Our Minister & Team
Minister (on maternity leave from 18 June to 31 December 2018)
Reverend Carla Maurer grew up in St.Gallen. She studied history and philosophy in Berne in 1999. During her first years as a student, Carla became particularly interested with the relations of society, church and politics in Europe and she developed a passion for Christian theology – intellectually, as well as spiritually. In 2007, Carla graduated in Reformed Theology.
She then moved to Strasbourg in France to work for the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches and became engaged in ecumenical cooperation which became an important part of her theology. Carla was a board member of the European Forum of European Christian Women (EFECW) from 2010-2014 where she coordinated the first Pop Up Monastery (www.popupmonastery.com).
Before becoming the Minister of the Swiss Church in London in 2013, Carla worked for the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church as executive officer on a property and mission project.
Theologians such as Teresa of Avila, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Peter Rollins, and Ruth Epting who was the first woman to be ordained in Basel and founder of the EFECW are an inspiration to her.
Carla is married to Julian Simmons, a London based record producer.
In her spare time, Carla loves to read, to take advantage of London’s rich cultural life (especially museums and theatres) or to enjoy a cool pint of ale down at the local pub. You might see her on one of her runs or stretching her body in a yoga class. In a previous life, Carla was the singer in a band. She still enjoys going to rock concerts, but she leaves the majority of her own singing to church hymns now.
Mobile phone: 07968 530 380
Minister (maternity cover from 6 August to 31 December)
Reverend Meret Engel is the Minister of the Reformed Church of Romanshorn in Switzerland. She will be on sabbatical at the Swiss Church from August to December 2018 and during this time will also be the Minister in charge for the duration of Carla’s maternity leave. Meret has completed further training in pastoral care. In her free time she likes mountain hiking and discover new countries and cities.
Contact: 020 7836 1418 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Kelly was born in North London and although has lived in many places around the world has always called London his home. Josh trained at the Rambert School and worked as a dancer for many years. After ending his dance career, he next studied sports medicine, worked free-lance as a dancer-teacher choreographer, managed French restaurants and taught in state education.
One morning Josh realised that he had not had the chance to do all the crazy fun things that non dancers do, so he spent 18 months backpacking around the world. Enriched by this experience he returned and fell into secondary teaching. Years later, after analysing his skill sets, he recognised that he wanted to contribute meaningfully to society in a new way and so applied for the Community Worker role at the Swiss Church.
A Swiss string of events has also shaped Josh’s life. He met Emma (half Swiss) at ballet school, then her mother Vreni (Swiss) and later became godfather to Emma’s children (quarter Swiss). Much later he met his life partner David (also Swiss!) and now works for the Swiss Church in London. For a full blood Londoner that is a rather lot of coincidental Swissness!
Josh manages Breakfast On the Steps each Tuesday morning that welcomes members of the local community in need of support and sustenance. Breakfast on the Steps is for anyone in our community so feel free to join anytime between 8am and 10am!
Phone: 020 7836 1418
She then began evening classes followed by a Foundation Degree from Central St Martins, a BA (Hons) Fine Art Sculpture from Chelsea School of Art and Design and an MA Sculpture from the Royal College of Art. Since then she has worked as a Sculptor, Curator, Gallery Director, Events and Catering Company Founder and as a Creative Consultant. She is now looking forward to a long, fruitful and enriching time as Venue Manager at the Swiss Church.
When not working Nat is engaged and challenged by two grown-up daughters discussing art, philosophy, gender, race and politics alongside giggling quite a lot. With her partner Ivor and his son Arthur she’s attempting to form a Modern Family Band playing the accordion (poorly!). Her soul is happiest when with her family and friends at her lakeside childhood home in Finland or when she gets time on her own in her studio and throwing on a wheel.
Phone: 07590 879 201
Director of Music & Organist
Peter Yardley-Jones is a first-class honours graduate in music from the University of Glasgow. From 2006-2008 he was University Organ Scholar and in 2008 he was appointed Assistant Organist at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow and Organist at Houston & Killellan Kirk. During his time in Glasgow, Peter studied organ with Kevin Bowyer and renowned Bach scholar, Prof. John Butt OBE. Widely respected as a performer, Peter was awarded the Muriel Thorne Hague Memorial Prize, by his University for achieving the greatest distinction in performance and in 2005 won first prize in the nationwide Geoffrey Spiers Organ Competition.
As a recitalist he has performed at many UK Cathedrals and Concert Halls and has performed on three solo USA tours, in 2010 (St Thomas, New York and Community of Christ, Missouri) and 2015 (Chicago, Rockford, Omaha, Lincoln and Kansas City). In addition Peter has been organist for several BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4 broadcasts and for BBC Television’s Songs of Praise.
Anina Smith grew up in Berne and visited London for the first time in 2004 during a gap year. In these three months she worked with her local church in Woolwich and the youth organisation XLP. Back in Switzerland she studied at the Swiss School of Tourism in Sierre/Siders before moving to London for good in September 2007. She first helped opening and running the first tibits restaurant outside of Switzerland and then joined LOCOG to deliver a successful 2012 Summer Games.
The position as Office Manager at the Swiss Church combines all her previous experiences and training as well as offering an opportunity to be linked with her home country and work in a Christian environment.
Anina is married to police constable Ricky Smith. Their son Max Noah was born on 30 November 2016.
Phone: 020 7836 1418
Swiss Church London Consistoire
The Consistoire (equivalent of a Parish Council) is the Governing Body of the Swiss Church in London and administers and manages the Swiss Church in London, its property and its internal and external affairs in accordance with the constitution.
