Rev Dr Stewart Weaver
I grew up in Williamsville, New York (near Niagara Falls) and attended Williamsville South High School. After I gained a BA in History from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts I held a variety of posts under the auspices of the national church: I worked with the homeless in Portland, Oregon for a year; I taught in China for two years; and I then worked with refugees in Buffalo. I moved to the UK in 1991 to be with my British fiancée whom I met in China. After working at Hewlett Packard in Bristol for a year, we travelled to Edinburgh. After gaining a First in a Hebrew/Old Testament BD I did a PhD on Second Isaiah. I was ordained and inducted into St. Philip’s in 2003 and we became Portobello and Joppa Parish Church after a three way union in 2014.
Rev Lourens de Jager
Hailing from sunny Durban, South Africa, my wife Mishia and I packed our suitcases and moved to Scotland in 2015 following God’s leadership and a long process of discernment and prayer. Since June of 2015, I have served as Portobello and Joppa Parish Church’s Associate Minister. The goal and purpose of my life is oriented toward knowing, loving, and serving the God revealed to us in the Bible. I love spending time outdoors, whether on a beach, forest or mountain and love good food, good music and good company.
I oversee family ministry for children from birth through to the Breakfast Club, our youth group. I lead Messy Church, Sunday Stars, and our Portobello Holiday Club. I also run a family coffee morning called Coffee Break and lead the Scripture Union Group at Towerbank called TIC club. I grew up in New Jersey, United States and previously worked for the Presbyterian Church USA and at Presbyterian summer camps. I moved to Scotland in 2005 to study at New College, University of Edinburgh where I completed an MTh in Theological Ethics: Media. My husband Paul and I are members at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church, along with our two young children. I love reading, photography, movies, coffee, working with children and young people, and feel blessed to be part of the PJPC family!
I have been the Church Administrator for over 10 years and have met many interesting people made a lot of great friends. I was born and brought up in Joppa – baptised and married in PJPC! I have been married to Gary for 30 years and we have two wonderful grown up sons, Chris & Matt. I am a keen member of the PJPC Hill Walking Group with whom I have climbed around 60 Munros. This also gives me a chance to practice my photography; another of my hobbies. There is nothing more spectacular than the views from the top of a Munro…when it’s not shrouded in rain and mist!
I was originally born and bred in Edinburgh. I stayed New York for two and half years when I was young, but came back to the UK and have made my home here ever since. I ran my own business for 17 years doing floor sanding. I worked for Joe Finley the butcher in Portobello High Street for six years. I was trained as a butcher in my dad’s business and was also trained as a chef. I came to work at Portobello and Joppa Parish church in 2014. I enjoy what I do and love the environment I get to work in.
I was brought up in Glasgow and attended Jordanhill Church, where I sang in the choir and also received organ lessons from the church organist Alan Tavener. I still go to Glasgow to have lessons with him, 35 years later! After graduating from Surrey University with a BMus, I worked in a classical record company in London and later trained as a nurse at King’s College Hospital. During that time I sang in the choir at Crown Court Church of Scotland.
In 2013 I gained a diploma in Sacred Music Studies from the Royal School of Church Music and Bangor University.
I have been working in the Intensive Care Unit at the Western General Hospital since 1991, was the music co-ordinator at PJPC (formerly St. Philip’s Church) from 1999, and also play the piano for Eurythmy classes at the Edinburgh Steiner School.
My husband and I have lived in Edinburgh for 25 years. Our daughters are former members of the PJPC Breakfast Club, one a graduate of Edinburgh University and the other still studying there.