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Rev Dr Robert Foster

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Matlock area (Darley Dale), Circuit Superintendent, Complaints Officer and Circuit Safeguarding team

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.

I became the minister in Darley Dale in 2015. What were then three separate churches in the area combined, in September 2017, to form Darley Dale Methodist Church. That was not an easy decision for the congregations to make, but it has enabled the members of the united congregation, to grow in worship, faith, caring for one another, engagement in Christian service and sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. I was asked to become the Superintendent Minister of the Mid Derbyshire Circuit as the leadership teams of three former Circuits prepared to join together to form a new Circuit from September 2014.

As Superintendent Minister, much of what I do is about the oversight and encouragement of the Circuit's congregations. I aim to do this by working with my ministerial colleagues, our lay staff team members and the members the Circuit Leadership Team. I value the opportunities that I have to preach at the various churches in the Circuit and to meet people from the various churches and communities. I also work with our circuit administrators to enable the sharing of information and to oversee our work as a registered charity.

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