About

Who's Who

The Clergy

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

(Photo redit: Ira Lippke) 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 Canon Turner’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. Canon Turner 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. Canon Turner 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 Matthew Moretz
Associate Rector

(Photo Credit: Alan Barnett) The Reverend Matthew John Moretz joined the Saint Thomas Church clergy staff in September of 2018. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Father Moretz was baptized at the Church of the Good Shepherd and attended the Episcopal Day School, a ministry of that parish. While pursuing his studies at Davidson College, Father Moretz discerned a call to the priesthood. After college, his first job was in lay ministry where he worked as Director of Youth Formation at Christ Church, Frederica in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia (where Charles Wesley once served). He then received his Masters of Divinity at the General Theological Seminary in New York City and was ordained a priest by the Right Reverend Henry Louttit of the Diocese of Georgia in 2006.

For his first years of ordained ministry, Father Moretz served in Yonkers, New York for multiple parishes there: St. Paul’s and La Iglesia Memorial de San Andres. He was then called to be Curate of Christ’s Church in Rye, New York. In that time, Father Moretz began a light-hearted online video series introducing the life and teaching of the Episcopal Church called “Father Matthew Presents.”

In 2012, Father Moretz returned to New York City to become Associate Rector for Christian Formation at St. Bartholomew’s Church. There he served in all sorts of capacities during a transition between Rectors.

In the Diocese of New York, he has served on the Board of Trustees for the General Theological Seminary, and he now serves on the Budget Committee of our Diocese.

Most recently, he was married to Megan Brandt-Meyer, who works for the financial services company, TP ICAP. Their household includes a dachshund named Beau, and they are the proud parents of Samuel James who was born in 2018.

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The Reverend Adam Spencer
Associate for Pastoral Care

Adam Spencer graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. Fr. Spencer formally began discernment of a vocation to the priesthood while serving as the Youth and Adult Education Coordinator and Dean's Assistant at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio from 2008-2012. He received his Master of Divinity degree at the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2016.
During his time at the Divinity School, he served as seminarian at the Church of the Atonement in Chicago and continued serving there after ordination as assisting clergy.

He was ordained a transitional deacon in June of 2017 and a priest in June of 2018 at St. James Cathedral in Chicago.

Before coming to St. Thomas, Fr. Spencer worked as Manager of Volunteer Services at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago - a specialty children's hospital dedicated to serving children with medically complex conditions and disabilities regardless of their families' ability to pay.

Married to Rose, they enjoy travelling, hiking, and going to the movies and the theater together.

Fr. Spencer hopes to be of service to all at St. Thomas so we might "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18) on our shared pilgrimage of faith.

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The Reverend Alison Joan Turner
Director of Children and Family Ministry

Alison Joan Turner was born in the South East of England and has always been committed to parish life, especially in the areas of education and catechesis, liturgy and music. She has a bi-vocational ministry, as both a teacher and priest.

Much of her career in Education has been in Roman Catholic and Anglican multicultural schools in East London. She studied for her first degree and teaching qualifications at St Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham (University of Surrey). Her subsequent MA was in the area of Theology and Education (Adult).

Subsequently, she became a Head of School in two Devon schools, one in a rural setting, and the most recent being Exeter Junior School, a large independent city school, until 2015. At that time she moved to New York to join her husband.

Mother Turner’s ministerial formation was based in Cambridge, and she was ordained priest in the Diocese of Chelmsford, at Michaelmas 1998.

Her most recent ministerial position in the UK was as Priest Vicar in Exeter Cathedral, where she had particular interest and oversight of the nurture and catechesis of children and young people at local and Diocesan level

She recently graduated with a Masters in Sacred Theology from The General Theological Seminary, here in New York. Her focus of study was Children’s ministry in the Episcopal Church. She is now completing further studies in Spiritual Direction.

Mother Turner continues to assist on occasion at Saint Mary the Virgin, Times Square and the Church of the Transfiguration (The Little Church Around the Corner). Her husband, Carl, is the Rector of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. They live in Manhattan with their beloved Cairn Terrier, Bertie. Alison has three grown children and two grandchildren in the UK. She is particularly committed to ecumenical, family and community issues, as well as bringing faith alive for all children.

