About

Who's Who

The Clergy

The Reverend Canon Carl F. Turner, B.A., M.Th.
Rector

Canon Turner became XIII Rector of Saint Thomas Church in July 2014.

Prior to coming to Saint Thomas, Fr Turner was Canon Precentor of Exeter Cathedral for thirteen years. He led the Department of Liturgy and Music and worked with the 850-year-old Cathedral School. Canon Turner was responsible for all the Cathedral’s worship and music, including Diocesan liturgy, and advised the Bishop and clergy in many areas of pastoral liturgy. He is a former member of the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission and was a Director of the Association of English Cathedrals.

Prior to his time in Exeter, Canon Turner served two curacies in Essex at Leigh-on-Sea and Brentwood. He then became Rector of the Parish of the Divine Compassion, a large urban parish in Plaistow and Canning Town in the East End of London. All of his parishes have been Anglo-Catholic in tradition with a strong love of music and liturgy as well as a strong commitment to the communities that they serve. His parish in East London was part of the revival of the religious life in the Church of England and the first Franciscan Friary since the reformation was founded there.

Canon Turner is a Fellow of Woodard Schools, a member of the Order of Saint John, a Chaplain to the Order of St Lazarus, and a Priest Associate of the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Bishop of Exeter made him Canon Emeritus in recognition of his service to the Diocese and the wider Church. In the Spring of 2014, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House but has, since, also formed active links with Berkeley School of Divinity at Yale and the General Theological Seminary.

Canon Turner was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom in 1960. By happy coincidence, this was also the hometown of the XI Rector, Father John Andrew who had been Chaplain to Archbishop Michael Ramsey. When retired, Michael Ramsey became Carl’s mentor and friend when he studied at Durham University and then at Oxford and he arranged for two formative years in the United States when he was a seminarian. Carl married his wife, Alison, in 1990. Alison is a teacher and a priest and, until Easter 2015 was Headmistress of Exeter Junior School, a leading independent preparatory school in the Southwest of England. Carl and Alison have three adopted children who are now young adults; they also have a Cairn Terrier called Bertie. Photo credit: Ira Lippke.

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The Reverend Michael D. Spurlock, M.Div.
Associate for Pastoral Care

Father Spurlock was called to Saint Thomas June 2010 as Curate. Prior to his current role, he served as Vicar of All Saints Church in the Diocese of Tennessee. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Nashotah House Theological Seminary. He is married and has two children.

Father Spurlock was called to Saint Thomas, particularly, to exercise his priestly gifts as a pastor. In addition to celebrating said and sung masses and choral evensong, preaching, and providing pastoral care for those in need, he also provides pastoral oversight for the Saint Thomas Sunday School, and Young Adults Fellowship for those in their 30s and 40s.

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The Reverend Joel C. Daniels, Ph.D.
Associate for Evangelism

Father Daniels was sponsored for ordination by Saint Thomas in 2004. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2007, after which he spent two years as Associate Rector at the Church of Saint Barnabas in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. He returned to Saint Thomas as an assisting priest in 2010. Father Daniels was called to his current position as Associate for Evangelism in January, 2015.

Father Daniels is a graduate of Columbia University, the General Theological Seminary, and Boston University, where he earned a doctorate in theology in 2014. Photo credit: Julian Ribinik Photography.

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Honorary Clergy

The Reverend Andrew C. Mead
Rector Emeritus
Visit Fr Mead's history page to learn more about the XII Rector

The Reverend Charles F. Wallace
Headmaster of Saint Thomas Choir School

The Reverend David F. McNeeley
Honorary Assistant

The Reverend William A. Norgren
Honorary Assistant

The Reverend Thomas F. Pike
Honorary Assistant

The Reverend John C. Smith
Honorary Assistant

The Reverend Canon Prof. J. Robert Wright
Honorary Assistant

Music Office Staff

Benjamin Sheen
Acting Director of Music

Benjamin Sheen, a recent Juilliard graduate, is one of the UK’s brightest young organists. Hailed as a ‘brilliant organist’ by the New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens (Delaware) Organ Competition and received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition 2013. Benjamin started his education as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral (under the direction of John Scott), before studying at Eton College and, more recently, Oxford University where he graduated with First Class Honours in Music, While an undergraduate, he held the position of Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and became a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and the recipient of the prestigious Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal for 2011. As a concert organist, Benjamin has performed throughout the UK and the USA, as well as further afield in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Notable engagements have included performances in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as appearances with the City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Duisburg Symphonie in Germany. He has also performed live on BBC radio and television and made a number of appearances on NPR’s Pipedreams. In January 2012, Benjamin made his concerto debut with the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion Ensemble as part of the 2012 FOCUS Festival in the Lincoln Centre. For more information on Ben’s upcoming performances, please see his website.

