Our Speakers

The Revd Dr C E Reid

I’m currently Anglican Chaplain to the University of York. Before my present post, I was Vicar of the Ampleforth Benefice and IME 2 Training Adviser for the Cleveland Archdeaconry. I began to discern a vocation to the priesthood during my doctoral studies at St Petersburg State University in Russia and through my involvement in the Anglican Chaplaincy in the city. I later went on to train at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield and was ordained Deacon at York Minster in 2014 and Priest in 2015. I am married to Andrew and we have two young children.

I thoroughly enjoy ‘ministry on campus’ and there are many aspects to university chaplaincy in a secular institution that continue to be both challenging and rewarding. There is a certain intensity to ministry in my context and I especially appreciate the joy of engaging others in community life to reflect the Gospel in the university setting. I’m one of the tutors at the York School of Ministry and have research interests in liturgical theology and studies in Russian Orthodox liturgy.

Rob Suekarran

After having an existential crisis in my mid-teens, in the midst of seemingly having everything I needed but being acutely aware that something really important was missing,  I went in search of God. I found him in church.  At that moment, my life changed forever…

As soon as I became a Christian at 17, I sensed God was calling me into ordained ministry. I went on to study Clinical Sciences at university and then, during a gap year after university, I took tentative steps towards exploring this calling more. I decided to teach, and it was while I was teaching that my sense of calling intensified. To test this, I stopped teaching and became a Parish Assistant at my local church. I returned to teaching, but during a long period of illness, at the very point where offering myself for ordained ministry would seem like the most unlikely thing to do, I sensed God calling me to push open the door.  I did, and the rest as they say is history!

After going through the process of discernment, I went trained at Cranmer Hall in Durham, which I loved, and then served my Curacy at a small church in Strensall, just outside of York. Since then I have served as a Pioneer Minister and am now Associate Vicar for Mission at Hull Minster.

Ordained ministry in the Church of England certainly has its challenges! But what I have found is that I have grown more and more into the person God has made me to be through following his call, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are wells of deep joy to be found in following God’s path for us. Where is God calling you?

Revd Hannah Richardson

Originally from Kent, I’m currently ministering in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees. I first came to the north east for university, and it was there that I came to faith and started to discern my vocation to the priesthood.

I spent a year testing that vocation as a ministry assistant in Sunderland before training for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge. I have had mobility difficulties all my life, and my ministry so far has been both challenged and enriched by them.

Alongside my current ministry I am studying part-time for a PhD in Reformation history, and can otherwise be found cross stitching and/or spending time with my glorious cat, Betty.

Jude Davis

I work as Director of Community and Vocations for the Church Army. Church Army are an Anglican mission agency that train, commission, and deploy evangelists across the UK and Ireland. Church Army Evangelists are pioneers who are passionate about working with those on the margins to see them encounter God’s love, and be empowered to transform their communities through faith shared in word and action.

One of my roles with Church Army is to journey with those who think they might be called to be an evangelist. I also get to support people who have been ministering as Church Army evangelists for many years. It’s a great job because I get to see the diversity of people that God calls to be evangelists… there is not just one type of evangelist.

I was ordained when I was 22, and worked in parish ministry, chaplaincy, and vocations work before I started working with the Church Army in 2020. I’m really looking forward the Step Forward event, and getting into lots of conversations about how God might be calling you!

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.

Chris Smith

I was ordained as a deacon in July 2023 to serve as a curate in the Central Lakes Mission Community in Cumbria. Yes, this is a very beautiful place to live and work! I’m a self-supporting minister which means I spend half of my time working in my day job as a vet and the other half in the parish.

I like the variety of my week and the opportunities as well as tensions which arise from keeping one foot in the secular world. The vast majority of people in the UK are not to be found within the church community and so my job is to be a visible expression of spreading the nets wider. This means I have the joy of speaking to work colleagues who are “devout atheists!”

It is a great pleasure to be an ordained minister and a real privilege to be trusted during pastoral encounters. In amongst all this I ensure that I keep up my prayer life with God. If I’m too busy for spending time with God then the wheels will fall off pretty quickly!

Katherine Brackley

I am from Wakefield in West Yorkshire and I’m currently Children and Families Worker for St Peters and St John’s Church Horbury and Horbury Bridge. I originally trained as a secondary school teacher and taught for 4 years before beginning a role in with an ecumenical school’s work organisation where I worked for 9 years.

Within that time, I was licenced as a LLM and began exploring my vocation to children and families work. I have a real desire for our children and young people to be provided with opportunities where they can encounter God and explore faith and then grow in their Christian faith.

Any free time is spent with my husband and son, we love exploring new places and trips to the theatre.

Step Forward 2024 – 23rd March 2024

10.30am to 4.30pm

Bishopthorpe Palace, York, England YO23 2GE

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