About us
The Association of Teachers of Catholic Religious Education (ATCRE) aims to be the principal national body promoting professional development and networking for religious education teachers working in Catholic schools.
'As ATCRE has grown so has our executive. We started with a core group of four and now we are 18. The executive is representative of many areas of Catholic education, helping to ensure a balance and a strong coalition to serve teachers of Catholic RE in England and Wales.'

Matthew Dell 
Chair of ATCRE
Meet the Exec:
Matthew Dell

ATCRE Chair

Matthew Dell is a senior lecturer at St Mary’s University (Twickenham), for Secondary RE. He leads on the RE PGCE programme as well as teaching on various MA in Education programmes.  Prior to taking up this post Matthew worked for twenty-five years as an RE teacher in three different schools. He has extensive experience in schools; in teaching RE, leading very successful RE Departments and as well as senior leadership positions in Catholic schools. 

 

Matthew has been a diocesan inspector for over 20 years and has inspected in four Catholic dioceses. Matthew’s recent Farmington Fellowship (at Oxford) allowed him to investigate issues and concerns about RE ITT via the SCITT route.  In recent years he has been collaborating with colleagues to create a new professional association for those who teach RE in Catholic schools (ATCRE).

Dr Sean Whittle

Vice Chair

 

Dr Sean Whittle has been teaching RE for over twenty-five years. For many years he has been working at a really lovely Catholic school in West London (Gumley House Convent School), and is also involved in Research connected with Catholic education and RE.  Sean is a Visiting Research Fellow at St Mary’s University in Twickenham and at Roehampton University, and is a Research Associate with the CRDCE, with Professor Gerald Grace. Sean held a Fellowship at Heythrop College, University of London and completed his doctoral studies at the Institute of Education – UCL, defending a thesis on the theory or philosophy of Catholic education. His book, A Theory of Catholic Education (Bloomsbury 2014), presents a robust philosophy of Catholic education that draws heavily on insights from Karl Rahner. 

Andy Lewis 

Andy has been teaching RE for 14  years, and is currently Deputy Headteacher at St Bonaventure's in East London.

 

He works at a local and national level to improve the provision of Religious Education, and is both  Director of the Agnus Dei Teaching School Alliance and Director of RE.

 

Andy is a Specialist Leader in Education and has published books ranging from textbooks and revision material for the 2016 Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies specification, through to Key Stage 3 and General RE.

Julia Cunningham

Vice Chair ​

Julia has been a teacher of RE in Stockport, South Manchester, at secondary level for 17 years, starting as a classroom teacher and progressing to Subject Leader. During that time she has been a member of SLT and an SLE of RE for the Diocese of Shrewsbury. For the past three years she has worked with Eduqas, delivering CPD to RE teachers and as a Team Leader during examination season.

 

Julia left her teaching post in July 2019 and is now the RE Coordinator for the Diocese of Shrewsbury working with both primary and secondary schools. Julia is also a member of the core consultation panel for the revised RE Curriculum Directory.

Helen Bridges

Secretary

 

Helen graduated from Durham University with a degree in Theology, before completing her PGCE in Secondary RE at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. After two years at Richard Challoner School, Helen moved to St Richard Reynolds Catholic College, where she became Head of RE. Helen greatly enjoyed developing the department in the context of a newly founded school, and the challenge of setting up provision at both key stage four and five. 

 

Helen completed an MBA in Education Management at King’s College London, in which she explored the challenges of providing holistic Catholic education in schools. She has recently relocated to the Diocese of Clifton, and oversees the Catholic life of the school as part of the Extended Leadership Team, at St Augustine's Catholic College.

Roisin Sherrington 

Roisin is originally from Belfast and trained as a solicitor, before entering the teaching profession in 2001. After completing her degree, Roisin went on to study a Masters in Religion and Education at the University of Huddersfield. She now works in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, and has over fourteen years of experience as Head of Department.

