Category: Deanery Briefings

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: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/broken-by-fear-anchored-in-hope (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.

John Spence

John SpenceJohn Spence is Finance Chair of the Archbishops’ Council and well known for his co-ordinating role on the Renewal and Reform agenda. He has previously been Chair of Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance and a Church Commissioner.

In business, John spent 32 years with Lloyds Banking Group culminating in six managing director roles. Since leaving in 2005, he has held many appointments across government, charity and business.

He is a cabinet member on Essex County Council, Finance Chair BITC, a treasurer for the QE2 Diamond Jubilee Trust and other things as well! He has successively been awarded the MBE, OBE and CBE, for services to community, charity and business respectively.

John is married with three children and five grandchildren.

Dr Lindsey Hall

Lindsey Hall

Dr Lindsey Hall brings a fresh and down to earth perspective to our understanding of scripture in relation to how we live out our faith in our every day lives. She is passionate about the development of lay people and is an activist in Setting God’s People Free.

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.

Her publications include Christian Doctrine: A Reader Lindsey Hall, Stephen Holmes and Murray Rae (Editors) (2010) SCM Press. The book’s nine chapters cover each of the main Christian doctrines. The aim of the book is to give an overview of the discussions which have taken place in Christian theology in relation to particular doctrines. Each chapter covers the formulation of doctrine, challenges and developments.

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