Meet NECN’s staff and trustees.
Sara Barron – Executive Director
Sara 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.
Sarah Martell – Support Officer
Sarah has been a member of St Julians Baptist Church in Newport, South Wales since 2004 where she has been involved with music, youthwork and admin roles over the years and has worked as a teaching assistant in the estate’s primary school. Sarah’s children are almost big enough to fend for themselves giving her more time to be useful in other ways and she is looking forward to working with NECN. She can often be seen trying to look inconspicuous with some knitting or found digging the veg patch in the garden.
Lynne Cullens – Chair
Lynne Cullens was consecrated as Bishop of Barking in January 2022 after being Rector of Stockport and Brinnington. She is a member of the Church of England’s Selection Oversight Group, Estates Evangelism Task Group and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Local Community. A former CEO, Lynne was born in Ordsall, Salford and blogs on issues of culture and the Church at lynnecullens.com
Eunice Attwood is an ordained Methodist deacon and Church at the Margins Officer with the Methodist Church. Eunice brings experience of theological education and city- and town-centred ministry amongst marginalised and vulnerable communities, where she helped start and grow many fresh expressions of church. Building on the biblical connection between evangelism and social justice, Eunice is helping to start a movement of new Christian communities led by people experiencing economic marginalisation within the Methodist Church in Britain. Eunice lives in Birmingham and is part of the leadership team of Inclusive Gathering, Birmingham.
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.
Andy 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 is an Anglican deacon. She has served in urban areas throughout her ministry and provides first aid training for the British Red Cross. She currently ministers in the Diocese of Leicester.
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.
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.
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.
Andy Turner has worked for over three decades in community and youth work, as a practitioner, activist, trainer, researcher and manager in some of the poorest parts of England. In the 1990’s Andy co-founded The Kabin and The Hackney Marsh Partnership, working with East London communities to provide education, training and employment projects, advice services, social enterprise and youth work. A former Director establishing new networks and approaches at Church Urban Fund, Andy now works as an independent consultant and facilitator.