Leaders and Staff

James Bloice Smith


James became a Christian as a child and owned it in a new way in his late teens. He studied psychology and biochemistry at Bangor University, teaching at King’s College, London University, and theology at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. He has worked as a Medical Laboratory Technician, in North London as a science teacher and for eight years in student evangelism and discipleship with Agapé.

His first pastorate was as assistant minister at Park Road Baptist Church, Peterborough. He has been minister at Headington Baptist Church since 1996. James is married to Marion and has a son, Daniel, who works as an engineer, and a daughter, Naomi, who is a teacher.

His interests include people in general, getting into boats whenever possible, the Headington community and ‘fiddling about’-making things and fixing things.

Chris Band


Chris became a Christian at the age of 11. He has studied theology at 3 different academic institutions for 9 years in total – Birmingham University, London School of Theology and the University of Oxford. He worked for five years with national students in the UK (with UCCF) and then for seven years amongst international students (with Friends International). He also taught New Testament Studies in North India for 3 years.

Chris is married to Breeze and they have two daughters, Petra and Tia. His hobbies and interests include reading, classical music, film, DIY and Sport. Following ministerial training at Regent’s Park College, Oxford (during which he was on placement with us at HBC), Chris was ordained as a Baptist minister and formally inducted as a full-time minister at Headington Baptist Church in September 2009.

Paul Gass

Leadership Team

Paul grew up in Bournemouth and became a Christian in his late teens, thanks to the witness of two local youth leaders. Leaving home Paul studied physics as an undergraduate and postgraduate at Bristol and then Exeter Universities. Paul now works as a research scientist in the electronics industry.

Paul has attended Headington Baptist Church for twenty years. He is married to Ruth and has two school aged children, Adam and Naomi. Over the years Paul has been involved in a many different areas of church life, including leading a home group, Alpha groups and setting up and currently co-leading the men’s fellowship group. Paul enjoys keeping fit and he recently organised a group from church to do the Blenheim triathlon together.

Cecily Delderfield

Leadership Team

Cecily grew up attending Oakwood Baptist Church in north London, where she decided to follow Jesus, met John and became Captain of the Girls’ Brigade. She has childhood memories of her family gathering round the piano on a Sunday afternoon for a sing-song including everything from music hall to favourite hymns. She came to Headington Baptist Church in the 1970s when she moved to Oxford after marrying John. Together they have raised two children in the church and now grandchildren. Over the years her passion for introducing children to Jesus and commitment to church being fun have led her to take on various roles. Cecily also loves to pray with and for people, so is a member of the prayer ministry team, keen missionary supporter and has oversight for pastoral care within HBC.

Nick Jackson

Children’s & Family Minister

Nick arrived at HBC in 1992, studying Geology at Oxford Brookes, then a PGCE to become a primary school teacher.  He married Kath in 1997 at St Aldates’ Church and after a couple of years he took a teaching post in Thailand.  He taught for many years until he became a Children’s Leader with Powerpack and HBC in 2008.  So he serves locally in Headington, and nationally/internationally with Powerpack, leading: children’s ministry for events like Spring Harvest, New Wine, RIVERCamp; children’s ministry at church weekends; training and consultancy for other churches in the UK and Europe and some overseas missionary support trips to places like Argentina, Myanmar, Madagascar and Nepal.

Nick has three children, loves playing Thursday night football.  Nick enjoys strategy board games, walks and generally outdoor activities.

Abigail Newland

Youth Leader

Wendy van den Broek


John Delderfield


Pete Hart


Management Team

Leaders of HBC’s management teams are responsible for various, mostly practical, areas of church life. The leaders don’t do all the work themselves, but lead teams of helpers. HBC is a registered charity and under our constitution, the managing trustees of the charity are: the ministers and elders, the Church Secretary, and Treasurer, the Property Team leader, and up to two other leaders. Trustees are elected by the Church Meeting, and are responsible for ensuring that we comply with charity law and good practice.

Team leaders

Wendy van den Broek is Church Secretary, with responsibility for administration, which covers many areas of church life, as well as links with the wider Baptist family, other local churches and other organisations. The aim is to help the church to function well and to support the leaders.
John Delderfield is Church Treasurer and has overall responsibility for church finances, including the annual budget and accounts.
Steve Walker is Property Team leader is responsible for maintenance and repair of the church building and Manse.
Ministry leaders
Those currently elected are Nick Jackson (Children’s & Familie’s Ministries), Joyce Clapp (Housekeeping). Chris Able (Chief Steward).
Other staff
Admin assistant Peter Hart works in the church office in the mornings (normally Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), helping with general church administration in association with the ministers and the Church Secretary. Contact the Church Office.


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