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Rev Dr Robert Foster

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Circuit Minister; Circuit Pastoral Team

My role in the Mid Derbyshire Circuit's team ministry involves working alongside my colleagues Rev. Helen Penfold and Mrs. Judith Milner with a focus on pastoral care. In times of joy, times of difficulty, times where there is a desire for healing and wholeness, times where there is a need for reconciliation and at other times, I will be offering pastoral care to people when it would be helpful for a minister to listen, encourage, pray or help in practical ways. This can be done on the phone, in person, or on video calls and I can also attend events, coffee mornings, fellowship meetings and prayer groups, as well as supporting churches' community projects where there are pastoral needs. I am also encouraging a focus on personal wellbeing within the Circuit in various ways.

Although I was baptised in the Church of England, my connections with the Methodist Church go back to my early school years in Hertfordshire, when I began to attend my local Methodist Church with my sister. The congregation there enabled me to grow in faith and supported me as I responded, in my 20s, to a call to preach and to a call to ordained ministry. Having learned much from worshipping and working with people from different churches, I valued the opportunity to train at Queen's College in Birmingham – an ecumenical institution. I continue to value opportunities to work alongside people from different Christian traditions. I moved to Derbyshire in 2010 with my wife Liz and our daughter. We have felt blessed, as a family, to be living in such a lovely part of the country and to have made some really good friends since we moved here.

We enjoy spending time together with family and friends, walking (and occasionally cycling) in the Derbyshire countryside, watching films and going to the occasional theatre performance or concert. My background is in information technology, as I have a BSc in Computer Science and I worked for a software company for 10 years before candidating for ministry. During my training for ministry, I studied for both a Bachelor of Divinity and an MA in Pastoral Studies at the University of Birmingham. I have always been interested in science and technology, so the doctorate that I was awarded by the University of Birmingham is in the field of mission and technology and I aim to find ways to use technology to enhance what I do in ministry and in the life of the church.

A huge amount of formal and informal pastoral care is given by people in our congregations, but do please get in touch if it would be helpful for me, as a minister, to offer pastoral care in particular ways or circumstances.

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