It’s not just about going to church. It’s about being church.
As a community, we acknowledge that each individual plays an important role in the ministry of the church. Whether we succeed or fail as a community is not up to one individual or one small group of people. It’s about the power of God working through his church, the body of Christ.
We are a community of people constantly being challenged by God to find the places where our greatest passions meet the world’s greatest needs, extending God’s grace and mercy to all.
At St. Albans, we endeavour to engage and involve everyone, regardless of racial identity, ethnic origin, age, socioeconomic status, gender expression/identity, or sexual orientation. We value the voices and ministry (both lay and ordained) of women and non-binary people.
Rev. Mark Whittall, Incumbent
Mark became the Pastor & Incumbent of St. Albans Church in 2011. Mark was born in Montreal and grew up in Manotick, Ontario near Ottawa. His studies took him to Queen’s in Kingston and Oxford in the UK, where he completed degrees in engineering, physics and development economics.
He returned to Ottawa to begin his career in technology and international development in 1987. His work with Intelcan took him around the world. In 2005 he returned to university, this time to St. Paul University in Ottawa where he completed his Masters in Pastoral Theology in 2008. Mark was ordained as a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in 2008 and served as Incumbent of the Parish of Huntley in Carp until 2011.
The move to St. Albans in downtown Ottawa provided the opportunity to build a new congregation and to learn how to do and be church in new and exciting ways. Mark tells the story of St. Albans re-birth in his 2016 book ReInvention: Stories from an Urban Church. Ministry at St. Albans provides Mark with a unique opportunity to engage with diverse groups of people of all ages and backgrounds, including the folks at Centre 454 and students at the University of Ottawa. Mark also has a passion for working with children, a passion which is evident in his puppet collection!
At home, Mark shares his life with Guylaine, his wife of 26 years, and his two children, Jonathan, and Michelle. In his leisure time he enjoys sports, music and even a bit of quantum physics. His most recent book is ReImagine: Preaching in the Present Tense, which is about what happens when we let the stories of our lives intersect the stories of our faith.
Chad Cecil, Music Director & Young Adult Pastor
Chad Cecil is a pastor, musician, and songwriter who has worked in live performance, liturgical design and various church ministries for over 14 years. He is very grateful for the opportunity to serve the wonderful communities of St. Albans and St-Bernard. He has a B.A. in Worship Arts Leadership from Spring Arbor University. As an indigenous man, Chad is on a journey backwards to discover his roots, which is a journey forward.
Chad and his exquisite partner, Jennifer, immigrated from the U.S.A. in 2013 and now enjoy life in Ottawa with their little girl, Julie, and baby Margot.
He spends much of his time ensuring nobody forgets they are loved and walking alongside the discouraged; believing a little tenderness goes a long way.
Lila Ibrahim, Children & Youth Faith Leader
Lila is our Children and Youth Faith Leader working on bringing the love of Christ to children and their parents. She is Ukrainian and Lebanese, and is passionate about travelling, spending time with loved ones, scrapbooking, and cooking. She is a student teacher in pursuit of her teaching degree, and she is also a community developer and mentor.
Lila is responsible for delivering bible school programming to the children on Sunday mornings, as well as supporting and encouraging faith formation in the home throughout the week. She does this through a weekly bible study for high-school-aged girls, checking in with families within their homes, and planning outings to build relationships outside of church.
Rose-Ingrid Benjamin, Online Church Coordinator
Rose-Ingrid Benjamin (she/her) is a member of the Haitian diaspora settled on Turtle Island. She is a singer, actor, writer, and educator creating at the intersection of art, faith, and justice. Rose-Ingrid desires to help create art and community rooted in decolonization, liberation and spirituality. Her experiences at the intersections of blackness, poverty, queerness and womanhood have greatly influenced her art, writing and work in ministry. She is currently serving on the Lead Team of Decolonising Christianity Canada a grassroots collective committed to seeing BIPOC people of faith disrupt, heal and lead in their communities.
Anna Gow, Intern
Anna is a recent graduate from the B.Math (Honours) program at Carleton University, with a major in Pure Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. They are continuing their studies at Carleton University this fall in the MSc. (Mathematics) program, focusing on Analysis and Quantum Information Theory.
Anna is a student intern, member of the Prayer Ministry, and on the Parish Council at St. Alban’s. They are also on the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa’s Refugee Ministry Board.
At home, you might find them praying the Daily Office with their cat Orange Juice (OJ), playing guitar, or cheering for the Ottawa Senators.
Claudia Quispe Rivera, Intern
Having come from a different country, the church community has made Claudia feel at home. She attended church with her family in Peru, which is why she looked for a similar community once she arrived in Canada and subsequently found it. This encouraged her to be more involved. Claudia sees this opportunity at St. Albans as a chance to grow as a person and professional, learning from the experiences of other young adults.
Claudia graduated from the Project Management program at Algonquin College and has since developed a passion for community projects. This program helped her to develop event planning skills, and provided guidance on delivering successful projects through detailed communications plans and effective stakeholder management. She is eager to apply all those tools to help communities and be part of a big change.
Imani Thomas, Intern
Imani is a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa, joining the St. Albans leadership team to help celebrate and share the work of the St. Al’s community through an engaging online presence. Born in Jamaica and raised in Toronto, Imani moved to Ottawa for university and joined St. Albans shortly thereafter. She believes in strong communities and volunteers to support intersectional climate justice movements and mutual aid programs. She enjoys reading, watching and critiquing movies/TV shows, and learning new languages.
Imani has a Bachelor of Social Science in International Economics and Development and works in public sector consulting.
Rev. Gary Hauch, Theologian in Residence
Gary recently retired from full-time ministry in the Diocese of Ottawa where he spent the previous 26 years as the incumbent of the Church of the Ascension. He has worked with university students and young adults as the college-career pastor in a large interdenominational church in Colorado and as a university chaplain. He holds a PhD inBiblical studies from Princeton Theological Seminary and has taught part time at a number of schools, including Princeton Seminary, Tyndale Seminary, University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University. He is presently an honorary assistant at St. John the Evangelist and Theologian in Residence at St Albans Church in Ottawa.
Gary is married to Linda, who taught English at University of Ottawa for a number of years. They have two sons: David, who lives in Hamilton, and Nathan, who lives in Ottawa.
Annie MacTavish, Administration
After study at the Ontario College of Art, and many years as a graphic designer, in 2007 Annie MacTavish settled contentedly into her real job: working for churches, which she has been doing ever since.