Vocation Directors

The vocations directors are resident at the diocesan vocations centre, attached to the Parish Church of Our Lady and Saint Edward, Nottingham. Both vocations directors can be contacted at:

The Old Friary
Gordon Road
St. Ann’s

e. nottinghamvocations@hotmail.co.uk
t. 0115 950 1064

  Father Paul Newman

   Vocations Director and Parish Priest of Our Lady and Saint Edward’s, in St Ann’s, Nottingham


I was born in the front bedroom of a tiny cottage in Kimberley Nottingham on the feast of St. George 1965.

As a child I attended The Priory School, Eastwood before going on to my secondary education at St. John Houghton school Ilkeston. I completed my school education at St. Hugh’s college Tollerton where I studied art, English literature and religious studies at A level.

At the age of 18, the Diocese of Nottingham accepted me as a student for the priesthood and my six years training was at St. Mary’s college, Oscott in Birmingham. I was ordained for the diocese on 20th July 1989 at Mount St. Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire.

I have very much enjoyed almost 28 years of ministry. Having had the privilege of my first five years as an assistant priest at St. Joseph’s in Derby, in January of 1995 I was appointed parish priest of St. Joseph’s, Matlock and St. Teresa’s wirksworth. In January 2000 Bishop McGuiness asked me to be Dean of Amber Valley and to look after the people of St. Joseph’s Ripley together with Our Lady’s Belper and St Margaret’s Duffield. Just one year into my ministry there, Bishop McGuiness retired, and our new bishop, Malcolm McMahon asked me to work full time as youth officer for the diocese and to be director of The Briars Youth Centre at Crich. I moved to The Briars on 11th September 2001 and enjoyed five very happy years in that very specific ministry, working with young people and young adults across the diocese and beyond. In January 2007, after a sabbatical, I took up my new appointment in Our Lady’s Bulwell and The Infant of Prague church Bestwood. Four years later, on 2nd February 2011, I moved to St. Albans Derby, having responsibility for not only St. Alban’s but The Church on Oakwood and latterly St. Hugh’s Borrowash. I was asked to be Episcopal Vicar for laity in the diocese and to be an advisor to the Bishop on his council. For the last 18 months I have also been Chaplain to the sick and retired priests of the diocese.

And now here I am! Vocations director for the Diocese of Nottingham and parish priest of Our Lady and St. Edwards. I’m very happy to be working with Fr Jonathan Cotton, a greatly respected priest of the diocese, and look forward to getting stuck into my new role.

  Father Jonathan Cotton

   Assistant Vocations Director and Chaplain to The Briars Catholic Youth Retreat Centre


Father Jonathan was ordained a priest on June 12th 1976 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Ashby-de-la-Zouch by Bishop James McGuinness with Bishop Ellis concelebrating.

Born on 22nd June 1950 in Nottingham, he was baptised at St. Paul’s Church, Lenton and, as he attended the Sacred Heart Convent Primary School, Mapperley, [where St. Augustine’s Primary School is now situated] he celebrated first Confession, first Holy Communion and Confirmation at St. Augustine’s Church, Woodborough Road, Nottingham, before moving as a boarder to Grace Dieu Manor School in 1960 and Ratcliffe College in 1964.

In 1968, Bishop Ellis accepted Jonathan as a Church Student for the Diocese of Nottingham. He trained for priesthood at St. Joseph’s College, Upholland and has served in the Diocese at the Cathedral [1975-1984], as Vocations Director based first in St. Hugh’s College, Tollerton [1984-1985], then at The Briars Youth Centre [1985-1989], as Parish Priest in St. Joseph’s, Matlock with St. Teresa’s, Wirksworth [1989-1995], relinquishing Vocations Ministry in 1992. He was appointed as first Dean of the Amber Valley Deanery in 1994, then freed by Bishop McGuinness in January 1995 to work full time in the Nottingham Pilgrims Community which he started with Sister Angela Murphy, P.B.V.M. in 1989 as, initially, part of Vocations Ministry in the Diocese, but eventually in 2001 to become an independent Charity, The Pilgrims Community. The resident Community closed in July 2007 but the Charity continues to support evangelisation work in the Church.

During a sabbatical in 2001-2002, he trained in prayer ministry, retreat giving, and spiritual direction. During 2007-2008, he spent time writing material connected with his time with the Nottingham Pilgrims Community and was based in the Presbytery at Barton-upon-Humber. He published his first book in 2014 called Evangelising the Baptised. In September 2008 he was appointed Parish Priest in St. Joseph’s, Shirebrook with St. Bernadette’s, Bolsover. St. Teresa’s Market Warsop was added to his responsibilities in 2011. On Thursday16th June 2011, Father Jonathan was installed as a Chapter Canon at Nottingham Cathedral. The Chapter meets at the Cathedral four times a year and acts as one of the advisory bodies for the Bishop.

Fr Jonathan was appointed in May 2017 to Our Lady and St. Edwards in Nottingham as Assistant Priest and Assistant Vocations Director alongside Fr. Paul Newman and as part-time Chaplain to the Briars Diocesan Youth Centre in Crich.