Meet our team

Image of Borderlands team

David Gwatkin

Farming in the Welsh Marches, David is all too aware of the overwhelming pressures farmers can face. He is co-chair of the Agricultural Chaplain’s Association and works with the Farming Community Network for Herefordshire.

An area of primary concern for David is mental health issues, particularly those affecting rural youth. Having suffered with depression in his early twenties, David is cognisant of how mental illness, left undiagnosed and untreated can easily escalate and the efficacy of a pair of listening ears at hand or available “where you are and when you need them.”

Nick Read

Nick is a self-supporting Anglican Priest licensed by Hereford Diocese as an Associate Agricultural Chaplain. He has a background in agricultural and rural policy and chaired the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum for five years and an English-Welsh Cross-border Strategic Forum. His role with Borderlands combines this strategic knowledge with direct pastoral support.

“Through the networks that I belong to I am able to access confidential help and support for farmers in need. Recent examples have included working with the Rural Payments Agency to assist farmers who have had difficulties accessing their basic payment.”

Sue Williams

Being a farmer’s daughter and with her brother hill farming, Sue has always been concerned for the welfare of farming communities. She is also a bereavement visitor with proven listening skills vital to the chaplaincy role.

“I understand the loneliness and isolation farmers endure from time to time, this is one of my main concerns. I want to be able to listen to and walk alongside farmers and their families who ask for our help.”

Mike Jones

A dairy farmer for over thirty-five years, Mike Jones now retired, brings a wealth of understanding to the Borderlands table. Mike works with farmers who have been referred to him principally by the Farming Community Network.

“Having farmed myself and changed direction in life, I know that there is hope and happiness and a future. I love to support farmers facing the same dilemmas I did.”

David Dutton

Agricultural Contractor David Dutton sees his chaplaincy role at Borderlands as an opportunity to bring a “Christian slant to what I do”.Born and raised on a farm, David is accustomed to the farming lifestyle and the uncertainty that often accompanies it.

“I volunteered to work with the chaplaincy because I have a lifelong involvement in farming and understand farming people. We come from the same starting place and talk the same language. I like the thought of supporting farmers in trouble. I think that’s where my strengths are.”