Category: Deanery Briefings

Bishop Martin Seeley and The changing shape of Ministry

The new Vision and Strategy is underway but the foundations are already clear: The Church of England must adapt and put its trust in God to become a simpler, humbler, bolder Church that is Jesus Christ centred and Jesus Christ shaped.

  • What will ministry look like in the future?
  • How will it need to adapt?
  • What will it mean for the way we select, train and develop ordained and lay ministers?

With the experiences and the lessons of lockdown, and the unprecedented nature of the last two years, Bishop Martin Seeley looks forward to the ways in which ministry - ordained and lay - is developing for the future.

This will be in the context of the general review of Church strategy being led by the Archbishop of York, of which Bishop Martin is part. Now Bishop of St Eds and Ips (comprising most of Suffolk), Martin is the lead on ministry for the Church, following his previous job as principal of Westcott House theological college and before that a vicar of the Isle of Dogs.

He is an old friend of NDN, having spoken at past conferences. When he was a parish priest in East London he led a review of his own Deanery. The review reflected his continuing belief in the benefits of working together in Deaneries and other groups.

More on Bishop Martin

A vision for the Church of England in the 2020s

View Video: A Vision for the Church of England 2020s

Thursday 25 March, 12 – 1pm

Archbishop Stephen Cottrell and panel members explore the emerging vision and strategic priorities for the Church for the next decade.

This is the first in a series of webinars that will explore what it means to be a church that is centred on Jesus Christ and shaped by Jesus Christ – a church that is simpler, humbler, bolder.

Webinar panel

  • Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York
  • Emma Parker, Deputy Warden, Cranmer Hall, Durham
  • Sanjee Perera, Archbishops’ Adviser on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns
  • Christian Selvaratnam, Director of the St Hild Centre for Church Planting

Find out more

Carrie Myers : Gearing up Lay Ministry for the 2020s

Carrie Myers Church of England Lay Ministries Officer
Carrie Myers Lay Ministries Officer

In the past year we have seen changes that would normally take twenty or thirty years in the way we undertake our mission and ministry.

Across the church conversations are underway as to the what will the church look like in the 2020s post the covid-19 crisis, and what resources will we have given the financial pressures we are experiencing.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we will rely even more on an army of over 100,000 lay people involved in supporting our clergy in publicly recognised ministry and roles, as well as the tens of thousands more who are active in serving their communities.

Carrie Myers, the Lay Ministries Officer for the Church of England will lead this Deanery Briefing to explore how we in Deanery Leadership and similar roles can take a lead in developing and influencing this vision, enabling lay ministries to abound and flourish.

About Carrie Myers

Carrie Myers is Lay Ministries Officer within the National Ministry Team, joining the team in this new role in April 2019. Carrie helps to champion and celebrate lay ministries, coordinate work nationally and support dioceses in growing vocations, providing training and sharing ideas, inspiration and best practice. Working with the Lay Ministries Advisory Group, she has recently produced A Vision for Lay Ministries which seeks to inspire the whole church in thanksgiving, reflection and action.

Carrie has a background working in volunteer management, working for charities including the MS Society, USPG and Girlguiding. Carrie has a BA and MA in theology from Durham University and has been a licensed Reader in the Diocese of Southwark since 2013.

Rev Rob Merchant: Mental Health and Faithfulness in an Age of Anxiety

Rob MerchantCovid-19 has touched each of us in one way or another and coping with the restrictions imposed to combat the pandemic has brought the issue of mental well being for both clergy and laity into sharp focus.

During this Briefing Rob draws upon his own experiences of living with a long-term mental health condition as a result of developmental trauma, to explore how we can enable safe conversations about mental well-being. The session involves reflection, top-tips, honesty, story, and most importantly, hope.

Revd Rob Merchant is Tutor and Director of St Mellitus College, Chelmsford; his additional responsibilities in the life of St Mellitus College include Dispersed Learning, contributing to ministerial formation and teaching, and Safeguarding.

Upon leaving school Rob worked as a care worker supporting people with learning disabilities. Since ordination he has served in a number of different ministerial contexts from multi-parish rural to single parish urban as an incumbent and as an associate priest, he has also worked in academic research and management.

Rob’s passion is to see people flourish in the ministry to which they are called, in whatever walk of life. He is married to Tamsin, who is Vicar of St Mary’s Hornsey Rise where Rob serves as Associate Vicar.

Mental Health and Faithfulness Presentation

Rob Merchant’s book: “Broken by fear anchored in hope” available here: (can also be purchased on Amazon)

Dr Lindsey Hall at Deanery Briefing

The Covid-19 restrictions and the resulting lock down has both constrained and provided new opportunities for our mission and ministry. Many churches and deaneries have been creative in the way they have provided worship and ministry that has touched folk far beyond their parish or deanery.

Lindsey reflected on the theological perspective of the responsibility to be agents for engagement with the communities we have touched and are touching as we emerge into a new era of our mission and ministry after the Covid-19 limitations.

Lindsey Hall NDN presentation

Lindsey is an Associate Tutor at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham and Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Lichfield. Before this she taught theology at Trinity College, Dublin, The Church of Ireland Theological College and King’s College, London.

Through these roles and her ministry Lindsey seeks to encourage the vocations of all of God’s people, individual and corporate. She has taught on a range of modules for Readers and Ordinands including Pastoral Theology, Christian Doctrine, Preaching and New Testament.

Bishop Stephen Cottrell

Stephen Cottrell, the next Archbishop of York, is currently Bishop of Chelmsford and was formerly Bishop of Reading.

He has worked in parishes in London and Chichester, as Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral, as Missioner in the Wakefield diocese and as part of Springboard, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s evangelism team.

He has written widely on evangelism, spirituality and discipleship. Among his most recent books are a series of Lent and Holy Week meditations. He has also written a book of children’s stories, The Adventures of Naughty Nora.

In 1993 he became Diocesan Missioner for the Diocese of Wakefield. It was there that he was part of a group that wrote and developed the Emmaus programme for evangelism, nurture and discipleship which has since been translated into several languages. He began working for Springboard, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s and York’s initiative for evangelism in 1997 and consequently was involved in speaking on evangelism and leading missions and conferences in England and within the Anglican Communion.

Stephen’s passions for ministry have always involved evangelism and teaching and commending the Christian faith. He is a founding member of the College of Evangelists and has served on the Church of England’s Mission, Renewal and Evangelism committee.

Bishop Stephen’s interests include writing, reading, cooking and music. He is a keen Spurs fan, but also supports his local team wherever he lives, so at various points has followed Southend United, Leyton Orient, Portsmouth, Huddersfield, Peterborough and Reading. He is married to Rebecca, who is a potter and they have three sons.