Clergy & Staff

The Rev. Claire Nevin-Field, Rector

I have had a lifelong fascination with Jesus and find following him to be: joyful, puzzling, funny, frustrating, humbling, deeply engaging, and life giving. Believing that Anne Lamott was right when she called laughter “carbonated holiness”, I love to laugh and find much humor and joy in life—and in church.

I was born in the northeast of England, and I’m delighted that my path has led me to Philadelphia and to St. Peter’s Church. In addition to being rector here, I am also a former nurse midwife and a mother of two daughters, Rachel and Ellie. My husband, Andrew, and I (and our three cats, Shakespeare, Hero, and Little Bits) live near the church in Queen Village.

A lifelong Episcopalian, I loves the beauty of worship at St. Peter’s (including the holy chaos that is the children’s and family service), and the Episcopal emphasis on “seeking and serving Christ in all people”, on being the hands and heart of Jesus for the world. I am especially passionate about Creation theology, the idea that all that exists is an expression of God’s own life, that we were created to be in relationship with all of God’s Creation, and the implications that idea has for how we live in this world.

I extend a warm invitation to you and your family to visit St. Peter’s for a Sunday service and let us walk with you on your journey of faith.

The Rev. Sean Lanigan, Associate Rector

Ever since childhood, as a Roman Catholic in Green Bay, Wisconsin, I have been drawn to the images of radically inclusive community portrayed in the Gospels. In Jesus’ world, saints and sinners sit side-by-side, with the lost, the lonely and the least always receiving pride of place at God’s banquet table. As a gay kid in a not-so-gay-friendly place, I became acutely aware of what it means to be treated as an outsider, that has led me to focus my ministry on communicating God’s radical grace: the truth that no one — absolutely no one — can ever be beyond the love of God, and that God’s love comes to find us exactly where we are, in the very midst of the joy and pain of living a human life.  And just as God welcomes us, we are called to welcome one another.

I explored many spiritual paths before landing in the Episcopal Church. A lifelong spiritual seeker, I spent time in a range of Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Quaker, and United Church of Christ communities, all of which have left a mark on my approach to faith and ministry. I was ultimately drawn to the Episcopal Church because it welcomes questions, doubt, and uncertainty, because it invites full participation of both the heart and the mind in the life of faith, and because it engages all five senses in pursuit of the Holy.

I have had a varied educational background. I learned to milk cows and blacksmith at the Putney School in Vermont, studied the history of art and architecture at Brown University as an undergraduate, and received a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. I also received a Diploma of Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City. Before coming to St. Peter’s, I served in Long Beach, California, where I led an interfaith campus ministry and a start-up congregation called Holy Ground.

Joseph Schaller

Assisting Priest

Joe and his husband Phillip Bennett have been actively involved in the life of St. Peter’s for over 20 years. A former Jesuit priest, now an Episcopal priest, Joe is a psychologist in private practice. He also assists at St. Gabriel’s Church in Philadelphia and St. Mary’s Church in Ardmore.

Dr. Darryl Roland

Director of Music

Dr. Roland received his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. Throughout his career, he has focused on bringing children, youth, and adults from a wide demographic background together to grow spiritually and musically as a community.

Kate Randall

Parish Administrator

Kate has been a member of the St. Peter’s community since 1990 when her son Clint joined the choir. She became parish administrator in 1997. She has a Masters in medieval history, most of which she has willfully forgotten to devote any remaining memory to church business.

Lauri Cielo

Director of Communications & Development

Before arriving at St. Peter's, Lauri was a newspaper reporter and directed communications at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Lauri, her husband, Chris, and children, Eva, Benjamin and Claire, have been members of St. Peter's Church since 2009.

Mary Campbell

Accountant

Mary Campbell is a CPA who has had her own accounting practice in Philadelphia since January 2007. A native Delawarean, she received her B.S. in accounting from the University of Delaware. Mary provides her clients, primarily non-profits, with accounting, financial reporting and bookkeeping services. She lives in Center City and has one son who lives near Atlanta.

Wayne Simms

Sexton

As sexton at St. Peter's Church since 1979, Wayne Simms manages the upkeep of the church, its grounds, and the parish house. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wayne and his wife live in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia. When he isn't taking care of the churchyard and prepping the church for services, Wayne enjoys movies, music, photography, guitar, and is a proud uncle and godfather.

Danielle Defassio

Children's Ministry Assistant

Danielle grew up as a pastor’s kid in the Lutheran Church, where her love of music blossomed. She is an actor, primarily focusing on Theatre for Young Audiences, and has performed all over the United States and Canada. Danielle has taught early childhood development classes in New York City, and has also worked as a teaching artist in both NYC and Philadelphia. During our Children & Family Service each Sunday, Danielle leads the music, tells the Bible story, and plans the Faith in Action portion of the service.

Benjamin Bookman

Food Cupboard Manager

Ben moved to Philadelphia in 2006 to serve as a mentor and tutor in a Frankford neighborhood middle school and has a Masters Degree in Education/Lifespan Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Wayne, PA with his wife (a Special Education teacher in West Philadelphia) and, when not working for the Food Cupboard, teaches English as a second language to international adults.

William Lim

Administrative Assistant

William was born and raised in the Philippines. After obtaining a degree in Psychology, he moved to the US to pursue music degrees at Indiana University. He has an active career as a musician—singing for various professional choral groups and opera productions in the region.

Gary Rodriguez

Assistant Sexton