The LyCiG Team

Robin Gamble - Leading your Church into Growth Team Leader, North of England vicar and evangelist.
"Ever since the time when I came to Christ I have been trying desperately to show the same open door to others. I love walking, reading, painting, watching football and eating fish and chips. Most of all, I love being involved in the whole - leading our churches into growth - movement."

Tracie Hunt - Leading your Church into Growth Administrator
Tracie along with her husband Paul, has a long history of being actively involved with the local church, particularly in youth and children’s work. 

David Banbury is the Leader of the Parish Mission Support Department in Blackburn Diocese.  He has previously worked in a wide variety of parishes and as a national Evangelism Adviser for a Mission Society. He is a long suffering Sunderland AFC fan but also enjoys running marathons and visiting cafes for tea and cake with his family.

Ruthi Banbury is currently a curate in York Diocese. Prior to that she has done a degree in theology, writing her dissertation on how people first come into contact with church. She has also worked as a Ministry Assistant for a church in Paris. In her spare time she enjoys creating a mess baking, painting or sewing, and listening to Bruce Springsteen. 

Michael Beasley is Director of Mission in the Diocese of Oxford. This involves oversight of the team in the diocese responsible for supporting various aspects of the life of parishes including evangelism, recruitment and training of clergy and lay ministers, youth and children's work, parish development and social responsibility activities.

Helen Bent is Head of Ministerial Training for the Royal School of Music in partnership with Praxis. Well-known for her Worship 4 Today course, she brings a wealth of experience in leading worship and in training worship leaders and musicians across the full spectrum of tradition and style. With a passion for mission as well as worship, Helen is licensed as SSM Associate Vicar in The Rivers Team near Rotherham, where she remains rooted in what she describes as very ‘ordinary’ local churches.  

Dave Elkington has been a Rural Dean in charge of 3 rural parishes in sunny Cornwall since 2011. Previously he spent 25 years in Newcastle Diocese, the last ten of them as Canon Missioner. Before that he was a University Chaplain at Leicester and Norwich [University of East Anglia]. He is committed supporter of Leicester Tigers and has a passion for use of comedy in evangelism. He is married to Audrey who is Archdeacon of Bodmin.

Damian Feeney was, Vicar of Woodplumpton and Assistant Diocesan Missioner in the Diocese of Blackburn. He is a priest of the Society of the Holy Cross, a missioner in ‘Fan the Flames’ initiative and a member of the College of Evangelists. He has been involved in three Eucharistic church plant projects and was a member of the ‘Mission Shaped Church’ working party. Currently Damian is Vice-Principal and Charles Marriott Director of Pastoral Studies at St. Stephen’s House in Oxford.

Bob Jackson grew up in Sheffield and became an economist, advising the Government in the days before Mrs Thatcher was invented. After twenty years of parish ministry in Yorkshire he became a ‘Springboard’ missioner and then an archdeacon in Lichfield Diocese. He has developed a speciality in church growth and written a number of books and courses on the subject. He is now the Director of the Centre for Church Growth at St John’s Nottingham. Bob is married to Christine and they live in the village of Eyam in Derbyshire. 

Sophie Jelley is Diocesan Director of Mission, Discipleship and Ministry in Durham Diocese. She has worked in the North and South of England as well as East Africa. She writes resources for children and families ministries and had a wide ranging experience of schools work. She loves to encouraging prayer and enjoys mentoring in many different forms. Her house is home to more animals than children and she can often been seen out running.

Jean Kerr is Director of Mission and Community Engagement in the Diocese of Rochester with a responsibility among other things  for Evangelism, Church Growth and Fresh Expressions of church and church presence at Wedding Fairs  and the County Show. This she has done for the past 8 years. Prior to this she has overseen a church plant, trained a team of Diocesan Evangelists  and helped run a local parish church with her husband. 

Rhiannon King is the Director of Mission in the Church of England in Birmingham. This involves heading up the Diocesan 'Transforming Church' initiative and most recently includes directing the work of 'Growing Younger'- helping churches reach out more effectively to children and their families. Before her current role, Rhiannon was the Vicar of three parishes on the outskirts of Cambridge where she particularly enjoyed training ordinands, taking occasional offices and feasting on a significant number of Bring and Share meals! Rhiannon is also on the steering group of soul[food], a digital resource which sends bite-sized thoughts straight to the phone of all those who sign up after an occasional visit to a church. 

Anna Norman-Walker is the Diocesan Missioner in Exeter and Canon Missioner at Exeter Cathedral. Before her current role Anna lead a Rural Team of four parishes with 6 churches. During this time she led a church plant, oversaw a reordering project, initiated a pioneering youth ministry for the rural context and served as Rural Dean. In her current role she works with churches across the Diocese encouraging church growth, mission and evangelism. 

Philip North is currently serving as the Bishop of Burnley. Prior to this appointment he was Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras, a Team Ministry which serves four churches in and around Camden Town in North West London. He began his ministry in the Diocese of Durham, working in large social housing estates in Sunderland and Hartlepool, and has also spent six years ministering at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. His passion is for building vibrant eucharistic communities committed to growth and service.

Janet Russell is the Director of Mission for the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church of Wales. Before this she was a Parish Development Advisor in the Oxford Diocese, where she also held a brief for Evangelism. She was a parish priest in South Oxfordshire for several years. Janet loves communicating the Gospel and enabling both parishes and individuals to grow in their faith.

Neil Short is Vicar of St James in the City; in the centre of Liverpool particularly working with students and young professionals. Launched in 2007 the Church has grown from just 2 to over 100 members. Because the 1775 Grade II* Church was closed for 40 years and is in such bad repair the congregation have had to erect two marquees inside the building and a self-composting toilet. Neil says, “It’s more like camping than traditional church.”

Tim Sledge is vicar of Romsey Abbey in Hampshire and Area Dean. Prior to this he was Diocesan Missioner in Peterborough Diocese and has served in parishes in West Yorkshire. Tim is co-author of a number of books including Mission Shaped Parish, Youth Emmaus, and Creative Communion, and is currently writing a book on priestly vocation. In Romsey, he has developed additional congregations, community initiatives-particularly with mental health. Tim’s particular passions are worship, encouraging vocations, and in renewing the life of the parish church. He has been part of the LyCiG team for nearly 20 years.

Matt Woodcock is an Ordained Pioneer Minister at Holy Trinity Church in the centre of Hull. Prior to that he was a parish evangelist at a church in York and worked on the media team for the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Matt's pioneering initiatives at Holy Trinity include the Hull CAMRA Real Ale and Cider Festival and The Live Nativity.