and in her spare time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking up a storm, or relishing a good cup of coffee.

Felicity Stead

Office Administrator
E-mail Felicity Stead


Felicity became a Christian at the age of 8, when she responded to a gospel talk at church in Perth. She is still God’s work in progress as she grows in the knowledge of His grace and love and the riches of his Word. Married to Michael, she served with him for 15 years at St James Turramurra in women’s ministry, conference speaking, pastoral care and leading bible studies. Now Michael is Bishop of South Sydney – her ministry focus is on supporting ministry families in South Sydney, ministry wives in the Diocese and the work of the worldwide church (through Gafcon). She has worked as a commercial lawyer, has a diploma in Biblical Studies and her eclectic interests include cooking, entertaining, playing drums and watching NFL football.

As the Office Administrator for St Stephen’s Felicity provides support to our ministry staff and oversees many aspects of the day to day running of our church.

Liam Nolan

Ministry Intern
E-mail Liam Nolan


Liam has lived in Thornleigh since he was a baby, and has been a part of St Stephen’s for just over a year. Liam is very grateful to have had parents who introduced him to Christ as a child, and considers it a privilege to have known the one true living God for his whole life.

Liam completed a Bachelor of Social at the University of Sydney, where he met his wife Laura in the Evangelical Union. After finishing his degree he spent some time as a Social Worker with children and young people. Liam is honoured and grateful to train in ministry at St Stephen’s this year, and hopes to grow in his skills and knowledge to faithfully serve God’s people.

Whenever he gets the chance, Liam loves to venture out with his wife to and eat drink all the good things Sydney has to offer, chat with pretty much anyone about pretty much everything or simply sit in the sun with a good book.

Melanie Cunningham

Student Minister
E-mail Melanie Cunningham


Melanie has lived in Normanhurst for most of her life with her Mum (Ruth) and 2 brothers (James and Mitchell) and has grown up as part of the St Stephen’s community for the past 18 years. Melanie and her family started attending St Stephen’s as a family after joining the preschool and she has been attending the church since.

Melanie is extremely grateful for how incredibly blessed she is to have grown up in a home that teaches Christian values and the importance of following and loving God. Melanie, while always calling herself a Christian, was moved to personally take on her faith to have it influence and affect all areas of her life at the youth camp SHIFT in her upper high school years.

Melanie is currently completing a Diploma of Ministry at Youthworks College in Newtown, where she is learning about theology and children’s ministry. When not at church Melanie loves a good book and enjoys a nice quiet afternoon reading or exploring new places and trying new things with friends on the weekend.

Dylan Hood

Student Minister
E-mail Dylan Hood


Dylan has lived in Normanhurst and attended St Stephen’s regularly for 20 years. He is ever grateful for the Christian upbringing afforded him through a loving family and faithful extended family. He is also thankful for the many devoted role models that have shaped his love for Jesus.

Dylan is undertaking a Bachelor of Divinity at Moore College and is very grateful for the opportunity to continue ministry at St Stephen’s. Having been humbled by the encouragement and generosity of the parish as part of his ministry internship, Dylan is eager to continue to serve the people of St Stephen’s wholeheartedly.

For free time, Dylan enjoys playing cricket and football, listening to vinyl music, reading and spending time with friends.

Belinda Liney

Student Minister
E-mail Belinda Liney


By God’s grace, Jesus was never a stranger to Belinda. Growing up in Thornleigh, Belinda became regularly involved in varying local churches kid’s ministries from a young age. Yet she was never connected with a church until her parents encouraged her to check out youth group on a Friday night. That is when Belinda found St Stephen’s. Though she began to call herself a Christian from year 8, she truly committed herself to Christ in year 12. After having God’s Grace explained to her for what felt like the first time.

From 2018-2020 Belinda was living in Brisbane training as an Elite Athlete and studying a Bachelor of Science part-time. Through this season God placed Belinda in wonderful Christian community that strengthened her faith immensely. When her career as an athlete came to an unexpected end Belinda was prayerful in seeking what was the next step God wanted her to take. Through God’s provision she is currently undergoing an Advanced Diploma at Moore College. She is very thankful to God for providing for her well over the last few years – particularly the opportunity to serve at St Stephen’s as a Student Minister this year, after returning from Brisbane.

In her free time Belinda enjoys spending time with both her friends and her plants, thrift, and be active.

Cameron Maxworthy

Student Minister
E-mail Cameron Maxworthy


Cameron has lived in Thornleigh for most of his life. He was encouraged by his parents to attend church and youth group from a young age and is thankful for the way that God had been at work in his life this way. He always called himself a ‘Christian’ but it wasn’t until after high school that he was challenged to take his faith more seriously and actually commit himself to living for Christ.

Cameron studied Environmental Science at university and worked for three years as an asbestos analyst before making the decision to begin full-time study at Moore College. He is undertaking a Bachelor of Divinity at Moore and is extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve the St Stephen’s community in a student ministry position as he does so.

In his free time Cameron enjoys catching up with people over brunch, reading, and picking up heavy things at the gym.

Clare Smeallie

Student Minister
E-mail Clare Smeallie


Clare has grown up in Normanhurst and has attended St Stephen’s regularly for about 12 years. Clare is extremely thankful for her faithful Christian family who have always encouraged her in her faith.

Clare has been very thankful to God for the opportunity to be at St Stephen’s as a ministry intern and all that it has taught her about serving Jesus with her whole life. Since completing her internship she is undertaking studies at Moore Theological College studying a Bachelor of Divinity to further her understanding and knowledge of the bible and grow and learn for a life of ministry. Clare is very thankful to be a student minister at St Stephen’s and will continue to be involved in a variety of ministries across the church.

In her free time Clare takes dance classes every week and enjoys watercolour painting, watching English period dramas, and catching up with friends at any local cafe.

Michael Walsh

Student Missions Partner
E-mail Michael Walsh


Born into a mission-focused ministry-based family, Michael has grown up with a passion for the Gospel and a call to serve God on the mission field. Michael has steadily been working towards long-term mission in Europe since he was 14 having visited the country of Moldova on a school mission trip, returning again in 2015 & 2016.

Currently studying a Bachelor of Theology at Sydney Missionary & Bible College and with a passion for kids & youth, camping and aged care ministry, Michael is excited to be serving at St Stephen’s in partnership with European Christian Mission (ECM) as a student missions partner and appreciates both your prayerful and/or financial support towards his ministry training and long-term mission goals.