Welcome!  We are delighted that you have found your way to this page.

Here, you will find details of our group of vocations advisers who are willing to offer you some time to talk and think about what God may be calling you to do with your life.

This is a great opportunity to have an informal conversation with “no strings attached.”

Please take the time to read the profiles of our advisers and then contact us if you would like to begin having conversations about how God is calling you. 

If you have a preference of a vocations adviser who you would like to meet with, please let us know. 

Vocations events, exploring both lay and ordained vocations, are held regularly throughout the Diocese. Find out more here

You are encouraged to sign up and come along to a vocations event that is convenient for you. 

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Kat Alldread, Lead Officer for Vocations

kat.alldread@derby.anglican.org 01332 388687

Kat Alldread

kat low res

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.


Ellie Ballard

ellie ballard

I trained as a teacher and have spent most of my working life within a local authority context, but am now a Vocations, Learning and Formation Officer and loving it!

I am based at Church House in Derby but am happy to travel throughout the County.

I am inspired by the report ‘Setting God’s People Free’ and excited by the vision it presents of a truly enabled church.

I see vocation as God weaving each of us into a tapestry – each of us is a unique and vibrantly coloured thread which can only create a beautiful whole by interweaving with others. 

It doesn’t matter what type of thread you are, what colour, or whether you are a bit frayed around the edges - God can use you to weave a better world by sharing the message of His love.

He is calling you to something uniquely wonderful - your vocation - whatever that may be.

I’d like to leave you with a question, paraphrased from Paulo Coelho: ‘What are you doing with the talents that God bestowed on you?’


Susie Curtis

susie curtis

I'm Susie and I passionately believe that everyone has a vocation, the shape and focus of this will be unique for us all.

I spent ten years working in the Diocese of Durham as a parish priest and university chaplain.  

During these years, I journeyed with many people -  especially young people and students - as they explored their vocation. Vocations that have led them to social work, scientific research, ordination, accredited pastoral work, teaching and the religious life to name but a few.   

I moved to the Diocese of Derby in autumn 2018 after marrying Andy, who works for Rolls-Royce. 

I am based in Chester Green, Derby and am currently discerning the shape of my own vocation for the next stage of life. 

Please feel free to contact me to chat about God, life - and that niggling thought that won't go away!


Julian Hollywell

julian hollywell sq

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.


Alistair Langton

alistair langton

It has been a joy to work as Diocesan Youth Adviser 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.

The Diocese of Derby 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.

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

As well as training as a Lay Reader I am an ardent Nottingham Forest fan and enjoy swimming, theatre or performing on stage with Long Eaton Operatic Society.


Shemil Mathew

shemil mathew

I was born and brought up in Kerala, South India.

I first studied for a Bachelor's and Master's degree in English language and literature, before achieving both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Theology from the University of Gloucestershire, and then an MTh from Oxford University.

I was ordained in the Diocese of Peterborough and have experience of working in Sri Lanka as a CMS mission partner.

As the Anglican chaplain at Oxford Brookes University and Vocations Adviser for the Diocese of Oxford, I am also a founding member of AMEN (Anglican Minority Ethnic Network).

I am a trainer in Unconscious Bias awareness and a tutor in Contextual theology. My first language is Malayalam and I have a working knowledge of Tamil and Hindi.

Married to Becky, who is the vicar of Allestree and Quandon in Derby, I hold Permission to Officiate from the Bishop of Derby.


Carollyn Mcdonald

carollyn mcdonald

Welcome to the Vocations page, nice to know you are exploring God’s call in your life, something we all do from time to time as Christians.

I have followed that call through the ups and downs of life, and am as surprised as anyone that it has led to ordination as a priest in the Church of England.

I’ve been a Vocations Adviser since early days as a curate (trainee) and I love to listen to life stories, helping each other to discern and put into words where God has worked in our lives and what He might be getting us ready for next.

I am so grateful for those who guided and counselled me; every journey I make with someone enhances my own journey of faith.

I live in Ashbourne, you’re welcome to visit me at my home, or I will travel to you, across the Diocese.


Christine McMullen

christine mcmullen

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.


Richard Palmer

richard palmer 600w

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 five 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.


Jacqueline Stober

jacqueline stober

When I was a teenager my ambition was to be a missionary, taking the gospel to the indigenous people of the Amazon on a jet ski! While it’s not been quite that exciting, my faith journey has taken me through some interesting experiences, both here and abroad.

Since those early days I have remained interested in how God calls people to service; following their journey as they discern the voice of God calling them to service in the church, both lay and ordained.

I am committed to helping the church to be more inclusive in its selection of clergy. Being one of very few Black priests I think I may be particularly helpful to those from ethnic minority backgrounds, but I would be privileged to work with anyone who came to me.


Gillian White

gillian white

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.


Simon White

simon white

I came to ordination after some years as an English and drama teacher and still enjoy being part of local theatre and drama.

After training in Nottingham, I have worked in both single and multi parish settings, including a spell as a school chaplain.

I consider it a privilege to be alongside anyone who is on a vocational journey of discovering what God’s calling means for them.

I’m now based in Tideswell, where I’m the vicar of five village churches and most available in the Peak or North Derbyshire.


Contact the Vocations team

Please use this form to talk to us about exploring your vocation and working with one of our advisers.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Diocese of Derby

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Full Street, Derby DE1 3DR

01332 388650



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