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 Community 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

As an ambitious seventeen year old with plans for studying medicine, my whole life would change forever when I discovered the Lord Jesus Christ.  At the same time as becoming a Christian, I also sensed that God was calling me into ordained ministry.

I went on to study Clinical Sciences at University and took tentative steps at looking into ordained ministry when I took a gap year after university, but I didn’t take it much further.  I instead decided to teach, and it was while I was teaching that the sense of call intensified.

To test the call I stopped teaching and became a Parish Assistant at my local church.  However, I decided to go back into teaching and then, when becoming an ordained minister seemed beyond the realms of all possibility, God called me.  I completed the discernment process and a year on I have started my second year at Cranmer Hall in Durham training to be a minister in the Church of England.

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.

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.

Chris Smith

I live in Cumbria and I’m currently a third year Ordinand training part-time with Emmanuel Theological College in the North West. I’m training for self-supporting ministry as I’m currently still working as a vet. I don’t really know what God has in-store for me after I’ve finished my training through curacy but that is OK, because I know God will be with me. As I’m beginning to see, God’s call on your life can change. Through training I’ve felt drawn to contemplative prayer and so as a Christian, my priority for the future will be prayer. I’ve also been encouraged with how God is working in the local prison to literally change lives.

For now I continue to see the benefits of remaining in the “real-world” whilst working. There are so many ways as a Christian you can interact with others through what you say but also through what you do. I’ve been quite impressed with how people in the workplace have shown an interest in my relationship with God. It has also been a challenge to have discussions with a work colleague who is a “devout atheist!”

Step Forward 2024 – 23rd March 2024

10.30am to 4.30pm

Bishopthorpe Palace, York, England YO23 2GE