Ten people ordained for parishes in Worcester Diocese
10 candidates were ordained in Worcester Cathedral over the weekend to serve in parishes across the diocese.
Three candidates were ordained deacon on Sunday and will enter their first year of training as a curate. A further seven candidates have completed their first year and were ordained priest on Saturday, they are now able to preside at the Holy Communion.
The Bishop of Worcester presided at both ordinations, assisted by the Bishop of Dudley, and the Revd Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, Director of the Contextual Theology Centre at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine in East London, preached.
The candidates came from a variety of different backgrounds and will be serving their curacies in parishes throughout the diocese:
- Richard Bubbers to serve in Ipsley
- Hazel Charlton to serve in the Worcester South East Team
- Richard Tweedy to serve in Martley and Worcester West
- Tom Atfield, who serves in the parish of St. John, Bromsgrove
- Diane Cooksey, who serves in the parish of Churchill with Blakedown and Broome
- Eoghan Heaslip, who serves at All Saints in Worcester
- Nancy Murray-Peters, who serves at St Barnabas with Christ Church in Worcester
- Anne Potter, who serves at Badsey with Aldington and Offenham and Bretforton
- Emma Stanford, who serves in the Wordsley Team
- Julie-Ann Watson, who serves at Malvern Link with Cowleigh
Bishop John said: "It is always a privilege to ordain those who have responded to God's call to dedicate their life to the service of God and other people in Ministry. These occasions are always a celebration of that act of dedication."
The ordination service for priests took place at 2pm on Saturday 30 June and the service for deacons at 10.30am on Sunday 1 July, both in Worcester Cathedral.
Quotes from the candidates:
Richard grew up in various vicarages around the London area as his father was an Anglican minister, and he became a Christian at a young age. He studied classics and law at Keble College, Oxford and, after completing his training in London, worked as a solicitor in Hertfordshire in the civil litigation department. As a partner in the business, he was particularly involved in helping people through the trauma of family breakdown. Before leaving for ordination training he was the practice's Managing Partner.
"I started my journey towards ordination studying theology as a distance learning course as well as preaching in my local church. As my vocation developed, I began to consider the possibility of full-time ordained ministry and after being accepted for ordination training in July 2010, I completed two years training at St John's College, Nottingham. I am looking forward to becoming part of the life and work of God's family in Ipsley and together learning more of God's loving purposes.
Richard is married with four sons aged from 26 to 17 - and a dog and a cat.
Hazel's calling was a big surprise to her, after hearing a trainee vicar answering questions she didn't know she was asking. After nearly twenty years of working in the voluntary sector, Hazel likes to think she has inspired others to achieve things they thought they couldn't and to reach potential beyond their dreams. Now she has found the missing piece to her puzzle.
Working for Mothers' Union in prisons in Worcester Diocese led Hazel towards becoming a Chaplain at HMP Long Lartin, a high security prison, for the duration of her training at Queens Foundation College, and is now to be released from prison into parish to pursue her ministry.
She says: "God calls on all of us, mums, wives, sisters, aunties, caravan owners, avid book readers, Facebook fans - the ordinary person, who once going with God's will, is released into a whole new beginning. I am looking forward to seeing what the big picture will look like in a few years after finally accepting the missing piece in my puzzle."
Richard (44) is the new curate with the Worcestershire West Rural Team. He comes from Cheltenham where he was based at Trinity Church. He originally trained in Physics and Astronomy and spent 3.5 years at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which enabled him to have many nights working at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. It was while he was in the States that he became a Christian.
He said: "I first got a nudge toward ordination shortly after I returned to the UK in 1995, but it then took about 14 years before I was able to start training. However, that journey was very formative, and has shaped my approach to ministry. I'm passionate about people growing closer in their relationship with God, whether that is through the scriptures or by a more direct experience of him, such as through the gifts of the Spirit. I'm therefore delighted to be able to serve God and his community full time and I'm looking forward to working with the Revd David Sherwin and the rest of the team in Martley and the surrounding area. Everyone has been very friendly and it'll be great to get to know them and help them in their own faith journeys."
"The past year as a deacon at in Bromsgrove has been exciting and has flown past. The churches of Bromsgrove have been welcoming and generous to myself, my wife Clare and our daughter Evie, and have provided me with good training opportunities. I've done more funerals than I thought possible, appeared live on national television, celebrated Burn's night, carried a massive lit Christingle, read Canadian children's stories to enthralled schoolchildren, and climbed onto the church roof. I've been fortunate to have been involved in helping St John's be the first Grade 1 listed building to replace its lead roof with fibreglass. I'm also fortunate to be part of the upcoming reunification of the parishes in Bromsgrove. It has been a privilege to have arrived in Bromsgrove as we are becoming a team ministry, and I am enthused by the opportunities that I will have as team curate; the first being a much larger parish to cycle around."
"My year as a deacon has been a very interesting one filled with many opportunities to meet different people from across my parishes. A particular highlight has been working predominantly with the children/young people in Blakedown. I regularly attend the local toddler group and I enjoy telling a Bible story and organising a craft activity in the local nursery. I am often involved with assemblies in Blakedown C of E primary school and have been invited in to talk to the children about my faith. I believe that building relationships with people of all ages is an essential part of ministry and through working with the young people I have been able to begin to build relationships with those families in the village who don't attend church.
In my role as deacon it has been a privilege to lead the congregations in worship over the last year and I am very much looking forward to being able to preside at the Eucharist, acting in the name of Jesus in the words and actions of the Last Supper. I am also looking forward to being able to give God's blessing, especially to the couples that I have been preparing for marriage over recent months."
"My first year as Deacon in Wordsley Team parish has been an exciting and enlivening one. I have enjoyed establishing new friendships in and around the parish, and have made many positive connections with our local schools and non- church based groups. I am looking forward to deepening my engagement with the people of Wordsley through my new role as Priest, and pray that this will continue to allow me to express God's presence in the lives of all within the community."
"The sermon delivered at the deacon's ordination service last year reminded me that being ordained is not about me ‘being great', or becoming great - and neither is it about me. Yes, something great is happening today, I look for something great to happen in the Church. But, although it is about me needing to receive, it is still not about me. It is rather about being part of the whole of the ministry of Jesus Christ of which all are a part. This last year as a deacon has made me learn and learn again how true this really is. The field of officers, lay and ordained ministers all with various experience and gifts, has formed the team in which I play and without it none of what is happening today makes sense. Thank you to all who have shown me support by ‘being there', your prayers and giving feedback. I simply look forward to keeping on going!"
God our Father, Lord of all the world,
through your Son you have called us into the fellowship of your universal Church:
hear our prayer for your faithful people
that in their vocation and ministry each may be an instrument of your love,
and give to your servants now to be ordained the needful gifts of grace;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Diocese of Worcester is one of 44 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516 Fax: 01905 612302