Sarah Smith

Diocesan Director of Education

Sarah came to the Diocese in February 2015 from her post as Executive Head Teacher of St John’s CE Primary School in Sparkbrook, which she led for 11 years. A National Leader of Education, she has been involved in supporting schools on their journey of school improvement, and served as Chair of Birmingham Local Authority Primary Forum. Sarah’s focus currently includes developing the CofE Birmingham’s Multi-Academy Trust and working on growing new church schools through the Department of Education’s Free Schools Programme.

Charlotte Ward Lewis

Deputy Diocesan Director of Education

Charlotte joined the Diocese in February 2017 and is currently the Deputy Director of Education with responsibility for school effectiveness and governance.  Charlotte has worked in education for 27 years with 12 years as a headteacher in church schools in Leicestershire. During that time she also played a key role in the collaboration and support of the many rural schools across the county. Charlotte is Chair of Governors at the Nethersole CE Academy and is also a governor for a Leicestershire secondary school.

Mark Pryce

The Revd Canon Dr Mark Pryce

The Revd Canon Dr Mark Pryce is Director of Ministry, Church of England  – Birmingham and Chaplain to The King.

Originally from the Welsh Marches, where he attended a CofE Primary School, Mark read English at Sussex University and trained for ordained ministry at Westcott House Cambridge. He served as Curate of All Saints, West Bromwich, where he was also part-time Chaplain at Sandwell District General Hospital, led collective worship and taught weekly in two Church Primary Schools, and was community governor of a large Secondary School. Mark was elected as a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1990, and served as Chaplain, Dean of Chapel and Tutor before returning to the Black Country as Vicar of Smethwick Old Church in 2002, where he led the development of the Dorothy Parkes Community Centre.

In 2015, Mark was awarded a doctorate in Practical Theology from Birmingham University for research into poetry and professional development.  As a published poet, he gives many talks and readings about poetry and religion in the Birmingham region, nationally and internationally.

Mark is also a volunteer Chaplain for St John Ambulance in the West Midlands and Sub-Dean for the Order of St John, supporting thousands of volunteers, including large numbers of children and young people, in delivering First Aid services, training in local communities and providing specialist transport for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He is a governor of Rugby School, a trustee of Saltley Trust and the Anglican Chaplaincy Trust of Birmingham University, also serving as a member of the Council of Reference for the Student Christian Movement UK.

Matt Thompson

The Very Revd Matt Thompson, Dean of Birmingham

Dean Matt is Dean of Birmingham. He was installed as Dean of Birmingham on 30 September 2017.

Matt grew up in the West Midlands and attended school in Walsall. He studied Theology & Religious Studies at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

Matt served his title at the Parish of the Ascension, Hulme in the Diocese of Manchester from 1994 to 1997. From 1997 to 2000 he served first as Assistant Curate and then as Team Vicar in the Langley and Parkfield Team Ministry. From 2000 to 2008 he was Priest-in-Charge at St Cross Clayton and Area Dean of Ardwick from 2003 to 2008. From 2008-2017 he was Vicar of Bolton and Borough Dean of Bolton from 2010-2017. He served as an honorary canon of Manchester Cathedral from 2012-2017 and as Chair of the House of Clergy for the Diocese of Manchester from 2015-2017.

Throughout his ministry, he has been particularly involved in schools, urban regeneration, interfaith ministry and community cohesion. He is interested in public theology and Ignatian spirituality.

Jenny Tomlinson

The Venerable Jenny Tomlinson

On 12 May 2019 at Birmingham Cathedral, the Bishop of Birmingham collated Jenny Tomlinson as the new Archdeacon of Birmingham, and the Dean of Birmingham installed her as an Honorary Canon of The Cathedral Church of St Philip, Birmingham.

Jenny read history at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and worked in NHS management in Surrey. She trained for ordination at Ridley Hall Cambridge and served her curacy in the parish of St John the Baptist Busbridge, in Guildford Diocese. She was among the first women to be ordained priest in 1994.

Jenny moved to the Diocese of Chelmsford in 1998 and held parish posts in Grays and the Saffron Walden and Villages Team Ministry, and as an Interim Minister in the North Blackwater parishes. As a healthcare chaplain in South West Essex, she initiated a new model of community chaplaincy. Jenny was appointed the Bishop of Chelmsford’s Adviser on Women’s Ministry in 2008, and as Mission and Ministry Adviser in 2011.