The Ecumenical Christian and Muslim Chaplaincy Team

The Chaplains are a team of Christian and Muslim ministers drawn from different denominations. As chaplains we're here for all students and staff to offer personal, confidential support on any issue. You don't have to be religious to come and talk to one of us and we'll be very pleased to see you anytime for just a cup of coffee and a chat. We can also provide you with information about local places of worship or put you in touch with other lines of support within the University.

Who we are

Rev Adam Dickens

Christian, Anglican

Adam has been co-ordinating the team of Chaplains and Faith Consultants at the University of Derby since April 2014. It is a role he combines with his work as Chaplain at Derby Cathedral. Prior to arriving in the East Midlands, he was a member of and latterly Warden of The Pilsdon Community in Dorset, which offers hospitality to those who need refuge at a crisis point in their life. He has also worked in parishes in inner-city Portsmouth and Worcestershire. His return to the world of higher education represents a reluctance to stop being a student, having studied in Manchester, Nottingham and London.

You can email Adam at

Rev Adam Dickens

I enjoy being married to Teresa and find many aspects of life interesting, including all things rural, the arts and various sports (I am a poor-quality cricketer and an angst-ridden West Bromwich Albion supporter).

Rev Adam Dickens
Anglican Chaplain

Gill Sharp

Christian, Methodist

Gill is a Methodist minister in the Derby Methodist Circuit. She served in the Wigan Methodist Circuit for five years before moving to Derby in 2019. As part of her work in the Derby Circuit, she serves part-time on the University Chaplaincy team. Before becoming a Methodist minister, Gill worked as a Learning Support Assistant in a primary school while bringing up her three children and then as a one-to-one maths teacher at a secondary school. 

You can email Gill at

Gill Sharp

I enjoy walking my dog, especially when my husband and I go for long walks in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.

Gill Sharp
Methodist Chaplain

Archpriest Daniel Joseph

Christian, Russian Orthodox

Father Daniel (or Daniel) is The Very Reverend Mitred Archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church. He has worked in education for 47 years and was ordained 37 years ago. Daniel has taught Philosophy at the University of Derby and has served on the Chaplaincy since 2001. He helps with Get Real, which is an informal Philosophy Group at which all are welcome. This runs alongside Fair Trade Lunch in the Multi-Faith Centre. Daniel looks after the Russian Orthodox Church in Derby, and all are welcome to all or part of any service. There is always a timetable in the Multi-Faith Centre, opposite the Chaplaincy office.

You can email Daniel at

Archpriest Daniel Joseph

With all my Chaplaincy colleagues, I try to look after anyone who wishes to talk to me.

Archpriest Daniel Joseph
Russian Orthodox Chaplain

Ali Akbar


Ali has been working as an Imam and lecturer in the intralingual interpretation of Quran since 2010. He is also a doctoral student and exploring perspectives of foreign language teachers and students on effective teaching of critical interpretation of Quran in multilingual classes. He joined the University of Derby as a Muslim Chaplain in October 2018. As a part of his role, he provides pastoral and spiritual support to both the students and the staff.

You can email Ali at

Imam Ali Akbar

I am very keen on building strong community relations across faiths. I am married to Aleena and have three beautiful kids. I love playing cricket and watching football.

Ali Akbar
Muslim Chaplain

Rev Richard Walsh

Christian, Roman Catholic 

Father Mark Brentnall

Christian, Roman Catholic 

Ben Martin

Christian, Lay Chaplain 

Tim Vause

Christian, Lay Catholic Chaplain