Get to know: Claire Bampton, Diocesan Programme Manager

Claire has worked in the diocese since 2017, first in the Generous Giving team, then briefly alongside the Archdeacons in the early months of the covid pandemic before starting her current role in October 2020. Alongside her full-time work, she is currently studying for a master’s degree (MPA) in Faith-based Leadership. Claire chats to us about herself, her role and her hopes for the Shaped By God Together process. 
What’s your job all about?

At its simplest, my job is to lead the process of forming Minster Communities across the diocese so that all our churches are supported and enabled to flourish long into the future. That means working with a team of facilitators who go out into parishes to help them think through how they want to seek the Kingdom of God in their communities, and how they can work more closely together to do that. 
What do you love about the role?
Planning and problem-solving! I love being able to plan and work with data and spreadsheets. But even more than that, I love working with people and the reality of life in our churches and communities.
I’m energised by having great colleagues in diocesan support roles and across the diocese, and working together to find ways forward when challenges arise – whether those are difficulties or unexpected opportunities. 
On a more personal level, I’ve always had a clear and strong sense of vocational calling to this role and, whatever the ups and downs along the way, I love that I can follow this calling to serve God’s church in this way.

What do you dislike? 
I find it frustrating when our Minster Community framework and the work we’re doing across the diocese is criticised based on misinformation or disinformation. I know from my colleagues across the country that many dioceses are doing very similar things to us here in Leicester, so it makes me wonder why we sometimes attract more negative attention than many other places.
I always welcome constructive critique and we’ve learnt lots and changed how we do things because of feedback from those involved in the early days of forming Minster Communities – I’m very grateful for the gracious patience of those people and parishes! 
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’ve lived and worshipped in the diocese since I moved to Leicester as a student in 2002 and since then have always been involved in my local church and diocesan life in a variety of ways. 
I’ve moved around and been a member of three deanery synods during that time and served as Lay Chair of two of those deaneries. I’m currently in my eighth year as an elected member of the Diocesan Board of Education.
I met my husband Ed, who is an incumbent and Area Dean, when we were both part of the Cathedral congregation and we were married there in 2008. 
We have two children, and in my spare time I volunteer with Girlguiding.
What are your hopes for SBGT/the diocese and growing the Kingdom on earth? 
I hope and pray that through the work of forming Minster Communities, people in every church across the diocese will grow in confidence to tell the Gospel story through word and action so that more people come to know Christ more deeply.

First published on: 18th July 2023
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