REv. Miriam Bowlby, Minister
Miriam Bowlby began ministry at Cochrane Street United Church on January 1, 2011.
Miriam grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she attended Edgewood United Church with her family. Miriam always felt that God was calling her to ministry and upon completion of her undergraduate degree at St. Mary's University in Halifax she headed to Emmanuel College in Toronto for her theological training. Miriam completed her Master of Divinity in 2001. On May 27th, 2001 she was ordained by Maritime Conference.
Miriam did not have the good fortune to come to Newfoundland and Labrador until she was settled on Newtown-Lumsden Pastoral Charge in Bonavista North where the people and the place won her heart. She now considers Newfoundland and Labrador her home. Miriam served Newtown-Lusmden Pastoral Charge from 2001 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010, Miriam has served as Acting Personnel Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador Conference, and Minister at both George Street United Church and Gower Street United Church. Miriam has done courses in conflict resolution, communication, leadership, worship and is a trained Godly Play story teller.
Miriam lives in Mount Pearl with her husband Scott and their two wonderful children Will and Carrie.
Evan Smith, Director of Music
Originally from Stephenville, Evan now calls St. John's home having built a reputation here as a well-respected and sought-after musician. He holds a B.Mus in Voice from Memorial University and was accepted to the Masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy program.
Believing functional piano is crucial in a pianist's life, he has subsequently worked as an accompanist with the Philharmonic Choir (PCNSO) and the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble (QVE) with whom he travelled to New York in the Spring of 2014 to perform as a guest at Carnegie Hall. He has also accompanied thousands of singers across the province in festivals, recitals and concerts.
From 2008 to 2013 Evan worked extensively with the Stephenville Theatre Festival, returning annually (2010-2013) as Musical Director, keyboard player, vocal coach, and performer. There he directed, composed and performed in more than 25 shows encompassing rock, pop, country and musical theatre.
He has musically directed and served as vocalist/pianist for various productions in the city including I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Spirit of Newfoundland), British Invasion (Theatre St.John’s), and Grease (Theatre St.John’s) to name just a few.
Last Fall he co-produced and starred in Pianomen: The Music of Elton John and Billy Joel at the St.John’s Arts and Culture Centre performing to a sold out audience.
In September 2016, Evan accepted the position as Music Director at Cochrane Street United Church, Registrar/Treasurer with the NLRMTA, while at the same time he and his wife began ‘Unison Music Studio’, a music school in their home providing quality instruction to piano and vocal students.
In the Fall of 2017, Evan is taking a brief hiatus from the church in order to accept the position of Associate Music Director of "The Hockey Sweater, a new original musical whose world premier takes place in Montreal in October 2017.
Chloe Fordham, Office Support
Chloe is a second year Memorial University student completing a Bachelor of Arts degree and majoring in psychology. Chloe worked as a summer student for the Cochrane Centre and am glad to now be apart of Cochrane Street United Church!
Katie Vardy, Sunday School Coordinator and Teacher
Katie Vardy was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and considers herself to be a proud Newfoundlander. She is currently a student at Memorial University where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Religious Studies while also working on her Diploma in Youth Ministry from the Atlantic School of Theology. Katie plans to move to Halifax where she will attend AST and earn her Masters of Divinity and eventually become an ordained minster.
Katie has always been an active member in her church community. While her home congregation is at St. James United Church, she is excited to learn from and experience a new congregation. Katie has had the privilege of being apart of the General Council 42 Pilgrimage to Corner Brook, NL in 2015, it was on this trip that she received her call to ministry. She has also had employment opportunities from St. James and Newfoundland and Labrador Conference Office during the summer of 2016 and 2017.
Sunday School has always been something that Katie enjoys. From growing up in it to helping out and teaching it, to now co-leading the Youth Group at St. James. Sunday School created a path for Katie to become more involved with church. It led her to participate in 5 GO Projects, a Rendez-Vous, and other national church events. She hopes that Sunday School will have the same impact on other children that it had on her.
Katie is excited for what Cochrane Street has in store for her and is excited to learn from the congregation.
REv. Eric Hillier, Minister Emeritus
Eric Hillier was born at Main Point, NL and attended the United Church there until age 16. In 1960 he became a candidate for United Church Ministry and was appointed Student Minister of the Petites Pastoral Charge.
In 1962 Eric and Marion (Williams) were married and continued to serve the church. Following Petites he served several other Pastoral Charges. After attending Memorial University he took leave from Ministry and taught school.
In 1978 he returned to ministry and attended Atlantic School of Theology, graduating in 1981, was ordained at Cochrane Street United Church and appointed to the Green's Harbour Pastoral Charge.
In 1982 he was called to Humber United Church, Corner Brook and from there to Cochrane Street United Church in 1986. Leaving Cochrane Street in 1993, he went to Burin, Grand Bank, and Pouch Cove before retiring in 2001.
Following retirement Eric served as Intentional Interim Minister in PEI and Newfoundland as well as several short term, part-time appointments. Eric holds B.A., B.Ed. and B.Th. degrees. Even though they have been absent from Cochrane Street United Church quite often since retirement, Eric and Marion have always considered Cochrane Street their home church. They have two children, Rev. Scott (Wendy) and Kelly and two grandsons.
Patricia Young, Minister of Music
Patricia Young was an Organ Scholar at Royal College of Music, London, where she earned G.R.S.M., A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., and A.R.C.M. for organ performance and teaching. She was assistant organist at St. Martin in the Fields in London, then moved to Oxford to head the music program in Greycotes School. She married and moved to Labrador for 11 years where there was no pipe organ to play, but lots of good choral singers! Since moving to St. John's in 1968 she has been organist at several churches including the Anglican Cathedral, St. Thomas' and Cochrane Street United.
She served as chair of the Avalon Centre of the R.C.C.O. for eight years, was the Newfoundland representative for the United Church of Canada Association of Musicians, and founded and chaired for 2 years the Newfoundland and Labrador Choral Federation.