Group conveners

Group Convenors


The Revd Dr Michael B Thompson is Vice Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Mike is an Episcopalian originally from North Carolina. His special interest is the relation between Jesus and Paul, and he lectures in New Testament for the Cambridge Theological Federation.


Rupert Bristow was Director of Education for Canterbury Diocese from 1995 until his retirement in 2008 and is active as a Reader in Trinity Benefice, Folkestone. He was a member of Lee Abbey Council for 15 years, has chaired Kent SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) and has worked in education—in schools, universities and the third sector—at home and overseas. Rupert has edited and written for various educational publications. He is the author of Prayers for Education (2008), Only Connect (2009) and Sunday Intercessions (2010) and is an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University.

Tim Elbourne has been Director of Education of the Diocese of Chelmsford since 2012. Previously he held the same position in the Diocese of Ely where he was an honorary canon of the Cathedral and associate priest in a group of five rural parishes. He has held posts in Yorkshire in university chaplaincy, clergy training and rural parish ministry and served his curacy in Tottenham, London.


Dr Dave Leal is a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, where he teaches philosophy. He writes on topics in moral theology, and is the author of a number of Grove booklets, including E100 (On Marriage as Vocation) and E101 (Debating Homosexuality).


The Revd Steve Hollinghurst is Researcher in Evangelism to Post-Christian Culture at the Church Army Sheffield Centre. He came to faith in his late teens after involvement in the occult and alternative religions. He is involved in Elemental, a venue offering Christian Spirituality at the Glastonbury festival and in Christian stalls at Mind, Body and Spirit fairs. He has an MA on the New Age and Paganism in Britain today.


The Revd Richard Steel is Rector of Kirkheaton, a medium sized Anglican church in Huddersfield, Rural Dean and Chair of the Wakefield Diocese's Communication Group. He has long been interested in leadership at all levels of the church and has done postgraduate studies in the Leadership Department of Exeter University. Previous roles include Producer/Presenter of religious programmes for the commercial radio station Radio Trent/GEM AM, Press Officer for the Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) and Communication Director at Church Mission Society (CMS). These roles, and others within the Church (and also Scouting), have given experience in the differences in styles of, and demands on, leadership, including both paid and voluntary teams. Beyond, and indeed within, his church responsibilities he functions particularly in the areas of social entrepreneurship, networking and community leadership.


The Revd Fred Olney is Vicar of two Staffordshire villages, having previously worked in suburban and deprived urban parishes. Before ordination he was UCCF’s Development Officer for FE Colleges (1986-96), encouraging Christian witness through a network of students, lecturers, chaplains and volunteers. From 1977 to 1986 Fred’s varied ministry with French-speaking churches in Provence included pioneer church planting, training and youth work. His MA dissertation was on the Prayers of Michel Quoist. Fred has been a member of BBC Radio Leicester’s Religious Team, had articles published in several magazines and writes regularly for local newspapers. He has been part of the Grove Pastoral Series Editorial Group since January 2004.


Jane Gibbs A Latin graduate and trained primary school teacher, Jane Gibbs gradually moved from her first career in teaching children to training adults, via her husband’s change of direction to clergyman 25 years ago. She particularly enjoys delivering Myers Briggs Type Indicator© workshops in churches and colleges and examining the links between personality and spirituality. Working with the Grove Spirituality Series combines two of the things that excite her: theology and words. Jane is also the author of Faith in Suburbia in the Grove Pastoral Series.

Sue Howard MA, MPhil Sue works as a Spiritual Mentor and Director of Consultancy for Workplace Matters run as part of St. Albans diocese. She is completing a PhD on Christian spiritual formation and leadership at the University of Winchester. Sue has been a member of the Grove Leadership Series since it began, and joined the Spirituality Series in 2012. Sue has worked in management and leadership development for World Vision UK, Cranfield School of Management and various other organisations. Sue is a published author having written academic papers, a book and L2 in the Grove Leadership Series amongst other items. She was also previously Editor of MODEM Matters on behalf of the charity MODEM. Sue is dedicated to exploring the centrality of spirituality to everyday life and to encouraging others to go deeper in the their walk with God. Sue is married, with two children, and lives in Hertfordshire.


The Revd Mark Earey is Co-Director of the Centre for Ministerial Formation at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham, where he teaches liturgy and worship. He was previously Team Rector of Morley in West Yorkshire and before that worked for the Anglican liturgical organization Praxis as their National Education Officer. In that role he was particularly involved in helping churches to make the change to Common Worship. Way back, he trained as a civil engineer and worked briefly 'in sewage' (not literally). What's the connection between sewage and liturgy? The problems with both come when there's a blockage.


The Revd Paul Nash is Senior Chaplain at Birmingham Children's Hospital and a part time tutor at the Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry. Ordained in 1997 he served his Curacy in the multi-cultural parish of Aston in Birmingham and before that worked in a range of roles for Youth for Christ. He has a particular interest in Theological Reflection and medical ethics, he is a qualified Myers Briggs Practitioner and is involved in spiritual direction and ministry support. In his spare time he is a keen golfer and Chelsea supporter!