John Boyce was born in Glasgow in 1968. His parents were Bernard (1930-2012) and Eileen (1928-2001) Boyce. John had his secondary education at Saint Andrew's Academy, Saltcoats. After spending a year at Saint Patrick's College, Buchlyvie, Stirlingshire, he prepared for the priesthood at the Regional Seminary of Chesters College and the National Seminary of Scotus College, Bearsden, graduating with a Master of Arts degree from the University of Glasgow and Baccalaureate in Divinity degree from the Pontifical University of Maynooth, Counth Kildare, Ireland.

John was ordained by Maurice Taylor, Bishop of Galloway in the Church of Saint Peter in Chains on 24 June 1997. His first appointments were as assistant priest at Saint Paul's Church, Ayr and Saint Francis Xavier's Church, Waterside. Father Boyce is serving in Ireland.