Steering Group

Engaging Theology in Cumbria is run by a small steering group, with representatives from the Anglican, United Reformed, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches.

John Baron

John is an ex-parish priest in Carlisle, an ex-seminary professor, ex-missionary in Zambia, ex-school chaplain, and now ex-cited to be with Engaging in Theology in Cumbria!

Martyn Evans

Martyn is committed to the application of Christianity, trying to put into practice the demands associated with the Kingdom of God. He volunteers as a generalist adviser for Citizens Advice Allerdale where he works amongst like-minded people with and without religious faith. He chairs a Cumbria-wide Credit Union and was chair of Churches Together in Cockermouth from 2008 to 2010, a period which involved leading the churches’ response to the flooding in November 2009.

Martyn is a Methodist Local Preacher and acts as tutor for the ‘Worship: Leading and Preaching’ online course. Ever since, as a teenager, meeting the Catholic Priest from the church next door, he has been interested in relating ecumenically. He was the first student chair of Joint Christian Societies at Manchester University.

Now retired, Martyn’s career was spent in the nuclear industry and Cumbria Police.  

Shelagh Goldie
Yvette Ladds

Yvette is the Network Youth Church Minister for Carlisle Diocese in the West coast area, a post she took up seven years ago. She loves being close to the seaside and is passionate about giving young people the opportunity to explore and debate God’s word and grapple with what it might mean for them today.

Previously, Yvette served in the Eden Valley area as a youth and community development worker for seven years, while also working in a children’s home for boys, with children and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties. She has a BA (Hons) in informal and community education in youth work from Canterbury University.

Yvette is married to Martin, and they have two children: Esther and Phoebe.

The Revd Jane Maycock

Jane is Continuing Ministerial Development and Leadership Enabler at Cumbria Christian Learning. She works with lay and clergy together to support Mission Communities, and organises training and development for clergy in their ministry.

Dr Karl Möller

Karl is Vice-Principal of the All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry. He previously worked as Course Co-ordinator for the Open Theological College, Research Fellow at the University of Gloucestershire, Senior Lecturer at the University of Cumbria, Senior Tutor at the Lancashire and Cumbria Theological Partnership, and Principal of Initial Ministerial Education at Cumbria Christian Learning. 

He has taught widely in biblical studies, Judaism and spirituality, and has published a range of articles on the Old Testament and co-edited Renewing Biblical Interpretation (2000), After Pentecost: Language and Biblical Interpretation (2001), Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation (2004), and Reading the Law: Studies in Honour of Gordon J. Wenham (2007).

He is the author of A Prophet in Debate: The Rhetoric of Persuasion in the Book of Amos  (2003), Reading Amos as a Book (2014) and The Song of Songs: Beautiful Bodies, Erotic Desire and Intoxicating Pleasure (2018). Karl’s latest book, Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge: Reading a Biblical Narrative for Today’s Church and World, will be published by SCM Press.

Karl has developed a strong interest in biblical-theological perspectives on migration, seeking sanctuary and hospitality, and is currently working on a book project in that area.

The Revd Nicki Pennington

Nicki is an Anglican priest serving four post-industrial/ rural communities on the west coast of Cumbria. Prior to ordination, Nicki worked as a Social Worker and project worker in Cumbria. She is also a long-standing associate member of the Iona Community and is currently on the new members programme.

Nicki is passionate about exploring how our faith can shape and sustain our responses to the everyday challenges of life, particularly relating to issues of justice, peace and care for creation.


The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward

Frankie is a freelance theologian, researcher and writer, preacher, speaker and teacher as well as half-time Priest in Charge of St Michael’s and St John’s Churches in Workington, Cumbria. She has been the chair of Engaging Theology in Cumbria since 2018.

From 2010–2017 she was the Dean of St Edmundsbury in Suffolk, a member of the General Synod and a Trustee of the Church of England National Society. From 2006–2010 she was a Residentiary Canon at Bradford Cathedral, engaged in inter-faith work with Muslim women.

Her publications include Lifelong Learning (2005), Why Rousseau was Wrong: Christianity and the Secular Soul (2013), Theological Reflection: Methods (with Elaine Graham and Heather Walton, 2nd ed., 2019), Holy Attention: Preaching in Today’s Church (co-edited with Richard Sudworth, 2019). Full of Character: A Christian Approach to Education for the Digital Age (2019) and Like There’s No Tomorrow (2020).