Our People

Keith Simmonds

E-mail Keith Simmonds

Keith and his family (Laurel and Liam) moved to Duncan from Trail BC in August of 2013. Finding a warm welcome in the Cowichan Valley, they are enjoying all the area has to offer.

A diaconal minister, Keith was elected to serve as the President of BC Conference of the United Church of Canada, a role he took up in June of 2015 and relinquished in May of 2017. His road to ministry has taken him through a variety of careers. Starting out in mining and smelting, he has worked in a pulp mill, served as an assistant to Provincial Cabinet Ministers, volunteered as a community and political organizer and worked as an advocate for people struggling with bureaucracies. In his spare time he enjoys singing, acting, running, reading and writing opinion pieces.

When asked why he became a minister, his first response is “penance”, his second “joy”, and his most reflective “at the insistence of that which is greater”. He describes his journey as an unpredictable essay into the heart of love. “It is all good,” he says, “totally unexpected, and very, very, good.”

Rev. Greg Darjes, Minister of Pastoral Care

We welcome Greg back to our staff as Pastoral Care Minister working 1/2 to support and lead our Pastoral Care team so that we can make sure that we stay connected and members are visited. Greg was our Interim minister from 2012- 2013 so it is wonderful to have him back. Email Greg at gjdar@yahoo.com

Connie Masson

Musical Director
E-mail Connie Masson

Our Musical Director, Connie Masson, is a skilled musician, piano and voice instructor known throughout the Cowichan Valley.

She is a life-long United Church member, and grew up with 5 musical sisters in the Lower Mainland. After obtaining a Bachelor of Music from UBC in Voice Performance, she lived briefly in Tofino, and then arrived in the Cowichan Valley, where she raised 5 children. For the past 35 years she has been teaching Voice and Piano, conducting choirs, and performing as a soloist. She likes to include music from many traditions in her Music Ministry at Duncan United.

In her spare time she … wait, she has no spare time!

Linda Evans

Office Administrative
E-mail Linda Evans

Linda Evans, Office Administrator & and Outreach Coordinator, began attending Duncan United Church as a child. Linda has been in the office since 2002 and became the Outreach Coordinator in 2012. She believes if we all try to make a positive difference, in anyway that we can, the world will be a better, more “just” place for everyone and all of creation. In her spare time Linda enjoys hiking, geo caching, exploring the island beaches, spending time with her 3 children and 7 grandchildren, reading, and playing the piano. Linda can be contacted through the office 250-746-6043 or email admin@duncanunited.org. 

“All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”

– St. Julian of Norwich

Sarah Prestwich

Children, Youth, and Families Coordinator
E-mail Sarah Prestwich

Sarah Prestwich, our Children, Youth, and Families Coordinator, is responsible for Duncan United’s Sunday School program and Friday night’s Youth Groups. Sarah comes to us from running youth and Sunday school programs at First Metropolitan Church in Victoria, and has also worked at Camp Pringle, Naramata Centre and Lumsden Beach United Church Camp in Saskatchewan. Sarah enjoys working with children and youth in many aspects as well as travelling, cooking, photography, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Lilibet, British history, and anything Jane Austen! Contact Sarah through the church office or email her at sarah@duncanunited.org.


Peter Gray


Peter joined our church staff in 2021 bringing his quiet presence into our building as he cleans and keeps our place looking great.

Unified Board Members

Unified Board

The Unified Board is responsible for the overall spiritual, financial and outreach functions of our church. The Board is comprised of a representative of each church committee, meeting regularly to receive information about the work of the committees and provide guidance and decisions as required. Meetings, on the last Wednesday of the month (January-June, September-November), are open to all.

  • Chair of Unified Board – Irene Simkins
  • Vice-Chair – Vacant
  • Secretary – Marion Gordon
  • AOTS Men’s Club – Shaun Pattenden
  • UCW – United Church Women – Joan Muller
  • Children and Youth – Sarah Prestwich
  • Camp Pringle – Sarah Prestwich
  • Faith Formation & “Celebrate” Worship – Vacant
  • Stewardship – Jim Walker
  • Finance and Building – Carie Saville
  • Treasurer – Bonnie Louden
  • Social Justice & Outreach – Carrie Rae
  • Ministry and Personnel – Colleen Fuller
  • Trustees – Susan Younie – Chair
  • Governance – Marta Swain
  • Members-at-Large – Bill Dennis /Mary Dougherty /Jeff Leggatt