I am one of the two Diocesan Vocations, Learning & Formation Officers. 

It is amazing the different ways God calls each one of us to serve - in our families, work lives, in the church, through ministry and in our communities. 

I love hearing people’s stories of how God has called them and help them in their process of discernment. 

I am currently based in Church House but I live near Chesterfield, and I would be happy to advise people in any part of the Diocese.

Please use the form below to send me your details and I will get in touch as soon as possible.

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In a world where organisational shapes and approaches to leadership change rapidly, it is important that we evaluate the parish as our key unit of operation for mission.


The enduring strength of our parish system is the importance of place.  As human beings we have a deep sense of needing to be ‘placed’ – able to belong, feel secure with a setting that is familiar.  The church building is often the minister of the centrality of place. The parish take this sense of place seriously.


Parishes are people – in an increasingly mixed and changing cocktail.  There can no longer be a single offer or a simple formula. If the Gospel is to be proclaimed and witnessed to, then there will need to be variety, and a toughness regarding the choices of what might be possible with limited resources.  Who are those most in need of the generous witness of God’s loving care?, and how might this offer be made?


God’s children live and grow through engaging with processes of formation.  Public worship and the Occasional Offices have been one of our key contributions.  Now the invitation has to be crafted more flexibly. Messy Church for young families, schools as structures for nourishing young people, breakfasts for men, festivals….. and moments to enable meeting others and sharing the love of God, made manifest most powerfully in appropriate worship and witness.


The genius of the Church of England is the parson, our commitment to providing pastoral care that gives leadership for such formation.  Rarely in our history has every parish had its own resident ‘vicar’. But always, each parish is embraced by the gospel caring and teaching organised by the Church.  We all contribute to the work of being parson in our own communities. There are three classical models of parsoning:

  • The priest, who uses the worship and teaching of the Church to mediate the Good News of Jesus Christ into everyday lives.
  • The prophet, through whom the light of Christ proclaims a challenging critique of present failings, while proposing radical new possibilities.
  • The prompter, who gathers and enables others to make creative responses to our challenges and opportunities, embracing those within the Church and those beyond our borders, in a common and connecting formation in goodness and grace.  Calling all sorts and conditions of people to grow together as children of our Heavenly Father.

As the season of annual meetings is underway, we might like to consider in our own particular context how we can best be called to craft a parish for the future, and thus work seriously together on the future of the parish.

Bishop Alastair

My own vocational journey started as a teenager, has had many twists and turns along the way and continues to surprise me.

I am glad to listen to others who are also exploring where and how God is calling them to serve.

Now retired from the NHS where I spent most of my working life, I am licenced as a rural pioneer priest, based in Tideswell Parish, and Self Supporting (Non stipendiary) Ministry Officer for the Diocese.

I relax in the outdoors, walking and running round the beautiful area where we live. I am most available in the Peak Deanery and for people exploring self supporting ministry.

NB: If for some reason you don't hear back from your chosen adviser within 10 days, please accept our apologies - it means something has gone wrong. If this happens to you, please email communications@derby.anglican.org and tell us how long you have been waiting and who your chosen adviser is.

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I started my Christian life when I was 24 years old on a dusty Kibbutz in Israel where I met two Hungarian Christians.

A call to ministry began, yet, it has taken another 20 years to discover a particular calling to ordination in the Church of England in 2012.

As a self-supporting minister, I currently work four days a week as the lead agricultural chaplain in Derbyshire whilst also completing a curacy.

I'm passionate about the journey to serve in the Church and how vocation helps us discover who we are in Christ as well as what we can actively do.

I very much value the opportunity to listen, reflect, and discern together, so that we can hear what and where God is calling us to serve.

Availability and geographical area: Negotiable by appointment / South Dales and South Derbyshire.

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Richard Palmer, Vocations Advisor

I spent my whole career in training, development and coaching and have always been drawn to helping others to recognise, develop and discover ways to use their gifts and talents.

I do believe that we are all blessed with God-given gifts. But these don’t always come gift-wrapped with an explanatory label.

Sometimes, therefore, we need to explore them. And having a sounding board during this process is helpful

I was also privileged to become a Spiritual Accompanier 5 years ago, walking beside others in their spiritual journey.

