As many of you will be aware, there has been some re-organisation at the Diocesan Office. This provides an update on the outcomes of some of this, although a couple of elements are still undergoing consultation.This post will be updated from time to time as more information becomes available.

Lay Development and Discipleship Officer

Doug Chaplin has been appointed to the role of Lay Development and Discipleship Officer. This role arises as a result of amalgamating the Vocations and Training Officer role and the Mission Development Officer role. Sadly as a consequence, Sarah Fenby's role will become redundant. The Diocese is grateful for all that she’s contributed during the past eighteen months, including making a significant difference to the vocation of a number of our ordinands and potential ordinands. Sarah will leave the DBF at the beginning of October.

Old Palace occupancy

Diocesan Synod discussed the future occupancy of the DBF in the Old Palace at its meeting on 2 July. 

The Synod took this decision very seriously and there was good and lengthy debate at which a range of very passionate views were expressed. An amendment to the original motion was proposed and this was accepted by Synod. As a result, Synod decided that we should give notice to end our current lease in September 2020, but seek to enter into a new agreement with the Dean and Chapter, covering only those parts of the building occupied by the DBF alone. Synod has also determined that alternative office accommodation should only be sought if it can be confirmed that it will benefit the Diocese and realise very substantial savings in the long term.

We may or may not be able to reach a new agreement with the Dean and Chapter, but will seek to do so over the coming months. 

Ecumenical Officer

Whave sadly had to make David Ryan’s role as Ecumenical Officer redundant as no alternative solution within the DBF could be found during consultation. We are grateful to David for all the work he has done during his time at the DBF - he will continue to work in the diocesan office until the end of September. We wish him well as he looks for other opportunities, especially in exploring a possibility that a more broadly based ecumenical role might be found.  


We have now concluded the administrative restructuring and I am pleased to inform you of the following changes:

Judith Nex – Judith has accepted the new role of Pastoral and Governance Secretary to take effect from 1 August 2019. Judith will continue to report in to me and will undertake work relating to Pastoral Re-organisation, the running of Committees, elements of the DBF Company Secretariat, and some oversight of the Diocesan Database (from the Office Manager role).

Emma Woollaston – Emma has accepted the new role of Executive Assistant to the Diocesan Secretary, the Director of Ministry and Discipleship and the Director of Ordinands to take effect from 1 August 2019. She will also oversee the events programme, and management of events.

We are currently advertising the new role of  Training and Events Administrator to report to Emma. This will be a term-time only position (plus 3 weeks) and will be for 21 hours per week.

Children’s Officer

I am really pleased to inform you that the consultation process has made a real difference to shaping the outcome regarding the Children’s Officer role. We have found a way of re-shaping the role, and Emma Pettifer has accepted the role of Children’s Officer (term-time only) and will continue to report to the Director of Ministry and Discipleship.

Church Buildings Team

Following the consultation, the role of Secretary / Administrator to the Church Buildings Team has been made redundant and we have sadly said goodbye to Jacci Hunt after 16 years of service.

The consultation document shared through a previous bulletin included additional information regarding the Church Buildings team and I am pleased to inform you that Pat Evemy will be joining the team (three days per week) in the role of Assistant Church Buildings Officer from 1 July 2019. Pat comes to us from Lichfield diocese where she worked in their Church Buildings team. She will join Kate Andrew and both roles will cover the entire diocese, with LInC (Lower Income Community) funding allocated whenever they work with LInC parishes.


We recently advertised the role of Project Finance Officer to provide finance support to the SDF projects, and to provide project finance support to the new Director of Finance in developing the DBF’s financial operations. I am pleased to inform you that Jo Burr will be taking on this role from 1 July, initially on a temporary basis to see how the role shapes up.

Old Palace

Regarding the decision about the DBF’s tenancy of the Old Palace I can confirm that this is on the agenda for Synod on 2 July. We will update you on this as soon as we can after that date.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your support during this difficult period. The thoughts and prayers of the wider diocese have been much appreciated. This continues to be an extremely painful time for us all as an organisation and our thoughts remain particularly with those whose roles are still at risk of redundancy.

John Preston, Diocesan Secretary