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, and dog, Harriet) live near the church in Queen Village.
A lifelong Episcopalian, I love 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. Let us walk with you on your journey of faith.
The Rev. Sarah Hedgis, Associate Rector
I am a native of rural North Georgia and the oldest of four children, which means I use “y’all” and my big sister tendencies run deep. I was raised in the United Methodist Church, so I love hymn sings and rowdy sermons. From an early age, I felt a call to ministry, but a lot of people told me, quickly and definitely: girls do not grow up to be pastors. However, despite many naysayers, my pastor nurtured my sense of call. His encouragement strengthened me and changed my life.
For seminary, I went to Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and a few years later I completed a Diploma in Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary in New York City. I am married to Roger, a fourth generation Philadelphian, and we have a wonderful and eccentric dog named Summah.
As a priest, I feel most drawn to empowering people to express their gifts, in church and in life. I love finding ways to reclaim the Bible with joy and integrity, especially the psalms. I am committed to dismantling white supremacy—our country’s most overlooked and excused sin.
We are not perfect. We are complicated people with messy lives. But we seek to ground our messy lives in Christ’s presence and his call to love God and love our neighbor (and even love ourselves). We welcome, discern, pray, laugh, cry, serve, forgive, advocate, heal, gather, worship, and celebrate, as we walk this journey of faith together.
Rev. Dr. Joseph Schaller
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.
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 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.
Director of Communications & Development
Lauri and her husband, Chris, have been members of St. Peter's since 2009. When she isn't plugging away on the church website or email newsletters, she enjoys playing tennis, piano, and being outdoors with her three children, Eva, Benjamin, and Claire.
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 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.
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 neighborhood 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.
Children's Service Musician
Laurel grew up in Colorado and studied Choral Music Education at Brigham Young University. She spent seven years in Virginia teaching choral music and pursued a Master of Music degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2018, Laurel moved to Philadelphia and welcomed her son, Forrest, into the world. She is excited to have found a home in the Episcopal Church and to share her love of music with the children and families of St. Peter's.
William was born and raised in the Philippines. After obtaining a degree in Psychology, he moved to the United States to pursue music degrees at Indiana University. He has an active career as a musician—signing for various professional choral groups and opera productions in the region.
Gary works part-time at St. Peter's Church, assisting the sexton especially with the St. Peter's Food Cupboard and Sunday morning operations.
Mary is a CPA who has had her own accounting practice in Philadelphia since 2007. A native of Delaware, 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.