Revd Clare Dean

Revd Clare Dean joined the Stour Vale Benefice on the 8th October 2023

I grew up in rural Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border, between the Wye Valley and close to the Forest of Dean. My family were church going and I sang in the choir in two of the churches in the parish until I left home to go to university in London, where I obtained a degree in European Studies. My secular career focused on learning and development mostly in the NHS, but also in the facilities management, manufacturing, engineering, construction, utilities, distribution, not-for-profit and skills sector too.

I did not start exploring the Christian faith seriously until my early thirties when I moved to Kings Norton in Birmingham where I was encouraged by a friend to do the Alpha course.

My calling to ordained ministry began when about to be made redundant from a learning and development job I loved. I was praying about my life’s direction. I experienced a vision of myself as a priest celebrating the Eucharist. I told no-one at the time. To my surprise, my rector told me seemingly “out of the blue” that I should explore ordination confirming my vision. My discernment journey had its ups and downs, but I began training at Ripon College, Cuddesdon on a part-time basis in 2018 while still working in the NHS. I have served my curacy in the Diocese of Brimingham in the parishes of Hampton in Arden, with Barston and Bickenhill, three villages in the greenbelt between Birmingham and Coventry. I was ordained deacon in 2020 and priest in 2021.

I enjoy a range of worship styles from the very traditional BCP to more experimental ways of communicating the Gospel such as worship in the wild. I love the way that the Church of England is able to encompass all.

I am married to Mike, and we have two adult children, and in my spare time I enjoy walking, swimming, cooking, crochet and attempting to keep my rusty conversational French going.