Bringing together both our journey and our unique gifts assists us to discern the potential directions in which our calling and vocation may lead us.

That is my understanding of the Vocations Advisor’s role and why I find it so rewarding to offer my time to this.

Geographical area – Based in Ripley

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Hello, for me the journey is what is important.  

People sometimes think exploring vocation is about becoming somebody different and that you can get it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ … but the vocational journey is one we are all on, it is about discerning God’s intention for us and becoming more the person God calls us each of us to be, whatever our gender or heritage, whether we are straight or gay, regardless of disability or mental health issue we are all created, held and nurtured in God’s love, which means we all have a calling.  

I am a parish priest, living as Vicar of Spondon and an experienced Spiritual Director walking alongside diverse people from different contexts.

Located 2 miles east of Derby city centre in a place called Spondon.

The Spondon Flyer bus stops directly outside the church and we have ample parking.

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I live on the edge of Buxton and I am a Reader at St Peter's church in Fairfield.

Until I retired I worked  in theological education, latterly as Vice Principal of the Yorkshire Ministry Course where I taught Pastoral Studies, Human Relationships  Ethics .and beginners Greek. I was a diocesan rep  on General Synod for many years and I now review Theological Courses and Colleges for the national Ministry Division.

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Why I am a Vocation Adviser

It has been a joy to work as Diocesan Youth Adviser in Derby Diocese for almost 20 years. In that time, it has been a real privilege to accompany many young people in their journey through the teenage years and become established in a whole range of jobs and professions or contemplate how God works through them as a parent and homemaker as well as in being a volunteer in the local church or community. I also enjoy working with adults, many youth leaders have cut their teeth in leadership in the church and I’ve been delighted to see them move on with this experience in the bank.

It is the relationship role that I particularly enjoy, listening to stories and encouraging folk to reflect on their gifts and talents, on what God and others might be saying to them and then providing space and opportunities for them to try new things and take that next step on the road that God is taking them.

Derby Diocese takes vocation seriously, it values lay people and believes that every person, young or old, lay or ordained has an important role to play in building God’s Kingdom in every community in Derbyshire and beyond.

Alistair lives near to the south-east corner of the diocese but is happy to chat anywhere in Derbyshire as I cover the whole diocese in my role.

As well as training as a Lay Reader he is an ardent Nottingham Forest Fan and enjoys swimming, theatre or performing on stage with Long Eaton Operatic Society.

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2022 Launch Video

Watch a recording of the 2022 Thy Kingdom Come launch


National Resources

Thykingdomcome.global has a fantastic range of resources available for all ages, churches, families and individuals.

For adults, the main resources are the Prayer Journal and Novena - both written by Archbishop Justin Welby, with the Novena based on 1 Peter, the foundation scripture for the Lambeth Conference.
150,000 free copies will be given away as part of this year’s campaign.

Thy Kingdom Come has teamed up with 24-7 Prayer providing daily audio reflections for their Lectio 365 app.

For children & families, there are brand-new Cheeky Pandas animations based on the Fruit of the Spirit (including a platinum Jubilee related episode) packed with fun, music, and biblical truths.
Each episode will have an accompanying activity pack and assembly plan, which can be used at church, at home, or school.

For youth, there will be a brand-new video series produced by a leading Christian Youth Ministry.


Free Resources giveaway for Churches 

Free copies of the 2022 resources are available, you will only need to pay for postage & packaging.

 >> Visit Church House Publishing site


‘We Seek Your Kingdom’ 

‘We Seek Your Kingdom’, a whole-life worship song to the tune of much-loved hymn ‘Abide withme’, written by Noel Robinson, Andy Flannagan, and Graham Hunter, inspires us to see our daily tasks through God’s eyes – and live out the prayer ‘your kingdom come’ in every part of life.

Commissioned by LICC and Thy Kingdom Come, it’s an encouragement and a call to action – a declaration that each of us can join in God’s kingdom work right where we are.And a prayer that through ordinary Christians like you and me, God would transform, revive, and heal our society.

>> Watch the video and download ‘We Seek Your Kingdom’ hymn resources. 

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