Our Speakers

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!

Caitlin Brinkley

I’ve attended St. Edmundsbury Cathedral for over a decade now, being baptised and confirmed at 12 and being part of the server team for a while after then. I went to my discernment panel for Reader Training a few days before my first A-Level exam and got the letter from the bishops right in the middle of the rest of them! I’m now in my second year at the University of Winchester studying Psychology.

I was called to train to become a Reader after spending years of Sundays in the sanctuary as a server and reflecting on service as a form of worship. My licensing is taking place in the middle of January 2022, and I hope to help the Church grow younger and maybe even inspire some more young ministers.

Going to university has given me lots of opportunities to try new things such as being a communications officer for a charity, but I also enjoying reading, playing on the Switch, and cross-stitching when I can!

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.

Daniel Ackerley

I am a 3rd year curate serving in the parishes of St Peter’s Stockton on Tees at St John’s Elton. I trained for ministry part time at Lindisfarne College of Theology. I am a self supporting Priest and work full time as a Funeral Director in Sunderland.

I am married to Claudia and in my limited free time, I enjoy performing and listening to music, walking and eating out!

Rebecca Amoroso

I am NHS Community Chaplain in South Tyneside and Sunderland. Until December 2021, I was Anglican Chaplain at HMP Durham, and HMPYOI Deerbolt. I trained at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, served my curacy in Durham Diocese, and went straight to prison.

Chaplaincy is a joy and a challenge, everything I imagined and many things I could not have dreamed of, and I thank God for my vocation. Most days, anyway.

When I’m not inside with God’s people, I’m outside with God’s creatures. I love animals, and as well as my dogs and cat, I keep bees.

March 2023 date TBC

1.00pm to 4.30pm on Zoom

Details for the Zoom meeting will be sent to those who register to attend. Registration opens 0ctober 2022.