Stephen Buzard
Acting Organist

Stephen Buzard holds a Master of Music Degree from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University where he studied organ with Thomas Murray and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. While at Yale, Mr. Buzard served as organ scholar at Trinity on the Green, New Haven; organist at Marquand Chapel of Yale Divinity School; and organist for Berkeley Divinity School. Prior to attending Yale, Mr. Buzard studied with virtuoso Ken Cowan at Westminster Choir College, serving concurrently as organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton and as Director of Music for the Episcopal Church at Princeton University. Between undergraduate and graduate schools, Mr. Buzard spent a “gap year” in England as senior organ scholar of Wells Cathedral. Mr. Buzard was the winner of the 2010 Arthur Poister Competition, and his premier CD In Light or Darkness, available through Delos Records, has received critical acclaim. James Reed wrote for The Diapason: "Buzard paints the color and shape of every phrase with a maturity belying his youthfulness... If this level of skill doesn't dazzle you, then I do not know what will!"

Laurel Scarozza
Music Office Manager

Laurel Scarozza has been the Music Office Manager of Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, since 2006. Her responsibilities include coordination and implementation of all musical activities within the Saint Thomas Music Department, as well as managing the Gentlemen of The Choir, and the Annual Choirmasters’ Conference, which draws musicians from around the world.

Mrs. Scarozza received a Masters of Arts degree in Performing Arts Administration at New York University in 2006. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Voice, summa cum laude, at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ in 2002. There she studied voice with Ms. Zehava Gal, conducting with Dr. James Jordan and Dr. Andrew Megill, and music education with Dr. Frank Abrahams.

Before coming to Saint Thomas, Mrs. Scarozza worked at the New York Philharmonic in the Education Department, in Development and Marketing at the American Boychoir School of Princeton, NJ and as an intern at IMG Artists in the Vocal Division. She was the Director of Music at Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, NJ between 2002 and 2004, where she taught upper school music and choir.

In addition to her duties at Saint Thomas Church, Mrs. Scarozza maintains an active freelance career singing in various professional choirs around the city. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

Patrick Fennig
Music Librarian

Patrick Fennig, countertenor, has been a Gentleman of the St. Thomas Choir since 2010 and Music Librarian since 2013. He has appeared with Fretwork Viol Consort, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Concert Royal, The American Classical Orchestra, and The Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra. A choral singer since his days as a choirboy at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, Patrick is a member of The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Early Music New York, Musica Sacra and Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Religion and a Concentration in Music.

Church & Parish House Staff

Barbara W. Pettus
Director of Administration and Finance

After graduating from Smith College and getting her Masters in Library Science from Simmons College, Barbara entered the non-profit arena as a public librarian in Andover, Mass. Ten years and an MBA later, she moved to NYC where she joined Chase Manhattan Bank. After twenty two years in commercial and private banking and one too many bank mergers, Barbara “retired” from the corporate world and moved into church administration where she has spent almost fourteen years, first at First Presbyterian Church as Business Administrator and currently at Saint Thomas Church as Director of Administration and Finance. Along the way she has been a member of the Junior League and served on the Boards of the Financial Women’s Association, the NYC Chapter of the Financial Planning Association and Signature Theatre. She is also a Vestry member of Saint Mark’s Church in Westhampton Beach, NY and the Treasurer of her Co-op Board in Manhattan.

Barbara lives in Manhattan with her husband and enjoys spending time with his two sons and two granddaughters.

Ann H. Kaplan
Director of Development

Ann started working at Saint Thomas Church in early 2008, as the church’s first Director of Development. Prior to coming to Saint Thomas, Ann was Director of Development at Saint Bartholomew’s Church from 2001 through 2007 and at Trevor Day School from 1992 to 2007.

Ann graduated from Duke University with a BA in history. She received an MAT in history from Yale University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Committed to volunteer work, Ann currently serves on the board of Search and Care, Inc. in Manhattan. Previously she was a board member of Women in Development, the Greenwich Academy Alumni Association, The Ethel Walker’s School, Girl Scouts of Nassau Country and the Child Abuse Prevention Services of Long Island. She served as a member of the vestry of St. Stephen’s Church in Port Washington and was President of the Junior League of Long Island.

Ann has two grown children and lives in New York City with her husband.

