13 people ordained for parishes across the Diocese

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Published: 28th September 2020

13 candidates were ordained over the weekend to serve in parishes across the Diocese.

Nine candidates were ordained Deacon in three separate services in the Cathedral on Saturday and are entering their first year of training as a curate. A further four candidates have completed their first year and were ordained Priest in their parish churches on Sunday; they are now able to preside at the Holy Communion.

The ordination services were led by the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge or the Bishop of Dudley, Martin Gorick. The Revd Catherine Williams preached at the services for the deacons in the Cathedral having led the pre-ordination retreat for candidates.

Ordained Deacon:

  • Claire Billington to serve in Peopleton and White Ladies Aston w Churchill & Spetchley & Upton Snodsbury & Broughton Hackett

  • Lindsey Coulthard to serve at St Stephen Barbourne, Worcester

  • Foluso Enwerem to serve at Top Church, Dudley

  • Jon Evans to serve at Christ Church, Lye

  • Jess Fellows to serve at All Saints, Worcester

  • Christopher Henson to serve at St John, Kidderminster

  • Rosie Moss to serve at St Nicholas, Warndon, Worcester

  • Kim Topham to serve in Clent and Hagley

  • Carol Weston to serve in the Brierley Hill team

Ordained Priest:

  • Sarah Bardell serving in the benefice of Dudley

  • Victoria Barlow serving in St Matthias & St George, Astwood Bank and The Bridge Church in Headless Cross

  • Jonny Gordon serving at Great Malvern

  • Francis Moloney serving at Holy Trinity, Redditch

Bishop John said: “One of the great privileges of being a bishop is being able to ordain people who have discovered God’s love in Jesus and have heard His call to devote themselves to bringing that love to others.  Not only the Church but all society will be hugely enriched as a result of their obedience to that call."

See lots more photos from the different services on the diocesan Facebook page. See videos from the service below.

Quotes and background information from the candidates:

Deacons

Claire Billington (Peopleton and White Ladies Aston w Churchill & Spetchley & Upton Snodsbury & Broughton Hackett)

I remember being in church with my father when I was very young, looking at the vicar and thinking “I want to do that”!  All those years ago of course women couldn’t be ordained but I didn’t realise that.  Years later, like many teenagers I stopped going to church although didn’t lose my faith – I prayed when it suited me. 

Fast forward a long time to 2005 and we had a serious house fire.  Little did we as a family know then that changes to our lives would not just be new furniture and a rewired house!  As I watched a ball of flame shoot out of the roof, I remember looking at my husband Tim and son Alex and feeling a physical bubble of God keeping the three of us safe.  My childhood faith had been woken up and I knew I was searching for something.  The first book that I bought after the fire was a Bible. 

A lot of talking, taking guidance, praying and discerning over the following couple of years resulted in me being accepted for training to be ordained.  Looking back over my life I realise that God has been calling me for many years, but it’s taken me a long time to listen.  Knowing that God wants me for who I am right now is a joy and I hope that joy spills out into my ministry.  After being ordained Deacon, I will be continuing to work part-time.  I will be a non-stipendiary minister in my local benefice of Bowland, and spend some time also in the Flyfords, Five Alive and Drakes Broughton Benefices.  I am grateful to be able to start my ministry in this beautiful rural area and am looking forward to getting to know more people in the neighbouring villages.  It is an exciting prospect and such a privilege to be joining the team that works so well together over such a wide area, knowing that I will be walking alongside people throughout their lives. 

None of us who are to be ordained would have expected that our years of training would be so disrupted right at the end, and yes, it is disappointing that we can’t celebrate as we had anticipated right now.  But I learned in 2005 that life doesn’t follow a set path, and that is especially so at the moment when there are serious challenges to be faced by all of us.  My whole story is that everything happens in God’s time, not ours.

Lindsey Coulthard (St Stephen Barbourne, Worcester)

At the invitation of my junior schoolteacher, I joined a church choir aged seven and so began my journey to faith (if only I had known then where that would lead me)! A few years later, at the age of 10, I was confirmed and developing a sense of the wider church community to which I now belonged. Like many teenagers, I wanted to explore church in the wider context to see if I was missing out on anything, so ventured into a local free church and a Methodist church but eventually decided that my heart lay with the Church of England. There was just something so beautiful about the liturgy and music that drew me back and I have been here, more or less, ever since.

My journey to ordination has taken many twists, stalls and turns simply because I was afraid of what I perceived God was calling me to; so in an attempt to appease everyone I tried to squeeze many round things into a number of square holes – which of course didn’t fit. I confess, I used every excuse imaginable to deny my sense of call; and finally, some words from Isaiah (43:1) came to me. They have stayed with me and have been a source of great comfort and inspiration throughout my training and formation: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine’.

After thirty years in nursing, I have been blessed with a sense of humour which I have made good use of during my training. I have also been faithfully supported by my husband Ian, son Henry, and stress-relieving cat Faith who has been stroked almost bare at times! I am really looking forward to serving my curacy at St. Stephen’s and joining my brothers and sisters in living out our faith in the local community.  I am also seeking to shine the light of Christ and share his love with those who have yet to experience it. 

Foluso Enwerem (Top Church, Dudley)

I was born in London to Yoruba Nigerian parents and grew up there with my three sisters and two brothers, as part of a close-knit family. I came to faith in Jesus in the early 1990s while studying French and Italian at university. I then worked in Belgium for a couple of years before returning to London in 1999 and becoming a committed member of a local Anglican church, while working for a children’s publisher. With the encouragement and support of my church, I later engaged in mission and evangelism in France and Switzerland, and while studying at Redcliffe College in Gloucester as part of my training for this, I met Chris; we married in 2007 and now have three children – Comfort (11), Peace (9) and Praise (7).

As a family, we first moved to the Black Country in 2011 while working with European Christian Mission (ECM) and later with Operation Mobilisation (OM), engaging in church-planting and evangelism in the local area. It was during this time that we started to sense a call to explore ordained ministry with the Church of England. For the past four years, we have been based in Cradley Heath for Chris’ (my husband) curacy, during which time I undertook ordination training. I am looking forward to serving my curacy at Top Church Dudley, joining in with, and discovering more of, what God is doing there.

Jon Evans (Christ Church, Lye)

I am Jon, married to Naomi and about to serve my curacy in Lye. I grew up in Redditch having initially been born in Walsall into a Christian family context. However, I only truly came to faith whilst in my second year at university in Aberystwyth where I studied Accounting and Finance. It was here that I also met Naomi, who played a key role in my coming to faith.

It was whilst I was at university that I started to feel a sense of call into ministry and started my personal ordination journey. As I was in the Methodist Church at the time, we started to look at the process of becoming a local preacher but this was short lived due to leaving university and my sense of calling being to the Anglican church. I got my first job as a Ministry Trainee in a Church of England church in West Bromwich. It was through this internship, followed by one in Wolverhampton that I gained experience and understanding of what it means to serve in ministry and had my sense of vocation tested and strengthened.

I attended a Bishops Advisory Panel at which I was not recommended and in hindsight this was a mixed blessing as it allowed me to settle down into married life and also have a challenging experience as a Store Supervisor for a local bakery in Macclesfield. These years were very formative for me and gave me an interesting experience of Christianity in ministry and in the workplace.

Following this, I was accepted to train for ordained ministry and have studied for three years at Cranmer Hall in Durham where I have enjoyed academic studies, strengthened my love and knowledge of God, learned the biblical languages and continued to grow in the desire to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

I am excited to be entering into ministry as an ordained Deacon. I am looking forward to having a role where I am to grapple with the scriptures, teach the Word of God and proclaim Christ crucified. I particularly look forward to equipping others to do this in their daily lives and to walk alongside them through their journeys of faith. Being a deacon will challenge me to be pushed out of my comfort zone and to seek to continually develop my relationship with God so that I may serve His people faithfully.

