Our Christian Voices programme continues with Dr Alison Brown. Alison is a schools’ adviser for Derby Diocese.
Alison has taught in primary education for 11 years, and now works with teachers, governors and clergy to enhance Religious Education, collective worship, and spiritual development. To get to know more about her we asked her a few questions.
Q: Hello Alison, what have you been doing over the last 6 months?
A: Due to the fast changing educational landscape much of the work of the Board of Education in the last 6 months has been devoted to helping our schools plan for their future. Whether that is becoming an academy or remaining viable in times of austerity. Whilst I am not directly responsible for the nuts and bolts of that work I am a director the diocesan academy trust and work with all the schools helping them figure out how to be explicitly Christian whilst serving their communities.
I have also taken a group of 18 teachers out to work in some of the slum schools in Kolkata as part of Derby Diocese’s on-going partnership with the Cathedral there.
I am now an author with my first Grove book being published at the end of January! It is about an approach to Collective Worship, called Seeing Anew, which is offered as a tool to help schools think theologically.
Enjoying being a grandmother named ‘Aligran’ brings much joy and new adventures – not least the purchase of my first wetsuit so that fooling around in the sea is more comfortable!!
Q: What difference has Christian faith made in your life?
A: Faith is an interesting word to use as my faith involves continual inner and outer dialogue as to how to lie and what I think and believe. This oscillates between doubt and conviction. Whereas the God I have faith in is the nexus in which I live or to use the words of someone else he is ‘the ground of my being’ and source of life. For that reason, I have hope and purpose.
Q: If you could go for dinner with one famous person dead or alive today, who would it be and why?
A: Alan Rickman!
Q: What was the first thing that made you passionate about your topic?
A: This is hard to answer as my topic is my job and my vocation. As such it uses all the experiences and gifts I have been given that have been accrued over considerable time. Being married to someone who is a deep thinker has been the greatest of these gifts – he has made me see that theology should continually inform how I live and work.
Q: In ten words or less, what can people expect from your talk?
A: An exploration of what a Christian vision for education offers.
You can hear Alison speak on the subject of: Church School Ethos in a Secular World at 7:30pm on Wednesday 29 March at Ecclesall All Saints’ Church.