Alan & Alastair - Investing in Ministry

The Church of England in Diocese of Durham is investing in Church Growth and Ministry to the people of the North East through investing in two new appointments.

The Revd Dr Canon Alan Barlett and the Revd Dr Alastair Prince will be taking up new roles in the Diocese this autumn. Alan will be taking up a role as Clergy Development Adviser and Alastair as Vocations Strategy and Development Adviser. They will work closely together supporting people at various stages of their development from discerning a calling to ministry, training, ordination and after ordination in their ongoing ministry.

The Revd Canon Sophie Jelley, Director of Mission, Ministry and Discipleship in the Diocese said: “I am delighted that Alan and Alastair are joining us this autumn. They each bring with them significant experience in their new roles that is absolutely essential in supporting the ministry of the Diocese and our objective to ‘Bless our communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all’.

“Supporting God’s people at whatever stage they at in their vocational calling be it lay or ordained ministry is pivotal in arresting decline by helping our churches flourish and grow numerically and spiritually, and in looking for new ways to engage people in coming to know Jesus in their lives. Our clergy help to provide the spiritual leadership that the whole Church communities need to flourish. So making sure that they are well supported, motivated and given every opportunity for their own development is really important.”

Alastair is joining the Diocese from Liverpool Diocese where he has been a Parish Priest, Assistant Director of Ordinands and Young Vocations Champion for several years. He was born in Hull and grew up in Canada on the Canadian prairies before returning to England in his twenties and training for ordination. He said: “I’m really looking forward to this new role which takes people from wherever they are on their vocational journey be lay or ordained ministry. So it’s really important in encouraging people to step forward in their vocation and to serve God and all people through one of the Church’s authorised lay or ordained ministries.

“As the Church of England says when talking about vocations ‘you have to allow your sense of vocation to be tested by the Church through its discernment processes’. My role is in supporting them throughout it.

“I enjoy helping people discover their God given potential within themselves and helping them work out what God’s will is. Their enthusiasm in that process is infectious and I would encourage anyone that has that nagging sense that God has a plan for them to follow that call and see where it might lead them.”

Alan is taking up his new role as Clergy Development Adviser after many years in the Diocese of Durham Both as a parish priest and also a theologian and academic at Durham University. Talking about his new role Alan said: “I am thrilled to be taking on this new role after many years of being a jobbing Vicar myself. The role of being in parish ministry is a demanding and often isolated one – so we need to support them in doing it. Just like we need to see Doctors and others in professional roles staying up to speed with the latest developments and thinking, so we need our clergy to stay up to speed – to be the best that they can be! So in-service training is just as important for them as it is for any other group of professionals.

“The title of this new role is a hint to the importance the Church sees in promoting change; change that will arrest the years of decline and help us to grow and flourish as a Church and help us to Blessing our communities in Jesus’ name.

“You can see how seriously the Diocese is taking this with our appointments, with Alastair looking after those called to ministry until ordination and then I support them after that. The Churches’ professional ordained workforce is one of its most important, (if not only) assets and we really want to make sure our clergy can be at their best and give of their best when they are doing it.”


Revd Canon Dr Alan Bartlett was ordained in 1991 in Newcastle after training at Cranmer Hall Durham. He has been the priest of St Giles Benefice since 2008 (St Giles (Durham), St Mary’s (Sherburn) and St Cuthbert (Shadforth). Alan is also a fellow of St John’s College Durham, and a Tutor at Cranmer Hall. Prior to 2008, he was a full-time tutor at Cranmer Hall and one of its programme directors. Alan is also the author of a number of books on theology, Anglicanism. Alan will take up his new post from 1st October 2017.


Revd Dr Alastair Prince was ordained in 2006 in Liverpool Cathedral after training at Westcott House, Cambridge. He was Vicar of St Cuthbert, Croxteth Park, Liverpool from 2009. Alastair will take up his new post from late-October 2017.

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