For me, the delay in ordination has not affected me greatly because I believe in the sovereignty of God and that he is in control of it all.

Jess Fellows (All Saints, Worcester)

I will be serving my curacy at All Saints & St Helens in Worcester city centre, before which I was training at Trinity College in Bristol. My journey towards ordination began when I started an internship at my church in Leicester, after graduating from a Textile Design degree at De Montfort University. I was working with University students and felt passionately about a younger generation shaping what church looks like and equipping a generation to share Jesus with their mates. It was a shock to realise that God was calling me to help do that through ordained ministry!

I’m so excited to begin ministry after what feels like a long time of thinking, writing and talking about it. I’m looking forward to joining in with what God is already doing in Worcester and my prayer is that God would use me to show the love of Jesus to the people of this great city. I’m particularly excited to continue building relationships with the University and welcoming new students to try church during this uncertain time.

Despite the delay in being ordained due to Coronavirus, I personally felt that my licensing as a Lay Minister was a significant starting point. I think the ordination service is going to feel like the next step in my calling, rather than just the beginning of a new job and I’m excited about taking that step of faith.

Christopher Henson (St John, Kidderminster)

I was born on All Souls Day 1992 in a rural village near Doncaster, South Yorkshire. From around the age of 15 I began to take my religious devotion and faith more seriously, and would regularly attend Mass and Evensong at the Parish Church. I was confirmed at the age of 16 by the Bishop of Doncaster and made my first Holy Communion. Before too long I joined the parish choir and faithfully assisted the Rector as sacristan and server until I departed for University. It was in this early stage of my spiritual engagement that I first felt the need to pray, ponder and reflect about my ever-growing relationship with Christ and therefore aspects of my vocation for where God may be calling me towards as I entered adult life.

I went up to Leeds and read Theology, afterwards I found myself working for the Civil Service in various departments with diverse roles and responsibilities, a mixture of public facing, people management and departmental strategic roles filled my life over the subsequent four years. I continued a strong engagement with the Church of England and throughout my secular employment felt an even stronger call to serve God in a distinctive way. This was mainly encouraged through my interactions with numerous priests on how they embraced a life filled with sacrifice, humility, joy, and love, this is what I felt called to emulate and live, indeed for the rest of my life.

After a rather strenuous and challenging period of discernment I was recommended for two years of ministerial formation and entered Ripon College Cuddesdon in the Autumn of 2018.

I am very excited to be serving my title in Kidderminster, already the clergy team there have been immensely supportive during such unexpected times. However, with disappointment and change comes healthy humility, a test of one’s character and a trust in God who has complete sovereignty over all, for as the Angel said unto Zacharias, ‘Fear not’.

Rosie Moss (St Nicholas, Warndon, Worcester)

I have had what feels like a lifetime of questioning calls – mainly with the response, “Me, Really?” Then one day, as I prayed a prayer of Richard Rohr, “Help me to do what is mine to do”, things fell into place. And, cutting a long story short, here I am. I would not have got to this point without the constant support and encouragement of my husband Geoff, and adult children Ed and Annie.

I have spent my working lifetime so far in education, as an Art teacher (often to be seen over the years, up a ladder in the Cathedral cloisters putting up the annual schools Art exhibition), and more recently as Safeguarding and student wellbeing lead. I hope to be able to use these skills in my new role.

Whilst it is disappointing not to be ordained when intended, I knew it would happen in God’s time. I put my faith and trust in God’s plan. I have relished my training so far and feel excited to continue learning and serving God in my new parish, where I have already been made so welcome.

Kim Topham (Clent and Hagley)

My journey began with the Elim Pentecostal Sunday school, a Methodist youth club and then an Anglican choir. Anywhere you could sing was fine by me!

