Our People

SWMTC employs a highly talented staff of academics, experienced practitioners and creative thinkers. See also below for information about SWMTC governance and trustees.


Revd Dr Mark Butchers

The Principal of SWMTC has oversight of all the different training programmes offered by the Course.

Mark was ordained in 1987 and served curacies in Chelsea and Mitcham in London before moving to Devon in 1993 to become Rector of four rural parishes: North Tawton, Sampford Courtenay, Bondleigh and Honeychurch. In 1999 he was appointed Chaplain and Director of Studies in Theology at Keble College, Oxford, and then in 2005 Vicar of Wolvercote in North Oxford. He returned to Devon to become Archdeacon of Barnstaple in 2015 and was appointed as Principal of SWMTC in 2020. He has a MTh in Christian Doctrine and a PhD on the Theology of Resurrection from King’s College, London.


Vice Principal: 
Revd Dr Dominic Cyrus

After gaining a BSc in civil engineering and working as a site engineer, Dominic followed his passion for theology and ministry. He completed his second BA in ‘Bible and Theology’ and MA in ‘Theology and Hermeneutics’. Dominic trained for ordained ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge whilst completing a PhD in Systematic Theology at King’s College, London. He served his curacy in a deprived Black Country parish in the West Midlands. He has significant experience in teaching theology and giving seminars and papers at various levels and contexts in the UK and Europe.

Academic Registrar:
Dr Cherryl Hunt

The Academic Registrar oversees SWMTC’s academic programmes and is the person to contact if you have any questions about studying with us.

Cherryl Hunt has PhDs in cell biology and theology. As well as being part-time Academic Registrar for SWMTC she pursues research interests into how ordinary modern Christians might better engage their ancient scriptures. Her other interests and teaching (for the University of Exeter as well as SWMTC) include the letters of Paul, and how the Bible is used in ethical debate, especially around scientific topics such as the environment, the status of the early human embryo, genetic modification, and human enhancement.

Director of Phase 2 Officer for Exeter:
Revd Preb Kim Mathers

Kim has responsiblility for Phase 2 of clergy training in the Diocese of Exeter & is also a part-time Team Vicar in the Sid Valley Mission Community.

Kim Mathers studied law at Southampton University then theology in London and Bristol. She was among the first women to be priested in 1994, and worked in parishes in the diocese of Winchester, Bristol and Rochester before coming to the Diocese of Exeter in 2004. Before joining SWMTC, Kim was Team Rector of a benefice of eleven rural churches in North Devon, during which time she gained valuable experience as a training incumbent for a number of curates and as a home minister to ordinands.

Director of Lay Training:
Revd David Carrington

The Director of Lay Training oversees the Reader Training programme and Foundations in Christian Ministry course.

David Carrington had a career in science before being ordained. After gaining a degree in Natural Science at Cambridge University he worked at the Met Office in climate research and the development of weather forecasts for about 7 years then in professional training for 12 years. He left in 2007 to train for ordination, studying Theology at Trinity College Bristol. He was a curate in Bovey Tracey and in the Netherexe group of rural parishes near Exeter, was Team Vicar in Appledore, Northam and Westward Ho!, and is now part-time Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton and Payhembury in the Otter Vale team alongside his SWMTC role.

Staff Tutor for Devon:
Revd Preb Sue Sheppard​

Staff Tutors have day-to-day oversight of students and candidates living in their geographical areas, and lead their tutor group. Sue is also a part-time Assistant Priest for the Whiddon Mission Community.

Sue Sheppard has a BA in History from the University of Exeter and a PGCE from Durham University. She trained with SWMTC 1995-1998, gaining an MA in Theology from the University of Exeter. She was ordained Priest in 1999, and became chaplain of St Peter’s Church of England High School in Exeter. She joined the staff of SWMTC in 2005. After a spell as Acting Principal in 2008, she was appointed Director of the Initial Ministerial Education Phases 1-3 programme. She is also Director of the Durham University (Common Awards) Module, Brief Introduction to Church History. 

