Meet Our Staff

Baden Stace

Senior Minister
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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
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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

Youth & Families Minister
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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 overseeing the 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.

Josh Vallentine

Kids & Families Minister
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Josh has always known the Lord Jesus Christ. Having always been a part of a church community surrounded by supporting parents and leaders, God grew a love of Jesus in his heart from an early age. He often loves exploring the small specific details of God’s character revealed in his Word and how that challenges him to live a life worthy of the calling of the gospel.

Josh is responsible for the kids and families ministries at St Stephen’s. He has always been involved with kids ministry; either as a leader or a participant and has had a broad range of experience both in suburban churches and the inner west setting. His passion is to see kids know Jesus in their hearts and for them to follow him daily.

Josh is married to Bethaney and they have one daughter, Annabelle. He enjoys playing games in all forms, watching movies and having robust discussions around them, sharing a meal with family and friends, and a good game of (English) football.

Jess Donohue

Community & Pastoral Care Minister
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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
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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
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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.

Tadhg Richards

Ministry Intern
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Tadhg grew up in Thornleigh and has been attending St Stephen’s his whole life. He praises God that he was raised in a home where Jesus was at the centre of everything and hasn’t know a day where he wouldn’t call Jesus Lord.

Tadhg completed a Diploma of Christian Studies during his time at Year 13 and, more recently, a Certificate 3 in Outdoor Leadership through the Cru Summit Traineeship. He’s very excited to continue growing in his understanding of Jesus and developing skills to proclaim the gospel faithfully.

Tadhg is engaged to Hayley and, in his spare time, loves playing guitar, hanging out with mates and watching his GWS Giants win the flag (surely they’ll win one day, right…)!

Melanie Cunningham

Student Minister
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Melanie grew up in Normanhurst and has been a part of the St Stephen’s community for the past 20 years. Melanie and her family started attending St Stephen’s 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 studying at Moore Theological College in Newtown, where she is learning about theology, with a focus on 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
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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.

Cameron Maxworthy

Student Minister
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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
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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
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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.