Workshop leaders

Who were these lovely people running the workshops?  Let’s take a look…

Cathy Rhodes (Workshop: Environment Issues)  Cathy moved to Sheffield with her husband, Matthew, in 2018 when he became Vicar of St John’s Ranmoor and Area Dean of Hallam. She was a consultant obstetrician in Birmingham until early retirement in 2019. She has always been interested in environmental issues so was delighted to become Diocesan Environment Officer in March 2020. On 28 November 2020, Diocesan Synod supported a Motion which Cathy presented alongside Jackie Butcher, World Development Advisor. This declared a climate and ecological emergency, supporting General Synod’s motion for all parts of the Church of England to reach ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2030.

Cathy also loves singing, gardening and walking with the family miniature schnauzer Lottie! Her two children are now grown up, one is a social worker and the other a medical student.

Safi Newton (Workshop: Building Trust) Safi Newton works for Home for Good as the project worker for the North. Safi has 13 years social work experience, having worked in both fostering and adoption teams and is currently an independent panel member for Barnardo’s. Safi and her husband have two children who joined their family through adoption and a cat called Owen.  Safi loves supporting people see what role they can play in supporting children who are separated from their birth family, is keen to see peer-support being accessible and beneficial to adopters and carers, and the Church family offering care and encouragement to adoptive, foster and kinship families. 

Andrew Foulkes (Workshop: What I Wish I’d Known about Youth Work 20 Years Ago) “I’m Andrew. This is the bit where I convince you to come to my workshop. So here goes, I’m a 43-year-old slightly overweight bald man of average height. Not enough to convince you? Okay, I have a degree in youth work, community work & applied theology and have been doing church-based youth work for nearly 20 years. I am the Youth Worker at St Luke’s Church in Lodge Moor, Sheffield where I’ve been in post since 2011. I’m married to Michelle, have three children and Obi the dog. Oh, and please choose my workshop!”

Rachel Ridler (Workshop: Family Ministry) Rachel has worked with children and young people voluntarily for over 15 years within Girl Guiding, church ministry and Urban Saints.  She took up her first paid role with the Centenary Project as Youth, Children’s and Families Worker in January 2020 and has built a successful families ministry during the pandemic.  Rachel has also worked as a fundraiser with the Teenage Cancer Trust as well as running a successful blog and online support group for mums.  Rachel brings her cross-section of skills from different sectors to this workshop to shed new light on families ministry.

Jenny Griffiths (Workshop: Introduction to Child Exploitation and Spotting the Signs)  Jenny is a Prevention Officer for the Children’s Society, passionate about giving young people new and different opportunities to develop their skills and confidence.  She is currently working to give young people from care backgrounds, engaged in youth offending, attending pupil referral units, or those with additional needs opportunities for personal growth with NCS (National Citizen Service Programme) When not working, she is on the Youth Panel for Y-Care international and a leader for Brownies and Guides.

Susie Mapledoram (Workshop: Grief and Mourning – navigating loss) Susie has been in the youth work business for over 30 years (she is nearly 100!) as a volunteer youth leader, employed youth worker, secondary school chaplain and is now the Diocesan Youth Officer for Manchester.  Enjoys chatting about relational youth work, mental wellbeing, Finland and quality stationery.  Lives in Chorley, lay canon of Manchester Cathedral and can’t keep plants alive.

Shemil Mathew (Workshop: Unconscious bias training very short introduction) Shemil was born and brought up in Kerala, India, in a Christian family. He has studied in the UK and worked in Asia, Africa and the UK. Shemil is the Anglican chaplain at Oxford Brookes University; he also serves as BAME vocations adviser, Diocesan Synod member, a member of National Minority Vocations Strategy Group, and represents the Diocese of Oxford on the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns. He is a trainer for Unconscious Bias training and teaches Contextual Theology for the CMS pioneer course.

Kathryn Lord (Workshop: Deep Talk)  Kathryn Lord is co-founder of DoBeDo  Story-Relationship-Curiosity-Change.
Kathryn offers training and experiences/retreats (at present online) in:

  • Deep Talk  stories in the sand – from any place, time, faith, culture or world view
  • Godly Play  a Christian movement centred on childhood spirituality – providing training to transform thinking and practice for the whole of life.
  • Stories to the Rescue  training for parents to share faith stories in a way that is spiritually nurturing for all the family
  • Stories for the Soul  story, community and creativity in care settings with older people, including those who are living with dementia


Linda Gascoyne and Emily West (Workshop: Listening to Children and Young People) Linda, & her husband Baz, planted a church in Sheffield in 1996 working with students & families. She combined this role with her work as an HR Manager & Trainer in Communications & Personal Development. For 12 years she ran a Listening/Chaplaincy Service at a GP Practice, and now she and Baz jointly lead a charity which trains and provides Chaplains and Listeners into a wide range of contexts.

Emily volunteers with the charity, running a pioneering listening project for primary aged children in Sheffield.

Ali Campbell (Workshop: The Future of Youth Ministry)  Ali runs The Resource a youth and children’s ministry consultancy that supports, trains and equips the local church for ministry with children, young people and families. Ali has 35 years of experience working locally, regionally and nationally and has a desire to see a flourishing ministry among children and young people in every local church.

Tim Evans (Workshop: Detached Youth Work – Outside the Building) Tim has been working with young people, in particular those on the margins of society, since 1993 qualifying as a youth and community worker and going on to do MAs in Community Education and Youth Ministry & Theological Education. Since 2002, he has been CEO and is now Director of Vision and Strategy for Worth Unlimited.

