Who We Are

We are a network of people engaged in shared/collaborative/local ministry within the Anglican provinces of Canterbury, York, Scotland and Wales. A Steering Group co-ordinates the work of the network and currently comprises the following members:

Geoff Geoff Mercer

Local Ministry Consultant in St Alban’s Diocese and member of a newly formed Local Ministry Team.
Following national service in RAF air crew, taught for 28 years including 15 years as Head. Consultant in Human Resource Development specializing in both group and team work. Former Fellow and Associate Professor and tutor in M.A Educational Management at the Open University. Benedictine Oblate, and Churchwarden for 19 years in a three parish benefice in North Hertfordshire. Married for 59 years with three children and four grandchildren. Have a great interest in sport, formerly athletics and rugby coach. Bell ringer, churchyard mower and cyclist.
Enjoy walking, reading and rail travel and the Isles of Scilly.

Stephen Tranter

Since 2012 I have been the Local Ministry Officer for Manchester Diocese, where I am expressing my passion for enabling lifelong Christian learning. Born and brought up in Blackburn (don’t talk about the Rovers), the first part of my working life was spent as a missionary nurse in different parts of Asia. Since I was ordained in 1999 I have been a curate in Blackpool, a vicar back home in Blackburn, and most recently a hospital chaplain in Lancaster. I met Melanie in Mumbai when she had malaria and I had hepatitis, but despite that we have been married for 29 years and have two grown-up sons living in Lancashire and Edinburgh.  To relax I enjoy tea-shop rambling, easy crosswords, and almost any kind of chocolate or sport (but don’t talk about the Rovers).

PennyPenny Evans

Penny is a Reader in a multi-parish benefice of 11 churches in rural Herefordshire, where she has served for the last 6 years.  Since January 2013, she has worked for the Diocese of Hereford as the Local Ministry Development Adviser, fulfilling her passion for encouraging lay ministry and leadership, and enabling mission.  She has been active in vocations, both ordained and lay, for a number of years: formerly Diocesan Vocations Adviser and currently an Educational Assessor on Bishop’s Advisory Panels.  With a Masters Degree in theology, she has enjoyed teaching on WEMTC, the regional ministerial training course, for the past 6 years.  Penny has three children, all of whom have now fledged the nest (just about!)  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, trekking over the hills with Mollie her spaniel, and attempting to tame her wildlife garden.

m-stantonMandy Stanton

Mandy is the Lay Ministry Development Officer for the Diocese of Blackburn, a full-time role which includes being Warden of Readers and Warden of Pastoral Assistants, as well as helping to develop Shared Ministry much more widely within the Diocese. Before taking up this post in 2013, she was involved with lay training in the Diocese of Birmingham, alongside studying for an MA at the Queens Foundation. She is passionate about enabling lay people to explore their faith and discover and develop their gifts and ministries. Mandy was licensed as a Reader in 2002. In her spare time she enjoys singing, walking, reading, and visiting historic houses, and in 2013 she fulfilled a long held ambition to go hang-gliding.


I am a newly Licensed Reader (2014), serving in a Benefice of three very different churches in Walsall, within the Diocese of Lichfield. I am passionate for living out the gospel in practical, everyday ways in order to reach others. Through Reader training I have discovered I have a gift for communicating and a fiery passion for preaching God’s word! I am married to Marc ( a fairly new Christian),who is developing Fresh Expressions in our local church; alongside leading the Children’s group . We have two Daughter’s who are at opposite ends of the Teenage years! In my spare time I enjoy looking after my Black Labrador, writing in a wide range of genre’s and have a keen interest in all things historical; particularly from the Tudor to Victorian periods. I also enjoy driving and would one day like to experience driving a rally car!

Colin McCarty      Colin

Colin McCarty is getting on a bit – he was a Reader for 25 years and has been a Priest  for 20 years. A potted bit of his present journey for Christ is: He is a self supporting  minister  who works full time running a small company. He is licensed to a parish of 12,000, but  only takes a service once a month now that there is a part time incumbent. For the past 5  years he has been taking 2 Sunday Services a month at a Local Ecumenical Project in Red  Lodge and now holds the title associate minister in the Methodist Church because of this.  Much of his pastoral work is with the primary school in Red Lodge, which is the fastest  growing area in Suffolk. Serving the people of Red Lodge is important as it is mainly  housing for young families. Alongside this he is the Bishop’s Officer for SSMs in St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese. Being on the committee of the national shared  Ministry Network is wonderful for his growth in learning about ministry.​