 

Roisin loves teaching RE and working with and for young people who make her laugh and never cease to amaze her!  One day Roisin would love to train teachers and hopefully inspire a few young people along the way to join this great profession. Her motto is keep smiling and remember you always have one friend no matter what!

Nancy Conoboy

Vice Chair

 

With 20 years of teaching Religious Education in London schools under her belt, Nancy brings with her a wealth of experience. She began laying the foundations for her career at Leeds University, studying Theology and Religious Studies before progressing to Leeds Trinity and All Saints to train as an RE teacher. After honing her skills as Head of Department for a number of years, Nancy became Assistant Principal at St Dominic’s VI Form College.

 

As well as leading on teaching and learning, Nancy continues to keep her classroom skills sharp, teaching A level Religious Studies and Philosophy for both of which she has also been an examiner. As an Inspector for the Diocese of Westminster, Nancy leads diocesan inspections, giving her a unique perspective and adding another dimension to her knowledge and understanding of RE.

Dave Legrand 

Treasurer

 

David is a Secondary teacher in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. After graduating from Durham University in 2012, David completed a PGCE in Secondary RE at St Mary's University in Twickenham. David taught at St Peter's, Guildford for three years, where he developed a passion and specialism for A level Religious Studies and took on roles as Key Stage 5 coordinator and Second in Department.  He later moved to Salesian, Chertsey to become Head of Department, where he is currently doing his fourth year in the role. 

 

In addition to his departmental role, David is the RE tutor for Teach SouthEast. As well as developing new teachers through practical and theoretical training sessions, this role takes David to many schools in the diocese to observe lessons and support mentors and new RE teachers.

Peter Hornak

Peter was born in Slovakia and raised as a Roman Catholic, having experience of both Eastern Catholic and Orthodox rites. He studied Catholic Theology and Philosophy in depth in Slovakia, Poland and Ireland, resulting in a BA degree. Additionally, Peter holds a Master's degree in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. 

He has been teaching RE and successfully leading the RE department at a secondary school in the UK for many years. Peter is also a member of the school's Extended Leadership Team. His vast experience includes time spent as a Head of Year, SLT member, secondary school governor and a teacher of Mathematics. 

Introducing new members of the Exec:
Marie-Therese Weston

Marie-Therese has over 20 years' experience of teaching RE. She has had many roles including being a Head of RE Department in three different schools, Head of Year, Primary Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher of a Catholic secondary school for over 10 years. She completed her PGCE at the Roehampton Institute London in 1995. Marie-Therese has a post graduate diploma from the Maryvale Institute in Religious Education and Catechesis. She went on to study a Masters in Catholic School Leadership with St Mary's University in Twickenham. Marie-Therese loves teaching RE and is passionate about Catholic Education and the difference it can make to the lives of young people. Currently she is Curriculum lead for RE at a secondary school in the Southwark diocese. She wants to go on making a difference to children's lives so that she can be part of their journey, to help them to be the best version of themselves, discovering their many gifts and talents, so that they go out into the world wanting to be of service and to help others inspired by their Catholic education

Kath Wilson
Andrew Capone

Andrew is currently the Head of RE at St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone. He also oversees Personal Development and Wellbeing which is the umbrella for RSE, SMSC, PSHE and Citizenship. Andrew has been teaching RE since 2005 and specialises in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. He has have marked for Edexcel and OCR and is currently training to be a diocesan inspector. Andrew has written teaching packs and revision guides for A Level Philosophy of Religion with Peped.org and has created philosophy resources for Academy Conferences.  Andrew loves RE and his teaching mission is to help his students be more critical thinkers. 

Kath qualified as a teacher in 2006, after completing a Secondary PGCE in Religious Studies at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster. Before her PGCE, Kath obtained a BA Hons Theology and Religious Studies with English Literature degree at Liverpool Hope University. She taught RE successfully for a year at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School, Fleetwood and was promoted to Second in RE and Chaplaincy co-ordinator. In 2009, Kath moved to St Mary's Catholic Academy in Blackpool, again as a Second in Department with extra responsibility for leading general sixth form RE. Whilst at St Mary's Kath gained experience of and a passion for A-Level Philosophy and RS. She also coordinated a Level 3 ASDAN Volunteering qualification for sixth form pupils. In 2011, Kath returned to Cardinal Allen in Fleetwood as Curriculum Leader for RE, where she is currently in her eighth year in that role. 

