Julian was born near Windsor in 1964. Brought up in a Christian family, he became a Christian through the Christian Union at his secondary school. He read English at New College, Oxford, also serving on the CU Executive Committee, and then studied at the London College of Printing before working in the printing and publishing industries. This included more than two years working for the notorious Robert Maxwell, though Julian did get all his pension contributions back in the end.
In 1991 after working as Production Manager at IVP, the Christian publishers, he joined the staff of Cornerstone Evangelical Church, Nottingham as Church Manager and Pastoral Assistant. From 1993-1996 he studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago, USA for an M.Div. After graduation in 1996 he joined the staff of Eden as Associate Pastor.
Julian was appointed as Senior Pastor of Eden in September 2002.
In 1989 Julian married Debbie, who is a community dentist. Their three children, Robin, Fiona and Kitty, were born in 1993, 1995 and 2000. Julian has published four books: Maximum Life: All for the glory of God, Idols: God’s battle for our hearts, The Joy of Service (which draws on twenty years of ministry at Eden), and Fresh Pathways in Prayer - see bibliography. After many years as a trustee on the boards of UCCF and IVP, he is currently on the Trust Board of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Outside work, Julian runs, including the odd marathon. He also enjoys walking with his border collie dogs, painting with oils, political biographies, and opera. He cherishes an ambition to eat in every Cambridge college hall.
Matt grew up in sunny Margate in Kent. He had the great blessing of being brought up in a Christian home, however it was not until his teens that he became a Christian, while on a CYFA camp. Soon afterwards he was encouraged, and just about plucked up the courage, to introduce himself to Anika, a fellow Christian at school.
After school Matt and Anika travelled the length of England to study Medicine in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, getting married halfway through, in 2004. After qualifying in 2006, Matt trained in Care of the Elderly Medicine and also spent two years working part-time as a Staff Worker for the Christian Medical Fellowship.
In 2013 the Lillicraps left the North-East for London, with Matt spending four years studying at Oak Hill College. He joined Eden in summer 2017.
Matt and Anika have six children. When not working he can be found watching, playing, or attempting to educate his children in pretty much any sport going… but especially cricket. He has been known to become absorbed in various P.G. Wodehouse novels, from which public readings may occasionally ensue, especially when paired with a fine single malt.
Genevieve comes from London and studied English Literature and Italian at Leeds University. After graduating, she worked as a Technical Author for five years at a computer company in Dunstable. It was there that she heard the gospel for the first time, becoming a Christian in 1984. She subsequently joined a local church, West Street Baptist Church, and attended the Bible College attached to it.
She went to Japan in 1991 with Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ (WEC International) and, after studying Japanese for two years, worked in evangelism and pastoral care. She lived in Hikone and in the university city of Kyoto, which is the cultural capital of Japan. When back in the UK, she was on the staff team at West Street.
Genevieve likes art exhibitions, reading, swimming and coffee-shops and, above all, knowing Jesus!
Mark grew up in Bicester in a Christian family, and started following Jesus at a young age. He first came to Cambridge in 2010 to study maths at Queens' College, and benefited tremendously from the teaching and discipleship he received at Eden. He also enjoyed a selection of racket sports and won several minor pool trophies.
Mark then trained as a secondary school teacher, got married to Katie, and spent two years teaching maths in Cheshire before coming back to Eden to be involved in student ministry. When not working, Mark enjoys trying to persuade Katie that cricket, snooker and maths really can be fun.
Ali Campbell Smith
Ali was born in Surrey and lived there for most of her childhood apart from 2 years in San Francisco. She first came to Cambridge as an undergraduate in 2003 and has been at Eden ever since. In 2007 Ali joined the staff at Eden as a Church Assistant for a year, before returning to postgraduate study in Chemistry. Having continued throughout this time to be involved with the young people’s ministry at Eden, she then spent 3 years working part-time in Cambridge while also training part-time to do youth work at Oak Hill College in London. She was delighted to return to the staff team at Eden in September 2014 as Eden’s Youth Worker.
When not working, Ali enjoys making music, exploring the local countryside by bike and spending time with friends. Secretly she’s still a bit of a chemistry geek and would be delighted to help you with your science homework.
Sara was born in Nigeria and brought up in Northamptonshire before coming to Cambridge as a student and new Christian in 1983. She studied Spanish and French at Gonville & Caius College before completing a PGCE and working as a primary school teacher locally.
She married Doug (an electronic design engineer) in 1989 and they have three children - Alice, Phil and Matthew. Since having children, she has worked as a supply teacher, registered childminder and in a pre-school.
Sara enjoys walking, gardening, reading and wild open spaces.
Steve grew up in Stoke-on-Trent before moving to Oxford to study law at Wadham College. In 2001, after finishing his studies, he moved to London to work for a City law firm. From 2007-2016 Steve worked for the John Lewis Partnership, latterly as Head of Legal (Property and Planning).
Steve is married to Katie and they have a son, Joshua. From 2016-2018 the Wrights lived in Switzerland where Steve helped to run Westlake Church Nyon, an English-speaking church near Geneva. Steve served as Elder during a period of change for the church, as well as helping to lead music with Katie and hosting a homegroup for young adults.
They moved to Cambridge in Summer 2018 so that Steve could take up the role of Operations Manager here at Eden. They are delighted to be part of the Eden family.
Alongside work at Eden, Steve is studying part time with the Crosslands Seminary programme, a three year course in Theology and Christian Ministry.
Hazel was born in Coventry but brought up in sunny north-eastern England. She studied languages at Bradford University before ending up in Cambridge. She has previously worked as Administrator at Eden for a couple of years, before her oldest daughter was born in 2004. Four children later she is pleased to be back, although part time. Her hours at Eden are 9.30-3.00 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Outside work she enjoys running, knitting and baking, among other things!
Jen is from Edinburgh and grew up in a Christian home. From a young age, she never doubted God’s existence and was aware that she needed Jesus in her life. However, it wasn’t until she began studying at university that God gave her a desire to wholeheartedly live for Him. Jen has participated in short term mission trips throughout her university summers which have deepened her desire to see many people from all nations brought to Christ.
Jen recently graduated from Edinburgh University in 2016 where she studied to be a primary school teacher. She has since spent a year teaching just outside Edinburgh and a year working as a church apprentice at Eden.
Jen enjoys travelling, hanging out with friends, coffee shops and sunny days!
Jonny grew up in southeast London among Christian family – a privilege he has only recently come to fully appreciate. Though being aware of Biblical teaching from an early age, it was in his early teens that he started to realise that Christianity was not about a set of rules one can follow to earn divine favour, instead realising his utter dependence on God’s undeserved love.
Since coming to Cambridge to study geography in 2016, Jonny has noticed how God has used his involvement with Eden and the university Christian Union to teaching him more about what it means to follow Christ. He has also relished opportunities volunteering and researching overseas during his degree. Given the choice, Jonny is to be found somewhere outdoors, preferably scrambling up a mountain or on his bike down a country lane.
Tim grew up in South London and is from a large extended family spread across 3 continents. He was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and enjoyed many great camps and discipleship growing up. He was finally persuaded to leave Croydon for Cambridge in 2016 to study Mathematics at Pembroke college where he soon got distracted from that endeavour with CU involvement which pressed, challenged and built his faith. He’s since decided to stick around in Cam to give church apprenticing a crack.
The role of elders at Eden is explained here.
The role of deacons at Eden is explained here.