I’m very lucky to be able to serve my curacy in the villages which sit at the foot of the Clent hills. It’s close enough to the Black Country where I was brought up, but very much part of the Worcestershire countryside. Although being one of the first ALM’s and being a Lay Minister for the past few years, with special interest in funeral ministry, I had no intention of going down the ordination route, but God had other plans! After training as a Lay Minister at Queens Theological College six years ago, it felt like going home when I returned for ordination training. I’m thankful for all the guidance and support I have received from family, friends, lecturers and colleagues, but especially from Director of Ordinands, John Fitzmaurice who believed in me.

I’m looking forward to serving my community and God in a deeper and more sustainable way. I’m excited about new ways of doing church in the community, of giving people the opportunity to hear the word of God and working alongside some very experienced and knowledgeable people – both clergy and lay!

Although it is disappointing the ordinations were postponed until September, it is understandable and the Diocese made such effort to make the interim period feel very special to us ‘Deacons to be’.

Carol Weston (Brierley Hill)

My early memories of church are of attending a church in Wales for Sunday school. This is where I learned about Jesus and God. The church was also host to the clubs I belonged to and central to my social life as a young teenager. I prayed regularly and believed that God answered prayer. I knew that Jesus was a friend for me, and I was supported by Christians within that church. I was asked to train as a Lay Reader at this stage but did not feel that I could.

Aged 18 I left Wales and came to the Queen Elizabeth School of Nursing to train as a Paediatric Nurse. For a few years I had little contact with church unless I was back in Wales. Marriage followed and children. When our first child was born, we wanted her baptised and approached the local church which was close to our house. The responses in the baptism service caused me to feel stirred to continue this relationship with God and joining this church seemed the right thing to do.

This was a church which encouraged a personal relationship with God and listening to him expecting to hear his voice. I felt that God was calling me to something, but I was not sure what. I volunteered for many church roles and yet knew that God was calling me to more.

I was encouraged to become an Authorised Lay Minister and at the end of this course felt called to pursue the discernment process which led to training at Queen’s Foundation.

During my journey there have been many challenges and a few hurdles to get over. My prayer has always been that if this was not what God was calling me to, he would show me through his Word and others that this was the case. I am still amazed that God’s opportunity for me is to serve his people through Ordination and look forward to the challenges and blessings that go with this.

Priests

Sarah Bardell (Dudley)

My first year as a curate has been amazing. I started my curacy as the Top Church team was being assembled, as the reordering works started and just before the Church officially reopened as a resourcing church. It's been quite a journey! It's been a challenging year for us all in many ways, but we've been certain of God's presence with us as we've strived to bring the love of Jesus into all sectors in the town. I've grown in both confidence and ability and have enjoyed learning from clergy at Top Church and in the Dudley Team. God has used me in ways I never thought were possible this year, in walking alongside people in all stages of life, and ministering to them where they are. I feel truly blessed to be here and empowered to be exactly who God made me to be.

To be recognised as a Priest in the Church of England will be a really special event. For me, the Eucharist is the crescendo of a church gathering, the place where we meet with Jesus in a deeply personal yet truly community-centred way; to be able to preside at that will be an honour and a privilege. I hope to be able to bring many others to this table, where all are equal and none are turned away, so that they too may know and be transformed by Jesus.

In one sense I've been waiting to be priested for some years now so a few more months shouldn't make too much difference. Yet, at the same time, it is a cause of great sadness too. The sadness almost feels inexplicable - there are people suffering in many ways due to the pandemic and this hardly compares to what others have faced - but it is very real. I've seen a fair few ordinations now, and I've always found the priestly ordination very moving. My ordination as a Priest looked very different with fewer people attending, fewer priests present and social distancing in place. It might not be the celebration I'd always envisioned but it was still a special occasion with God meeting with me in a significant way.

