New Growing Disciples Priest can’t wait to ‘get stuck in’

The Revd Anna Alls is really looking forward to her new role as Growing Disciples Priest in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham.

She was licensed on 7th December by the Rt Revd Paul Williams into the newly created position of Growing Disciples Priest in Ollerton with Boughton, Kneesall with Laxton & Wellow, Walesby, Egmanton, Kirton, Bilsthorpe and Eakring.

She said: “The licensing service at St Michael’s in Laxton was great fun, I loved the way everyone came together from all the different communities across the family of churches. I can’t wait to get stuck in, to get to know people and to find out what God is up to in these communities.”

Anna was previously Assistant Curate at St James, Brinsley; St Michael’s and All Angels, Underwood; and St Mary’s, Eastwood.

She was born and raised in Skegby, where she attended St Andrew’s Church and went to All Saints Secondary School in Mansfield. She then did a series of jobs in retail industry, the most recent being in Woolworths in Sutton in Ashfield.

“You might be asking yourselves what Growing Disciples Priest does, and to a certain extent we all are because this is a new role,” said Anna. “I will begin by meeting people across the area and learning how each church and community works. I hope that by working together, and getting to know people not just in churches but more broadly across the communities, we can grow deeper in our faith.

“We are already thinking about establishing new nurture groups across the parishes as part of our Diocesan commitment to ‘Growing Disciples—wider, younger and deeper’. Hopefully this will lead to a growing confidence among church members meaning our faith impacts a wider group of people, leading to church growth and new Christians.

“I’ll also be looking for ways of sharing our faith in new or different ways, particularly in schools, with families and through occasional offices, enabling us to impact people below our average age and to grow younger,” explained Anna.

At the age of 30, with two children and a husband in tow Anna attended St John’s Theological College in Bramcote, where she studied for a degree in theology for ministry. After ordination in 2012 she spent time in Bestwood serving her curacy before moving to the parishes of Eastwood and Brinsley with Underwood. Alongside Curacy she enjoyed a placement in City Hospital with the chaplaincy team, spending time in a church in Palestine and doing a secondment with Citizens UK learning about Community Organising.

Anna is married to John who works in the cinema industry, and they have two step sons, Ryan (24) and Tom (21).

“As well as our daughters, Mia (14) and Katie (11), we have a gorgeous labradoodle called Martha. We can’t wait to settle into the community and get to know people, so if you spot me out and about walking the dog, do stop and introduce yourselves.”




Anna being blessed during the service by Bishop Paul.

(L-R) The Archdeacon of Newark, the Ven. David Picken; the Revd Anna Alls; Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Williams; the Revd Zoe Burton, Priest in Charge of Ollerton with Boughton; and The Revd Canon Mark Adams, Area Dean of Newark and Southwell Deanery.

by Brian Pickering.