Our Speakers

Rev’d Abi Davison

Hello, I’m Abi and I’m a Distinctive Deacon currently in my third year of curacy at York Minster.  I trained part time with St Hild College while continuing to work as a Care Assistant.  Before ordination I was part of the York Street Angels team, and from there became involved in the start of the Racecourse Chaplaincy.  Myself and my husband have also been part of the Scout Association for a number of years.

Since ordination, I have been invited to take on the role of Faith Advisor to our Scout district.  I’m currently involved in planning the annual St George’s Day service at York Minster and looking ahead to its 80th anniversary.  Two years ago I moved to work in palliative care, and for the past 10 months I’ve been Spiritual Care Lead at our local adult hospice.

Br. Patrick nSSF

I am a Novice within the European province of The Society of Saint Francis.

I live at Alnmouth Friary in Northumberland at the moment but i am originally from Tow Law in the wilds of Weardale in North West County Durham.

I have a passion for equality and unity both within the church and the wider world, i enjoy preaching and working with those outcasts whom society has forgotten.

Rev’d Craig Bentley

I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and after taking some time off from religion as a goth in College. I joined the Royal Air Force as a Police Dog Handler when I was 18. It was whilst serving in the RAF that I felt my calling to ministry. After a 5-year discernment ‘journey’ with 2 DDO’s and a discernment interview with one of them in a war zone (Afghanistan).

I was put forward to attend a Bishops Advisory Panel and upon being successful (people still don’t know how it happened), I trained for 3 years at Cranmer Hall Theological College. Since leaving Cranmer Hall, I have started my curacy in Kendal in the Lake District and work with a fantastic training minister who is in charge of three churches and a Mission Community of 7. Rural ministry is not something I ever thought I’d be called to, but it is teaching me a lot about what being called to parish ministry can look like.

I am married to Emma and we have two children, Lucy and James (4 & 2) and a German Shepherd called Mac, who isn’t a retired police dog, but the congregations don’t need to know that 😉

I do like walking and running, thankfully God called me to serve in the perfect place, but I also really enjoy off road driving, clay pigeon shooting and Go Karting. All of which are also easily accessible, thank you countryside!

Rev’d Hannah Richardson

I’m a first-year curate in Peterlee, Co. Durham, but I’m originally from Kent. I trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge, and before that I was a ministry assistant in Sunderland.

My interests range from studying the English Reformation to cross stitch. For me, the most exciting parts of my current ministry are preaching and making connections with people in the parish – even if that’s being done very differently from how I imagined it when I first started training!

Rev’d Capt Katie Watson – Head of Chaplaincy, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I have been an NHS Chaplain with Newcastle Hospitals for thirteen years, I came here on my placement as a student and knew that the hospital chaplaincy was where I was called to serve. No two days are ever the same, which means I never know what a shift is going to bring.

I spend a lot of my time journeying alongside patients, relatives and the staff be that on the wards or in the chapel of rest. I have the privilege of being with people at the very best and the very worst of times.

Prior to this role I served as a Captain in the Royal Military Police undertaking operational tours of Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Serving in theatres of war meant experiences that fundamentally shaped and developed both my vocation and who I am.

When I can, I escape to very big hills and mountains to run ultra-distance trail marathons.

Naomi Stevens

I’ve worked in the voluntary and community sector in County Durham for the past 10 years, currently at County Durham Community Foundation and previously at Durham Christian Partnership.

I went to St Nic’s Durham for the first time as a student and 13 years later I’m still there, being at different times a Ministry Experience Volunteer, PCC Secretary and Church Warden.

I love exploring the wonders of the North East, and am currently spending a lot of time training my energetic, loveable puppy Poppy.

Rev’d Becca Gilbert

I am an ordained pioneer priest living in Cumbria. Having talked about my love for Nigella (among others!), feasting and fasting, and the eucharist at my BAP, 10 years later I continue to enjoy giving and receiving hospitality, food, and asking what it means to break bread and experience the transforming presence of Jesus with those who do not naturally engage with our time honoured churches.

I am currently involved in my local zero waste food club, and exploring hospitality at this difficult time through bread, as like many, I have found solace in baking bread during these last twelve months. I am married to Rich, we have two young children and a springer spaniel called Ziggy!

Rev’d Jack Branford

Hi I’m Jack, a School Chaplain at Gresham’s School in Norfolk. The role is wonderfully varied. A typical day could involve everything from leading services in the School Chapel and teaching Religious Studies in the classroom, to spending time in a boarding house feeding teenagers endless doughnuts and beating them at pool.

Before moving to Gresham’s I was a Curate in Diocese of Norwich after training for ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge. Prior to that I was a Youth Worker for a church in Hertfordshire.

I am married to Amanda and we have two children, Annabel and William (4 & 2). I enjoy Team Sports, particularly football, and have been a Norwich City fan since before I could talk.

Saturday 5th March 2022

1.00pm to 4.00pm on Zoom

Details for the Zoom meeting will be sent to those who register to attend. Registration closes 1st March.