Victoria Barlow (Astwood Bank, St Matthias & St George and The Bridge, Headless Cross)

Like many of the great gifts and sacraments of the Church, becoming a Priest falls as gift and challenge. I am immensely excited, and happy, and it feels like the me that God created is finally taking another step toward fruition. It has been a burning yearning all through so long now, and the sense of release is like a daffodil bulb so full of life responding to the sun that it pushes up even through the snow...

Yet also, it is a huge challenge, a challenge to continue to pray, to study, to live and love and breathe and walk with people, to continue to be the best I can within God’s grace as I journey on together with the people with whom I travel.

The step from deacon to priest is huge, that beautiful gift of service and storytelling, and bearing of tears and smiles, making connections and seeking the lost, that is the Deacon’s, now to be wrapped together with the joy of being a channel of God’s blessing, anointing, healing, sacramental presence. To be able to bear God’s love in nourishing, blessing and anointing at this time of challenge and darkness is a very special gift.

The past six months have been such a rich and also such a ragged time for us all, so many stories of pain and hurt and anxiety, but amongst it so much blossoming love and creativity and hope. To be a deacon at this time is extraordinary. Part of the deacon’s calling is to “seek the lost” and part is to “proclaim the gospel”. I think we have all felt a little lost at times recently, and there have been so many barriers and dislocations to cross. Yet to be called to speak into that “we have a resurrection faith to share that promises that more can be lifted up, mended, flourish and re-grow anew and brighter, than we could ever imagine” was a beautiful and heart singing truth.

I’ve met and worked with many wonderful people, and my everlasting gratitude goes to them all, and especially my Training Incumbent and the Diocesan Director of Ordinands.

Jonny Gordon (Great Malvern)

Being ordained priest this year is both very challenging & different to what I expected but also on reflection makes perfect sense in that the call to reflect Christ to a broken & messy world couldn’t be more needed than in our current crisis. 

This past year as a deacon has been an incredible journey & I’ve absolutely loved being able to serve the congregation of Malvern Priory & the people of Malvern. I’m excited for the next few years continuing in this ministry. I look forward to starting in priestly ministry & particular the privilege of helping people flourish in their own priesthood & vocation.

Francis Moloney (Holy Trinity, Redditch)

The last year has left me feeling profoundly hopeful for the future of the church! We have collectively learned so much and developed our creativity to adapt. I’m also astonished that God called me, of all people, to be a deacon in this time. The highlight of my year has been being people being transformed by Jesus through our three Alpha courses. There is nothing more exciting, for me, then seeing people fall in love with Jesus.

As I prepare for my Ordination as priest I look forward to being continually amazed by the way that God uses his church as we reach out to our town and surrounding area to share the love of Jesus.

 

Video

Ordination of Deacons

Download the order of service.

The preacher is the Reverend Catherine Williams, with whom the candidates have spent recent days in retreat.

The setting for the eucharist is that in D by Kenneth Leighton (1929–1988), sung by a lay clerk of the cathedral choir. The organ is played by a cathedral organist.

10 am: The Bishop of Worcester

  • Claire Billington, to serve in the benefice of Peopleton and White Ladies Aston with Churchill and Spetchley and Upton Snodsbury and Broughton Hackett

  • Lindsey Coulthard, to serve in the parish of St Stephen, Worcester

  • Jessica Fellows, to serve in the parish of St Nicholas and All Saints with St Helen, Worcester

Due to limiations with the broadband the video is quite jerky. 

1 pm: The Bishop of Dudley

  • Foluso Enwerem, to serve in the benefice of Dudley

  • Jonathan Evans, to serve in the parish of The Lye and Stambermill

  • Christopher Henson, to serve in the Kidderminster West Team

4 pm: The Bishop of Dudley

  • Rosie Moss, to serve in the parish of St Nicholas, Warndon

  • Kim Topham, to serve in the benefice of Hagley and the parish of Clent

  • Carol Weston, to serve in the Brierley Hill Team

The Ordiantion of Francis Moloney by the Bishop of Dudley


Page last updated: 30th September 2020 10:32 AM
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