Ayla joined St James’s in July 2022, before which she was Ahmanson Fellow in Art and Religion at the National Gallery. Originally from Canada, she moved to the UK in 2003 to study theology and art history. Following her PhD in Victorian sacred architecture at the Courtauld Institute of Art, she held fellowships at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and the Courtauld, and was lecturer and fellow at the University of Essex. She was ordained in 2018 and served her title at Hampstead Parish Church.
Ayla’s approach to ministry focuses deeply on belonging, beauty, and social justice. Her publications have appeared in British Art Studies and Tate’s ‘In Focus’ series, as well as books including Modern Architecture and Religious Communities. She is a trustee of the UK charity Art and Christianity, a Visiting Scholar at Sarum College, and a member of the St Paul’s Cathedral Visual Arts Committee.