Hannah Coe
Marianne Lane
Joe Huntley

Hannah graduated from Edge Hill University as a Qualified Teacher specialising in Religious Education. Taking a role of Teacher of Religious Education at The Becket School, Nottingham, Hannah has remained there for seven years. Hannah has undertaken various roles during this time, including Pastoral Leader, Head of Religious Education and Associate Assistant Headteacher. Hannah continues the lead the Religious Education Department and serves as the Secondary RE Coordinator for two Catholic Multi-Academy Trusts in the Diocese of Nottingham. Hannah is also a Specialist Leader of Education (RE) and Diocesan Canonical Inspector for the Diocese of Nottingham. 

Marianne is currently the Head of Religious Education at St George’s Weybridge and previously taught RE at Stonyhurst College, in Lancashire. She is also a trainee diocesan inspector for Arundel and Brighton. Marianne completed her undergraduate degree at a Lancaster University and later did a PGCE and MA at St Martin’s College. Her MA thesis focused on the impact of a Catholic ethos on teacher practice and she is passionate about the transformative power of Catholic education. She is keen to inspire young people and other teachers to be excited about RE! 

David Bayne
Laura Pettett

David is currently Head of Sixth Form at a school in the North East. He has been teaching for 20 years and has had a number of pastoral roles. Prior to teaching, David worked in the Department for Education in a variety of roles from computer programmer, IT support and was a part of the team that created the General Teaching Council. He has a keen interest in the use of technology to enhance the engagement and learning of students. 

 

David graduated from the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham where he studied Divinity whilst working at the DfE. He has taught across all secondary key stages. He has contributed to RE PGCE courses on the use of IT in RE and delivered training across a number of schools on the implementation of learning platforms.

Laura studied Theology at Leeds University and has been teaching RE in South East London since 2005. She coordinated ‘Gifted & Talented’ and ‘Aim Higher’ provision in her first teaching post, then she led a Year team for eight years before taking up the post of co-Head of RE in 2017. She is also a trainer, speaker and writer, having delivered workshops at the SSAT conference, Bexley Head teachers conference, the Union of Catholic Mothers conference, and has delivered numerous ‘Catholic Life of the School’ whole-school training. Laura has been a Religious Studies examiner for over a decade and as a qualified coach uses the principles of ‘growth mindset’ to inspire her students and teams. She champions active learning, playfulness, experiential RE and ‘teaching up’. 

Joe graduated from St Mary’s University in 2004 in Religious Studies, Theology and History. Joe spent a period of time in 2003 coaching football in California for Major League Soccer where he gained his first insight into teaching and coaching. After graduating, Joe worked in central London initially in sales before moving into recruitment where he spent a considerable period of time recruiting into the Media and then lately the Environmental and Sustainability sectors. Joe moved into teaching in 2012, where he returned to his secondary school, St Edmunds Catholic school in Dover. During his time there he mentored trainee teachers going through the PGCE and TeachFirst Programmes. As Head of Department he was part of the team that oversaw the school’s Outstanding Diocesan Inspection Report in 2019. After 8 years Joe decided to take on a new challenge and currently teaches at Worth Independent School in Sussex. 

Gareth Rein

Gareth is headteacher at St. Peter’s R.C. Primary School in Cardiff and is a Section 48/50 inspector for the Archdiocese of Cardiff. He has worked in three Catholic primary schools within the Archdiocese, and was formerly the headteacher of St. Joseph’s School, Penarth - a Curriculum Innovation School currently working with the Welsh Government on the development of the new Curriculum for Wales. He has a keen interest in curriculum design and evidence informed practice. He presents regularly at local gatherings and national conferences about curriculum development, teaching and learning and the application of cognitive science in the classroom.

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