Members of the Consistoire
Mr David Hume
Vice-President, acting Chair
Member since 2015
David discovered the Swiss Church searching for a suitable hall for his community dance school which takes place every Tuesday evening. David says: “My contact with the Swiss Church has warmed my Christian faith and it seemed like fate when I was asked to become a member of the Consistoire.” His Methodist upbringing in central Manchester showed him how Christian values could help those in the community achieve fulfilling lives and he sees that affinity with the Swiss Church today.
David was working for a period in Zurich, Geneva and Basel and his son lived there for a time.
David’s aim is to assist the Consistoire build a strong governance team and develop robust fundraising strategies to ensure the long-term future of the 250 year old Swiss Church so that “Church, Community, Culture” can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Ms Nathalie Chalmers
Member since 2018
Nathalie is passionate about sustainability- both from an environmental and a human perspective. Holding three nationalities (Swiss, British and Brazilian) and having explored a lot of the world from a young age, curiosity, and concern, about how the world works was instilled early on.
With a background in international relations and environmental science and policy, Nathalie is currently leading the global marine conservation communication strategy a large environmental NGO: The Nature Conservancy. Before this, she joined the World Economic Forum and dedicated her time to bringing sustainability issues to the forefront of key global agendas. She notably developed and built out the Forum’s Circular Economy Initiative, and successfully instigated and drove its Ocean agenda. With an Executive Master’s degree in leadership, Nathalie developed keen interest in people and team development and enabling performance through balanced lifestyles.
Nathalie has experience in cross-sector partnership building, project strategy and management, C-suite level relationship management and building communication strategies that resonate across a variety of stakeholders. She is passionate about oceans and all they do for us, and enjoys spending time underwater.
Ms Katrin Voegeli
Member since 2017
Katrin grew up in Zurich and moved to London following a job opportunity in a development bank that allows her to combine her background in economics and finance with her desire to not only study but also support development and welfare improvement for people in developing countries. Based on that same wish to help and support others Katrin has also pursued engagements in social organisation to contribute to the local community for many years. She was a member of the church council in her hometown in Switzerland, so it came natural to her to continue pursuing this engagement here in London as a member of the Consisitoire at the Swiss Church and thereby contribute to the Swiss community.
In assuming responsibility over Human Resources, Katrin hopes to build on her prior experience overlooking the team of catechists and youth worker. She hopes to contribute to the Church and the Swiss Community through her background in the Reformed Church of Zurich.
Mr Marco Mambelli
Member since 2017
Marco is a financial analyst active in the Asset Management sector, currently pursuing an MBA at the Cranfield School of Management where he chairs the university’s Consulting Club. Over the past five years he has covered a number of sectors both on the equity and fixed income markets, meeting with a smorgasbord of EU-based companies and executives, and progressively moving his focus to global equity markets.
Marco is originally from Milan and over the years he has had the pleasure to visit Switzerland on numerous occasions, particularly in the Canton of Valais and had the opportunity to appreciate different facets of Switzerland’s culture and values.
Marco’s decision to join the Swiss Church stems from his desire to help the local community in London and to building and maintaining a “home away from home” both from a cultural and spiritual perspective. Marco always wanted to be part of charitable activities for the local community.
Mr Alexander Tissot
Member since 2017
Originally from Geneva, Switzerland, Alexander’s professional background is in Management in International Finance. He is also extensively involved as a Director in Impact Philanthropy and Charities and on a Global Basis and am involved with various charitable projects worldwide.
Alexander is active in the Swiss Community in his capacity as an elected Delegate of the ‘Organisation of Swiss Abroad’ (OSA) representing the interests of the Swiss in the UK at the Federal and Parliamentary level in Switzerland. As a member of OSA, he also serves as Vice-President of the Federation of Swiss Societies in the UK / FOSSUK with responsibility over fund raising and events, in close co-operation with the Swiss Embassy in London. The FOSSUK launched the annual ‘Swiss President’s Dinner’ attended by the leadership of Swiss Clubs, Associations and the Swiss Embassy in London. The focus is to come together as one community with shared interests and concerns.
Alexander’s decision to join the Swiss Church was a natural move from his work in the Swiss Community. He is delighted to have been considered to assume responsibility over ‘Fund Raising’ hopes to make an important contribution.
Mr Peter Staeuber
Outreach and Community Work
Member since 2017
Peter grew up in St.Gallen, Switzerland, and moved to London in 2010. He works as a freelance correspondent and writes about anything that might be of interest to German-speaking readers – which at the moment is Brexit.
Peter first heard about the Swiss Church through Carla, who went to the same school – he’d never known such a beautiful building exists right in the centre of the city. Peter then learned more about the outreach work carried out by the church, especially to tackle homelessness, and was very impressed. As a journalist, he has seen how this issue has become ever more critical in recent years. He became more involved with this work when the church launched its ‘HomeLos’ project last year, which tries to establish a dialogue around homelessness between London and Zurich.
After being elected to the Consistoire in February 2017, Peter took on the job of coordinating the Swiss Church’s outreach and community work. In this capacity, he hopes to be making a contribution to the role of the church as an institution for the local community as well as for the Swiss migrant population.
Mr Philip Maillardet
History and Archives
Member since 2009
Mrs Cécile Mistry
Member since 2009
Mr Yvon Tse (Adviser)
Acting Company Secretary
Accountant by profession since 1970 working both in practice and commerce. Have had connection with both Switzerland and the Swiss Church in London since 1972 and 1985 respectively. On standby since 2012 for the role of Acting Treasurer when the Honourable Treasurer’s post is vacant and while the Trustees undergo their search for an appropriate candidate. Company Secretary in 2015.
Mr Hermann Aebischer
Ex officio observer from the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom