Derek has been a Methodist minister since 1989. In 2004 he became full-time Co-ordinating Chaplain at the Royal Group of Hospitals, Belfast, then in 2008 he became Lead Chaplain of the newly created Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, managing a team of almost 40 chaplains across 7 hospital sites. 

Derek has been the Director of Training of the NIHCA since 2007. He is Convenor of the Methodist Church in Ireland Prison & Healthcare Chaplaincy Committee and a NI representative on the Executive of the UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy (UKBHC).

Derek considers it a privilege to be a chaplain and to serve and support others. He is convinced of the need for chaplaincy to hold together, promote and develop both the vocational/faith and professional agendas.