As well as being part of Worth Unlimited, he fosters children and young people with his wife Ria and they live intentionally in an estate in east Birmingham seeking to serve their neighbours and the local church.

Andy Barthow (Workshop: Schools Ministry – a thing of the past or the future)  Andy works as schools work coordinator for York West. He has been working for YoYo (York Schools and Youth Trust) since November 2011, having finished his Geography degree at Newcastle University. Having grown up in York, Andy understands what it is like to be a young person living in the city and has a passion for working in schools across York, getting to know pupils and helping them to think through big topics and questions. He also loves music, drumming and leading worship.

Ben Jones (Workshop: Reconnecting digitally with your schools using AR and VR) Ben is the Founder and CEO of Missional Generation, a Christian youth charity in the North of England that has a heart for missional living and the local church. MG equips young people to explore mission, evangelism and how to become influential for God in every arena of life. Our aim is to help the Church strengthen its voice, be at the cutting edge in society and we feel young people can ignite this into action.

Sean Grant (Workshop: Investing in Young People at Risk)  Sean is the Reintegration Lead and Youth Worker at Wadsley Church, Sheffield.


Helen Ward and Laura McClean (Workshop: Toddler Groups in a Covid and post-Covid world)  Helen is the Family and Children’s Team Leader at STC Sheffield, and also Headteacher of the nursery that is run by the church. Prior to working for the church, Helen was an Assistant Head Teacher at a Sheffield secondary school, and has over twenty years experience working in education and with families.  In 2008 Helen and her husband began to develop the families work at STC Sheffield with a particular focus on Under 5s.  Starting with just 2 couples and 2 children, they saw God grow the ministry to become a Christian community of 200 adults and children, reaching another 500+ people in the local community.

Laura is the Under 5’s Leader at STC Sheffield.  Before this she was a legal adviser, and worked for Citizens Advice, a student union and also a trade union body.  Laura has two boys, aged 5 and 2 years old, and since her first son was born has loved being part of the church’s toddler groups.  Laura has adapted to the lockdown by using Facebook and Zoom to connect with local families, and has just launched 2 new in-person parent support groups.

Katherine-Alice Grasham (Workshop: Discussing LGBTQ+ Topics with Young People) Katherine-Alice is a Youth Adviser and Inclusion Officer from the Diocese of Leeds. She currently chairs the national Church of England working group for Children, Young People, and LGBTQ+ Issues, and is on the Diocese of Leeds steering group for Living in Love and Faith. She is an INFJ, Enneagram type 2, and is proudly disabled and LGBTQ+. She is also passionate about mental health, the arts, racial equality, and the Oxford comma. She uses she/her or they/them pronouns.

Ruth Adams (Workshop: Knowing me – knowing you (Reaching your Potential)) Ruth leads ‘In Your Element‘ and is based in Sheffield. She is an experienced trainer and qualified life coach who has been designing and delivering bespoke training for over 20 years, working with businesses, schools, organisations and charities both in the UK and abroad through her training events.

Passionate about seeing people discovering their personal potential, her mission is to ‘inspire, communicate and unlock lives of freedom and possibility’. Ruth is as happy working with CEOs as she is with some of the most vulnerable and challenging students in schools, delivering training, speaking and coaching which transforms the lives of individuals and teams.

Miriam Jones (Workshop: Poverty next door: understanding the realities of child poverty) Miriam works part-time for TLG (Transforming Lives for Good) and part-time on the National School Breakfast Programme – this is a government programme run by jointly by two charities: Family Action and Magic Breakfast.

Carolyn Edwards (Workshop: Children’s Ministry – Pilgrims together – sharing the faith journey with children) Carolyn is the Children and Young People’s Adviser for York Diocese and author of a number of books including ‘Slugs and Snails and Puppy Dogs’ Tails: Helping Boys Connect with God’ and co-editor of ‘Re-thinking Children’s work in churches’.

Elaina Skuce (Workshop: Praying with children – practical ideas)  Elaina is married to Dan and they have a beautiful little one year old girl called Abigail Willow.

She is the children’s Pastor at NewLife Church Scunthorpe and has been in paid Children’s ministry for 10 years. She is passionate about reaching and resourcing families in their faith journey.  “Teaching children how to pray in creative ways, and ways they can continue at home is important for them as they continue their relationship with God outside of an adult-led context.”

Peter Bolton (Workshop: Preparing Young People for University) I’m Peter, and I work for the Fusion Movement as a Student Linkup Developer. I work with youth workers and youth organisations across the UK to help equip the local church in preparing and supporting young people in their lives and faith at university. I am passionate about seeing the invitation of knowing Jesus at University offered to students and see God’s kingdom grown in our university campuses and across the nation.

Phil Togwell (Workshop: How to host a prayer space, and why they’re becoming more important than ever.) Phil leads the Prayer Spaces in Schools teams. He lives on the North-East coast of England with his extended family (one wife, three teenage daughters, two dogs, two extra teenagers). Phil trained and worked in a wide range of Youth & Community settings before serving as 24-7 Prayer‘s UK director for 7 years. He now leads the Prayer Spaces in Schools teams and the Diocese of Durham’s Prayer Project. @philtogwell 

Lucie Hutson (Workshop: Muddy Church – Opportunities to engage outdoors and share the Good News despite restrictions.)  Lucie is the founder of Muddy Church, developed on the idea and theories around community.  As a qualified youth worker and with many years experience of working with children she develops creative and engaging ideas for mission across generations.  Lucie is a university lecturer in Mission, Community, Play and Creativity with a focus on children and young people and loves to share this knowledge with people at all levels.  She has published work on Missions and the Family as well as offering a wide range of resources at