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The Reverend Ryan Bennett
Assisting Priest

Father Ryan Bennett joined Saint Thomas Church as Assisting Priest in February of 2019. He will be serving us part-time for two years, and, during that time, he will be pursuing a Master's degree in Spiritual Direction at the General Theological Seminary.

Fr. Bennett tells us: "I was born in the gold mining City of Bendigo in Australia. My parents, Robert and Rosalie are still there. Attending school in Bendigo, I enjoyed reading and athletics. After completing a BA in Melbourne and living in the U.K, I trained for the priesthood at Trinity College, Melbourne. Ordained in 2008, I have served in the dioceses of Ballarat and Melbourne. I come to you from serving as parish priest of Springmount, with four-centres on the outskirts of Ballarat. I look forward to the opportunity to get to know you and serve as part of your parish community. i hope to meet as many of you as possible soon."

Expect to see Fr. Bennett among the clergy at our church services and as part of the common life and ministry of Saint Thomas. He will also be exploring ways to enrich the spiritual depth of our parish programs.

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The Reverend Andrew C. Mead
OBE, DD, Rector Emeritus

The Reverend Alison J. Turner
Director of Children and Family Ministry

The Reverend Mark Brown
Honorary Assistant

The Reverend Gina Gore
Honorary Assistant

The Reverend Canon Anne Mallonee
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

Jeremy Filsell
Organist and Director of Music

As a U.S. Citizen and a British Citizen, Jeremy is uniquely placed to lead the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, which owes much of its existence to the great English choral tradition since T. Tertius Noble was invited to found the Saint Thomas Choir School in 1919.

Jeremy Filsell has been hailed as one of only a few virtuoso performers as both pianist and organist. He has appeared as a solo pianist in Russia, Scandinavia, New Zealand and throughout the USA and UK. His concerto repertoire encompasses Bach, Mozart and Beethoven through to Shostakovich, John Ireland and Rachmaninov. He has recorded the solo piano music of Herbert Howells, Bernard Stevens, Eugene Goossens and Johann Eschmann and recently released were discs of Litaize's organ music, Rachmaninov’s first and second piano concertos and two of French Mélodies accompanying Michael Bundy (baritone). Jeremy is on the international roster of Steinway Piano Artists and has recorded for BBC Radio 3, USA, and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles.

His discography comprises more than 35 solo recordings. Gramophone magazine commented on the series of 12 CDs comprising the première recordings of Marcel Dupré’s complete organ works for Guild that it was 'one of the greatest achievements in organ recording’. In 2005, Signum released a 3-disc set of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, recorded on the 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ouen, Rouen, BBC Radio 3's Discs of the Week.

He has taught at universities, summer schools, and conventions in both the UK and USA and has served on international competition juries in England and Switzerland. Recent solo engagements have taken him across the USA and UK and to Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand. In North America, he concertizes under the auspices of Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

Brought up as a chorister in Coventry, England, Jeremy Filsell was charged with the direction of a men & boys choir there while still a High School student. Studying with Nicolas Kynaston and Daniel Roth, he read for a first degree as Organ Scholar of Keble College, Oxford University before completing graduate studies in piano at the Royal College of Music in London. He was awarded a PhD in Musicology at Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU for research on aesthetic and interpretative issues in the music of Marcel Dupré.

A former Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral and Director of Music at St. Luke’s Chelsea in London, before moving to the USA in 2008, Jeremy held Academic and Performance lectureships at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and was a lay clerk in the Queen’s choir at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

You can read more about Jeremy at his website: www.jeremyfilsell.com.

Benjamin Sheen
Associate Organist

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.

Nicholas Quardokus
Assistant Organist

Nicholas comes to us from St. Paul’s Parish K Street, Washington D.C., where was an Organ Scholar assisting in playing, conducting, and chorister training for weekly services. In addition to duties at St. Paul’s, he was a part-time organist at Washington National Cathedral. He has held similar posts at Yale Divinity School’s Marquand Chapel, Trinity Church on-the-Green, New Haven, CT, and Trinity Church, Indianapolis. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His principal teachers included Janette Fishell and Martin Jean (organ), Elisabeth Wright and Arthur Haas (harpsichord), and Jeffrey Brillhart (improvisation).

