Nick is a self-supporting Anglican Priest licensed by Hereford Diocese as an Associate Agricultural Chaplain. His paid employment is Director of the Bulmer Foundation, a sustainable development charity based in Hereford. Before ordination he worked for the National Farmers Union and chaired a national working party dealing with farm stress and suicide out of which grew a number of local initiatives that he helped establish including the Gloucestershire Farming Friends. Eventually he took on a national role as founder-Director of the Rural Stress Information Network, a charity that helped to co-ordinate and resource local action. 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."
Nick was full-time agricultural chaplain during the foot and mouth crisis in 2001 and assisted with over 150 applications to the Addington Fund securing small grants for farmers suffering cash flow difficulties.
"The church rallied round and did amazing things to keep in touch with farmers during the crisis. The Bishop (of Hereford) and I wrote to everyone that we knew had had animals culled during the outbreak."
He is a member of the Agricultural Chaplains Association. Locally he sits on Herefordshire Business Board, the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, Herefordshire Local Nature Partnership, Herefordshire Sustainable Food and Tourism Partnership and is chair of the Wye Nutrient Management Plan Stakeholders Group, comprising the key organisations that will deliver improved water quality in the Wye River Catchment.