Staff Tutor for Cornwall: Canon Nigel Marns

Nigel studied History & Politics at Aberystwyth, worked as a Health Service Manager in London before training at Queen’s College Birmingham and completing a Bachelor of Divinity. Nigel has been a priest for 26 years, working four very different contexts. Nigel’s curacy was in surburban South London in the Southwark Diocese, moving to Lichfield and inner city West Bromwich adn town centre ministry in Bromsgrove in Worcester where he completed his MA in teh History of Christianity at Birmingham University. Nigel moved to Truro in 2009 adn currently serves as Rector of four rural parishes in Mounts Bay near Penzance. As well as relishingsupporting SWMTC students, Nigel has written a book and developed a Pilgrimage Routes through Cornwall, The Cornish Celtic Way, opening up 23 churches and halls accommodating pilgrims. He is married with two adult children, has a dog and two chickens and is interested in New Testament, Church History, contextual and Celtic Spirituality, green and world development issues.

Director for IME Phase 2 Officer for (Truro):
Revd Dr Lucy Larkin

Lucy has responsiblility for Phase 2 of clergy training in the Diocese of Truro.

Lucy Larkin has a BA in Theology and MPhil and PhD in Ecotheology from the University of Birmingham. She gained a PGCE from Westminster College in Oxford, and has taught Religious Education in London and Bristol. Lucy was ordained Priest in 2009 in the Anglican Church of Australia. She served her curacy, was on the clergy team of St Peter’s Cathedral, and taught ordinands at St Barnabas’ Theological College, all in Adelaide. Lucy now lives in Truro, Cornwall. She has published articles and book chapters on Ecotheology.

Director of Reader Training for Cornwall: Revd Canon Jane Kneebone

Jane Kneebone oversees the Reader Training programme in Truro and is staff tutor for some ordinands. She studied English at Manchester University and later gained a BD from London. Ordained in 2010, having trained with SWMTC herself, she now serves as associate priest in Newquay.

Jane is a bard of Gorsedh Kernow and is fluent in the Cornish language. As chaplain to the Gorsedh she leads and arranges services in Cornish throughout the diocese.

Programmes Coordinator and Administrator:
Belinda Speed-Andrews

The Programmes Coordinator and Administrator has day-to-day oversight of SWMTC’s administration, including residential weekends, courses, meetings, catering and booking of venues.

Belinda trained with SWMTC and was ordained in September 2017. She is now a Self-Supporting Curate with St David’s & St Michael’s & All Angels in Exeter. She originally trained as a Flautist at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow in the early 1980s. She then moved to West Malaysia, where she taught English as a Second Language for 23 years. She returned to the UK in 2007, working in the retail and holiday sector alongside training for Ordination, before moving to her current role with SWMTC.

Academic Administrator:
Chris Halls

The Academic Administrator works with the Academic Registrar to ensure SWMTC’s programmes are well organised and student records are up-to-date.

Chris Halls holds an MA and M.Th. in Practical Theology and Missional Leadership. As well as his role as Academic Administrator, he has teaching responsibilities at SWMTC. He is currently Exeter campus leader and Theology tutor for Formission College and a chaplain on the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy team at the University of Exeter. Chris has lectured in Biblical studies in Nairobi and been Principal of Christian Schools in Niagara Falls and Vancouver as well as serving as Associate Minister of Highfield Church, Southampton.

Finance Officer:
Sharon Gove

Sharon holds an HND in Business & Finance. She is a member of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators, and the Association of Accounting Technicians.

The Finance Officer’s role involves maintaining accurate management accounts and provides information to the Joint Principals and the Finance Committee as required, including drafting for the official accounts and returns to Company House and the Charity Commission. The Finance Officer issues invoices and makes payments on behalf of the Course, and liaises with the Bank and Dioceses on all matters financial.



Chaplains to Ordinand weekends: Revd Juliet Horwood and Revd Canon Michael Sansom

Chaplain to Readers in Training and Foundations in Christian Ministry: Revd Sandra Gill & Margaret Sylvester-Thorne

Other staff

We have a number of other specialist staff who teach on evening classes, at residential weekends, study days and curate events. We are also supported by dedicated volunteer staff who serve as teachers, personal tutors, and spouse accompaniers.


The South West Ministry Training Course is a company limited by guarantee (company number 3070559 and registered charity number 1056606).


  • The Rt Revd Nick McKinnel Bishop of Plymouth (Chair)
  • The Rt Revd Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter
  • The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro
  • The Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans
  • The Ven Dr Mark Butchers
  • Revd Canon Professor Morwenna Ludlow
  • Dr Jon Curtis
  • Charles Mills
  • Revd Lionel Stock
  • Revd Elly Sheard
  • Revd Preb Philip Sourbut
  • Revd Dr Jonathan Rowe

Special advisors to the trustees:

  • Prof Grace Davie
  • Revd Prof Andrew Lewis