Amy L. Cheresnowski
Executive Assistant to the Rector

Amy came to the staff of Saint Thomas in the summer of 2016 as Executive Assistant to the Rector. She began her church administration career at The Riverside Church as their Mission and Social Justice Coordinator and then moved to Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church as their Administrative Assistant for Congregational Care and Outreach. She is quite excited to begin this new chapter at Saint Thomas in the Rector’s Office.
Amy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Political Science and Urban Studies, concentrating in Latin America. She received her MS in Nonprofit Leadership from Fordham University in August 2015.
Amy enjoys working on Fifth Avenue where her experience with the homeless community has led to her advocating for affordable housing within New York City.

She and her partner Mike are avid sports fans and enjoy a good Mets or Rangers game. They are also seasoned travelers and enjoy exploring (or escaping) the city whenever they can. They live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan along with their cat, Buddy.

Andrew Kimsey
Verger

Andrew joined the staff of Saint Thomas Church in 2009, where he was already a parishioner and high altar acolyte. As New Media Coordinator, Andrew managed the webcasting, recording, and archiving of Saint Thomas choral services and other audio, and oversaw the maintenance and development of sound, recording and content delivery systems. Andrew was appointed Verger in October 2013.

A musician by training, Andrew began playing piano at the age of four. He received a degree of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Georgia, and continues to play recitals, as well as arrange and compose. In addition, Andrew has an extensive background in the technology industry. Prior to working at Saint Thomas, he worked for a software division of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Aaron Koch
Assistant Verger

Aaron joined the verger staff of Saint Thomas Church in 2015 after spending six and a half years as Business Manager at The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Prior to working in church administration, he spent 15 years in higher education administration working at Columbia University.

Aaron has been involved in many aspects of church life since 1994 when he and his wife, Pamela, began worshipping at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. He has served as Warden and Treasurer for the Congregation of St. Saviour at the Cathedral as well as being a volunteer verger there for the past seven years. His wife and two teenage boys also serve as acolytes there.

For recreation, Aaron loves to watch and attend baseball games, especially those that involve his sons, who are talented players. His family lives in New York City.

Avery Griffin
Website Manager and Audio Engineer

A trained musician, Avery Griffin sang bass in the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys from the fall of 2010 to the spring of 2014 and was subsequently appointed to the post of Website Manager and Audio Engineer in September of 2014. Avery's duties at Saint Thomas include maintaining this website and recording and posting webcasts of liturgical services and audio messages online.

Avery sings with a vocal octet named Roomful of Teeth, which mines the expressive potential of the human voice. Roomful of Teeth's self-titled debut album won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

Linda Morfi
Pastoral Care Coordinator

Linda has worked at Saint Thomas Church since May of 1998. Prior to that she worked for the non-profit, Catholic Medical Mission Board where she oversaw donated medicines to third world countries. During that time she served on the board of Ayudamos, a non-profit humanitarian organization. Linda has spent years volunteering as a class representative at P.S. 41, the Greenwich Village Public School, Girl Scout leader, Lab School parent volunteer, and was an active member of the Mother’s Club at St. Francis Xavier High School in Manhattan.

Linda assists the clergy by incorporating the social work element of the needs of the parishioners. She assists our parishioners facing difficult times. She assists the Rector with his ministry for the seniors of the parish. Linda organizes and implements our various community outreach programs geared to children and the homebound. This includes our Easter outreach, Back to School drive, our Angel Tree at Christmas, and other outreach projects.

Linda likes to spend time with her husband Eduardo, son, Jonathan, daughter in law, Rebecca and baby granddaughter Beatrice, daughter, Shara, and grandchildren, Nicky and Sophia. She also has two Havanese dogs, Molly and Max, and enjoys cooking, baking and gardening.

Sarah McC. Cornwell
Sunday School Coordinator

Sarah has been a parishioner at Saint Thomas Church since 2011 and has been a part of the Sunday School since 2013. Upon receiving her undergraduate degree in dance and religious studies from New York University, she volunteered for a Christian peace and reconciliation center in Northern Ireland where she helped design and run programs for school and family groups. Sarah returned to school to receive a Master’s degree in international humanitarian assistance from Uppsala Universitet in Sweden, where her thesis focused on the role of the arts in children’s programs run in the midst of conflict. Her case study was a children and youth center in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. Sarah worked in the non-profit world for a couple of years, but felt called to return to working more directly with children and with the church. She joyfully accepted the position of Sunday School Coordinator in 2015. Sarah’s husband, James, and two small children, Jamie and Thomas, are also parishioners at Saint Thomas Church.