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

WHO WE ARE and what we do 

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, enacting Church Army’s values, through the provision of excellent and innovative research and consultancy that seeks to address these questions for both our colleagues within Church Army, our funding partners and the wider Church.

Our research and consultancy services include:

  • Customised survey design and analysis, including surveys and audits of fresh expressions of Church 
  • Project and programme evaluation 
  • Qualitative research methods including the use of interviews, focus groups and creative research methods 
  • Designing and supporting Participatory Action Research 
  • Bespoke dashboards to support and inform mission planning  
  • Conducting research with children and young people 
  • Strategic missional reviews of dioceses or other organisations
  • Training, facilitation and project accompaniment
Each of our projects is bespoke – we welcome projects commissioned to explore topics connected to our vision. 

Find out more about our current and recently completed projects. 

If you would like to explore how you could partner with us, please contact Andy Wier.


Meet the team



Andy oversees the day-to-day work of the Research Unit. He is currently leading our London Church growth evaluation and our work on leadership on urban estates. His recent projects include studies of fresh expressions of Church sustainability and mission with young adults.  Previously, Andy worked as a consultant to churches, community organisations and charities. Andy’s doctorate explored charismatic-evangelical engagement in urban mission. Andy’s publications include: Creative Tension in Urban Mission, Sustaining Young Churches and Faith-based social action below the radar.

Direct line: 0114 252 1667


Claire Dalpra - small


Claire has worked in the Research Unit for over 20 years – bringing a wealth of expertise to multiple projects. Claire leads our internal review process. Alongside this work, she is currently leading our evaluation of pioneer ministry in the Church of Scotland and working on our Deepening Discipleship in Messy Church project. Her recently completed projects include leading Playfully Serious  - investigating the effectiveness of Messy Church. The publications Claire has written or contributed to include: Who’s There? The church backgrounds of attenders in Anglican fresh expressions of Church, Small Beginnings: Church for Under 5s  and Desert Spirituality.
Direct line: 0114 252 1643


Naomi Maynard - small

Dr Naomi Maynard – senior researcher (Qualitative)

Naomi leads our qualitative and mixed-method work across multiple projects. She is currently leading our projects on Deepening Discipleship in Messy Church, Reaching New People in the Diocese of St Albans and our work on leadership on urban estates. She is also involved in internal reviews of Church Army's Centres of Mission. Previously, Naomi worked as a research and evaluation consultant, specialising in questions of faith, social action and poverty alleviation. Naomi’s doctorate examined youth participation in the UK. Naomi’s publications include: A Bigger Difference: Church Growth and Social Action, Activism across the lifecourse and A Christian Presence in our Schools. Naomi is also a Project Development Worker for Together Liverpool.

Direct line: 0114 252 7272


Elspeth McGann - small

Elspeth McGann – Researcher

Elspeth provides statistical support on our external and internal projects. She is currently working on our London Church growth evaluation. Elspeth has a MMath in Maths and Statistics. Prior to joining the Research Unit Elspeth spent a year as a ministry apprentice at her church. Elspeth’s publications include: What happens after research? Elspeth also made a substantial contribution to: The Day of Small Things and "Not as difficult as you think": Mission with young adults.

Direct line: 0114 252 7276


Dave Lovell - small

DAVE LOVELL – research assistant

Dave supports many of the projects of the Research Unit, assisting in both quantitative and qualitative research. He is currently leading our fresh expressions of Church survey in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Dave has a Masters in robotics.

Direct line: 0114 252 7287


Andrew Wooding - small

Andrew Wooding – research adminIstrator

Andrew provides administrative support for all the work of the Research Unit. He is also a commissioned Church Army Evangelist. Previously, Andrew has been a Bible school student, a missionary with Youth With A Mission, and has a lengthy background in writing, editing and publishing. Andrew’s publications include: I Wonder if Chocolate Kills Brain Cells and The Big Wow. He is currently a children's and youth leader at his church in Sheffield.

Direct line: 0114 252 1645


Tim Ling - small


Tim is the Director of the Learning and Development Team. He provides strategic oversight for the work of the Research Unit.  Previously, Tim led the Church of England’s ministry research, including longitudinal studies on sustaining an effective ministerial presence. Tim’s doctorate was on the social background of the New Testament, with a particular focus on the poor.  The publications Tim has written or contributed to include: Developing Faithful Ministers, Moving on in Ministry and The Judaean Poor and the Fourth Gospel.  Tim is an Honorary Senior Research Associate of UCL’s Institute of Education and a council member of the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology (Lambeth degree). 
Direct line: 0114 252 1641

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