Reverend Duncan Hilton joins St. John’s Episcopal Church

Rev. Duncan Hilton
Rev. Duncan Hilton. Photo provided

WALPOLE, N.H. – The wardens and vestry of St. John’s are very excited to announce the calling of the Reverend Duncan Hilton as priest in charge. Duncan comes to St. John’s and the Diocese of New Hampshire Aug. 24, 2020 after serving as priest for Discipleship and Discernment at St. Michael’s in Brattleboro, Vt. since 2017. At St. Michael’s, Duncan was commissioned to raise up leaders inside and outside the church to listen and follow their call through prayer and action. His activities included the launching of six small independent discipleship groups, the training and coaching of four teams to develop mission projects, the creation of a parish partnership with a support group for people transitioning out of prison, and the facilitating of the discernment of a L’Arche Community in Southern Vermont – an international network of communities that help care for people with intellectual disabilities.

Before arriving in Vermont and being ordained in the Episcopal Church, Duncan worked for five years as executive director with the Leadership Development Initiative, where he trained Episcopal parishes in Massachusetts, Texas, and Tennessee in team-based leadership practices in order to help them launch local mission projects. He also worked as training director for Life Together, the Boston-based Episcopal Service Corps program, and as a teaching fellow with Professor Marshall Ganz at the Harvard Kennedy School in his class, “Organizing: People, Power, Change.” Duncan’s career in ministry started with congregational ministry in the United Church of Christ, where he served as a minister for youth and children. This is the denomination that Duncan belonged to during his childhood in Durham, N.H.

Duncan has taught the unemployed and underemployed in Vermont. He has facilitated groups for those suffering from addictive behaviors as well as providing end-of-life care to patients and families. He has lived with and cared for people with intellectual disabilities both here and abroad. In 2010, he worked as field coordinator in a voter registration campaign in Arizona, resulting in the registration of over 13,000 new voters. Duncan and his new bride, Bethany, have just moved onto the family farm in South Londonderry, Vt. He enjoys playing the guitar, cooking, gardening, and playing and watching sports.

One might think with his long list of achievements and service to others as well as his stellar educational background that St. John’s has received a gift from above. Indeed, after meeting Duncan – over Zoom and in person – we know that we are very blessed to have such a humble and delightful young man to lead us in worship and service. We will have a welcoming celebration in the late summer. Please stay tuned to our church website or visit Walpole’s online newsletter for upcoming details so that you can join in the welcome.

And please know that we welcome all neighbors, known and unknown to us, as we take up worship alongside Rev. Duncan Hilton. Be with us his first Sunday, Aug. 30. Details of the service will be on our website at

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