Carolyn Kinsman, 11/10/2017
Research Unit > Who we are


Our vision is for the Church in the British Isles and Ireland to more fully realise how God is active in mission and to grow in understanding as to why churches' participation may falter or flourish

We work towards this vision through:

  • the provision of excellent and innovative research and consultancy that seeks to address these questions for both our colleagues within Church Army and for our funding partners
  • the growth of our research network, partnerships and collaborations
  • the practice of our values
If you would like to explore how you could partner with us in this work by commissioning a project, please email Tim Ling.


Meet the team


Tim Ling - small

Tim Ling

Tim is director of Church Army's Research Unit . He formerly led the Church of England’s ministry research, including longitudinal studies on sustaining an effective ministerial presence. He has edited and contributed to a number of books, including Developing Faithful Ministers and Moving on in Ministry. A recurrent theme of his work is the importance of context, especially voices of the marginal, explored in-depth in The Judaean Poor and the Fourth Gospel.  He particularly enjoys interdisciplinary collaborations, holding postgraduate qualifications in Theology, Management and Education, and is an Honorary Senior Research Associate of UCL’s Institute of Education. He lives in Sheffield, along with his wife, daughter, mother-in-law and two cats.
Direct line: 0114 252 1641

Claire Dalpra - small

Claire Dalpra

Claire has worked as a fresh expressions of Church researcher, writer and editor since 1999 - alongside George Lings before his retirement in 2017. Her previous areas of focus in this field include families with under 5s, adults with learning disabilities, and the sustainability of spare-time leadership. Claire was one of three main data collectors for the 2016 report The Day of Small Things – an analysis of fresh expressions of Church in 21 dioceses . Alongside her recent Messy Church research sponsored by the Church Commissioners, she is also a training tutor at the Wilson Carlile Centre and reviewer of Church Army’s frontline ministry projects. Over the years, Claire has written for Encounters on the Edge, Messy Church Theology and Scripture Union’s Encounter with God daily Bible readings. Claire lives on the edge of the Manor estate in Sheffield with her husband and teenage daughter.
Direct line: 0114 252 1643

Naomi Maynard - small

Naomi Maynard

Alongside Naomi's work with Church Army's Research Unit, Naomi is an independent research consultant specialising in questions of faith, social justice, poverty alleviation, communities and young people. She has recently finished her doctorate studying youth participation in the UK, and has published academic articles on youth activism and citizenship. Naomi lives in Liverpool with her husband and their sons Harvey and Donnie.

Telephone (via Andrew Wooding): 0114 252 1645


Dave Lovell - smallDAVE LOVELL

Dave is a Research Assistant in Church Army's Research Unit. His background is in robotics, but he is nurturing an interest in research philosophy. He enjoys writing computer code that turns opaque survey results into meaningful data visualisations. Dave grew up in London, but now he lives in Sheffield in a house that used to be a dentistry.

Direct line: 0114 252 7287

Elspeth McGann - smallElspeth McGann

Elspeth works full time researching fresh expressions of Church in individual dioceses around the country, and is also involved in most of the numerical side of the Research Unit’s work. She first came to Sheffield to study Maths and Statistics at university, then spent a year as a ministry apprentice at her church, and she loves how her role brings together these two different capacities for insight.

Telephone (via Andrew Wooding): 0114 252 1645

Isaac Stovell - small

Isaac Stovell 

Isaac is a Research Assistant in Church Army's Research Unit. He comes from a church planting background in Sheffield, where he also studied philosophy and political economy. Alongside talking to fresh expression leaders about their ministries, he particularly enjoys exploring approaches to questions of ecclesiology, creativity and discipleship. Recently he has analysed qualitative data for the Messy Church research project.

Direct line: 0114 252 7272



Fiona Tweedie - small

Fiona Tweedie

Alongside Fiona's work in the Research Unit, she is Mission Statistics Coordinator and an Ordained Local Minister in the Church of Scotland. She has lectured in Statistics at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and her doctorate is a statistical analysis of the language of John Milton. Fiona lives in Edinburgh with her husband and two teenage daughters.

Telephone (via Andrew Wooding): 0114 252 1645



Andy Wier - small

Andy Wier

Andy's part-time role sees him conducting research, delivering training and carrying out reviews of Church Army Centres of Mission. His recent projects include studies of fresh expressions of Church sustainability and mission with young adults. Previously, he worked as a consultant to churches, community organisations and charities. He completed a doctorate at the University of Chester exploring charismatic-evangelical engagement in urban mission, and has published resources on this for academics and practitioners. Andy lives in Sheffield with his wife and children.

Direct line: 0114 252 1667



Andrew Wooding - small

Andrew Wooding

Andrew is a Church Army Evangelist who is administrator for the Research Unit. He has been a Bible school student, a missionary with Youth With A Mission, and has a background in writing, editing and publishing. He is currently a children's and youth leader at his church in Sheffield. He has a teenage son.

Direct line: 0114 252 1645

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)300 123 2113

Email: Our general email account is

Postal address: Church Army's Research Unit, Wilson Carlile Centre, 50 Cavendish Street, Sheffield S3 7RZ

Directions: For directions to the Wilson Carlile Centre, click here