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What is a Development Officer?

Debbie Hill talks about her job as  Development Officer: Children and their families

What is the main focus of your job?

My role is Development Officer: Children and their families. The main focus is to provide training and support for all those working with children and their families across the Diocese. The training offered varies from occasional evening seminars, longer courses such as Children’s Authorised Lay Ministry Training through to working with ERMC and Ridley Hall to offer Children and Families’ Licensed Lay Ministry courses.  I also try to do some of the ‘legwork’ for those out in the parishes by the provision of a regular mailing with lots of resources and raising awareness of what courses are available.A second strand to my role is that I’m the Messy Church Regional Coordinator for Cambridgeshire. We have nearly 60 Church of England Messy Churches as well as a number of others from different denominations. I offer training and support for all of these, via visits and regular mailings and offer advice to enquiries from Churches that are thinking of setting up a Messy Church.In short, I think my role is all about increasing the ministry capacity of churches to reach out to children and their families.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

What I love about the role is it is many faceted and there is always something new to explore or develop. I personally get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing those I have trained grow in confidence and flourish in their ministry. I enjoy visiting different churches, meeting a wide variety of people and listening to what is happening across the Diocese.

What do you find challenging about your role?

Due to the fact I work with a variety of volunteers, many of whom work, a lot of the training I offer is in the evenings or weekends, so my working hours can be irregular and at particular times of year, quite demanding. In addition, we aim to offer training in different venues across the Diocese, which means I can be travelling quite late in the evening, sometimes in bad weather.

How does your role work fit into Ely2025/CMT Strategy?

Everything I do is linked to the Ely 2025 strategy, in particular Developing Healthy Churches and Leaders. As the Changing Market Towns Project has meant Ely Diocese has employed some children and families workers, I have met with them and offered resources and training opportunities.

What brought you to the Diocese of Ely?

I came to live in Ely 6 years ago as I am married to Rev Chris Hill, who was appointed Rector of Ely. At that point I had been a primary school teacher for ten years and was looking for a different challenge. The role of Children’s Adviser came up and the experience I have had in the past as well being a teacher seemed to be a really good fit with the role description so I applied and started the role in January 2015.

I couldn’t do my job without ...

I really enjoy working as part of a team and since I have been in the role, the original Mission team I joined has changed a lot! Working closely with Natasha Clark and Olivia Coles has been fulfilling and our newly expanded Development team led by Linda Church has been both exciting and challenging (in a good way!). All my colleagues are fantastic and challenge me to think in different ways (thanks Mark, Phil, Megan, Lauren, Steve and Steve) In particular it has been good to have the support of an administrative team; Denise, Wendy and Zoe who help us get everything done in a more orderly manner!

What do you do to relax or have fun?

I have three grown up children, all living in London, so we enjoy spending time with them, visiting the theatre or cinema and eating out. I love gardening but always feel like I’m playing catch up and Chris and I also enjoy Ceroc dancing and go to classes when we can.

How do people get in touch with you?

I can be contacted by email 01353 652711 or 07837 699016 and on I’m on twitter @debsjhill

Sign up for my regular monthly mailing (Select Children’s Adviser Mailing) here


Page last updated: Friday 6th December 2019 10:27 AM
First published on: 5th December 2019
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