Our Exec

Lynne Cullens – Chair

Lynne CullensLynne Cullens is Rector of Stockport & Brinnington and a member of the CoE’s Selection Oversight Group, Estates Evangelism Task Group and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Local Community.  A former CEO, she was born in Ordsall, Salford and blogs on issues of culture and the Church at lynnecullens.com

Sara Barron – Executive Director

New Executive Director for NECNSara is an accredited Baptist minister and until recently she has had a pioneering ministry on a large council estate near Portsmouth where she lived for 16 years. Sara is a trustee of Incarnate Network, NECN and Estates Evangelism Task
group. Sara works half time as development worker for CURBS, which resources, trains and supports children’s workers in urban and estate areas. Having recently moved to Looe in Cornwall Sara is spending a year of missional listening in this new context before embarking on pioneer ministry in Looe. Sara is married to Barney, also a Baptist minister, and they have four children.

Christine McAteer – Support Officer

Christine is the Support Officer of NECN and works part-time as Diocesan Secretary of Birmingham Mothers’ Union. She volunteers as a lay Bus Chaplain with NX West Midlands and accompanies people making retreats in daily life with an ecumenical association called Manresa Link as a Prayer Guide. She grew up on a council estate in Stockport and has worked for an estate church as a  development worker for older people. Christine is now training part-time for ordination.

Andy Dorton

Andy DortonAndy Dorton has lived with his family, by choice, on Hull’s outer-most Council estate for over twenty years, having been brought up somewhere rather different himself. He’s worked even longer than that for the CofE as Hull/East Riding Social Responsibility Officer. His two now grown children, now back in Hull, are both artists, like Liz, his wife. They understand low pay and simple living and the power of creativity. Andy does meetings, lots of them, though less since all the money went south. He’s a trustee of lots of things, has been on regeneration boards and the like and was a local Councillor for seven years (until May 2018). The prospect of Church Commissioners money supporting work on ‘estates’ is adding spice to his later paid-working life.

Clare King

Clare King is an Anglican deacon. She has served in urban areas throughout her ministry. She currently ministers in the Diocese of Leicester.

Dave Champness

Dave spent most of his career in strategic planning roles for infrastructure organisations. He joined the Diocese of Blackburn as Vision 2026 Programme Manager in 2016 successfully applying for two Strategic Development Funded projects, one of which is developing three models of leadership in four Lancashire outer estates. In summer 2019, Dave became the national Estates Evangelism Task Group’s Project Officer supporting the group in developing and implementing their strategy to deliver the General Synod approved outcome of having a loving, serving worshipping community on every significant social housing estate in England.

Emma Ash

Emma Ash TrusteeEmma Ash trained at Redcliffe Bible College. She previously worked as the Youth Pastor at Holy Trinity Tewkesbury before working at St Andrew’s Church, Kowloon, Hong Kong as Youth Director. Last year she was a Pastoral Assistant at St James the Less, Pimlico and is currently studying an MA in Religion at King’s College London.

John Rafferty

John Rafferty spent over 30 years as the Chief Executive of various voluntary organisations and public sector bodies. He was the first Director for Scotland of the National Lottery Charities Board and in his final job before retirement he was the inaugural Chief Executive of UnLtd, the Foundation for social entrepreneurs which received an endowment of £100 million from the Millennium Commission. John also served two terms of office as the Chairman of the South West London Mental Health NHS Trust. John lives in Santiago de Compostela in Spain where he has initiated a number of voluntary initiatives including the Camino Chaplaincy.

Lynne Norman

Lynne NormanLynne Norman has worked for the Methodist Church connexional team for several years, currently as Children, Youth and Family Mission and Community Engagement Development Officer. Her previous experience, all in the third sector, includes as volunteer manager for a large local disability charity and communications coordinator for Youth for Christ. She has also been volunteer youth leader for her local free church for over 15 years.

Rev. Nigel Poole

Nigel has recently retired as Priest-in Charge at St John the Evangelist Penge south east London. Prior to ordination he established a small consultancy working with clients in the faith and charity sectors including Oasis Community Learning and Oasis Community Trust. He spent over 38 years working in social housing in both local authorities and housing associations. His career included being the Chief Executive Kelsey Housing Association and Managing Director (London) A2Dominion Housing Group.

He has been a member of the London Committee of the National Housing Federation and a Board member of Penge Churches Housing Association. He is a trustee of the Living Well Bromley, The Breakthrough Trust and Chair of the St John’s Primary School Academy Council. He has recently been appointed to the governing Board of St Olave’s Grammar School Orpington.

Since 2006 together with his wife they have worked in Uganda supporting several church and community-based projects including education, health, HIV/AIDS and family work in the slums of Kampala.

Rob Sutherland

Robb Sutherland is the vicar of Mixenden and Illingworth in North Halifax.  He is a member of the Church of England’s Estates  Evangelism Task Group as well as a trustee for NECN.  He has a keen interest in liturgy and alternative worship and occasionally blogs at www.changingworship.com.  He is often found with a guitar in his hand or at an Alice Cooper gig.



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