Nicholas has garnered top prizes in competitions around the country, winning first prize at the 2014 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition in Wethersfield, Connecticut. In 2013, he took first prize in the American Guild of Organists Regional Competition for Young Organists. As a solo recitalist, he has performed throughout the Eastern United States, including appearances at conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Kennedy Center, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. His solo performances have been broadcast on public radio’s Harmonia Early Music and Pipedreams. He was the featured organist in the 2018 German documentary The Unanswered Ives, which is to be broadcast on French and German television. He has appeared with the Cathedral Choral Society, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Washington Master Chorale.

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
Concert Series Manager and 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.

Adam MacDonald
Concerts Development Manager

Adam MacDonald has been a freelance singer and actor in NYC for nearly two decades, performing off-broadway, regionally, and in national tours. He has been a tenor section-leader in the choir at the Church of the Heavenly Rest since 2002, where he also serves on the Vestry, produces their summertime Jazz Vespers service, and works on the Stewardship Committee. At CHR, Adam created the community organizing platform Block90 – an energetic and experiential way to engage the neighborhood and greater NYC with music, food, and art. Originally hailing from Buffalo, NY, Adam obtained degrees in Voice and Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Arts and Humanities from the University at Buffalo. He currently lives in northern Manhattan with his wife Kristin, and their two daughters Ellery & Delaney.

Church & Parish House Staff

Andrew Berko
Director of Administration and Finance

Andrew is a CPA and an alumni of Villanova University, Class of 1988 with a B.S. in Accountancy. Upon graduation, Andrew worked for three years as an auditor in the Washington D.C. offices of Deloitte & Touche, then moved back to New York City where he worked for five years at Citibank in Long Island City in the Financial Control and Global Information Network Division(s). For the past 20 years, Andrew has concentrated and specialized in the non-profit sector including twelve years as the Director of Financial Affairs for Webb Institute on Long Island, followed by a four-year term as Chief Financial Officer for the Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf. For the past 22 years, Andrew has been happily married with his wife, Rozana, who is from the City of Joinville in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Andrew and Rozana have two daughters, Dorothy and Anneliese ages 17 and 14, and live in Carle Place on Long Island.

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 husband 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. In October 2017, they welcomed their son Nathaniel into their lives. They live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan along with their cat, Buddy.

Aaron Koch
Head 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.

Ben Williams
Verger

Ben joined the staff of Saint Thomas Church in the fall of 2018 as Verger. Previously, he spent seven years as the Director of Business Operations for a software company in South Florida. Ben’s career of twenty plus years was mostly spent in office management.

Ben served many ministries at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida since 2011. He started the Verger ministry there in 2012 and served as Head Verger until joining Saint Thomas Church. He was the Education for Ministry (EfM) Mentor from 2015 – 2018, served on the Altar Guild, was a Lector and Lay Reader, a Shepherd in the Bethesda Cares ministry group, and was an active Cursillista.

In his free time, Ben enjoys reading and spending time with his husband, Sonny, and their two dogs at their home in New York City.

Avery Griffin
Communications Manager

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.

The Vestry

  • Kazie Metzger Harvey (Warden since 2014)
  • Jesse Adelaar (Warden since 2017)
  • Karl C. Saunders , Treasurer (Term ends 2020)
  • Stephen W. Gauster-Filek (Term ends 2019)
  • Murray Hood (Term ends 2020)
  • Pamela A. Lewis (Term ends 2021)
  • Edith L. Morrill (Term ends 2020)
  • Lloyd G. Stanford (Term ends 2020)
  • Midge Woolsey (New Member)
  • Brett Fletcher Moore (New Member)
  • Marie Louise Carroll (New Member)
  • Fred T. Isquith, Clerk

You may contact the Wardens using this address: Wardens@SaintThomasChurch.org.