10 candidates were ordained in Worcester Cathedral over the weekend to serve in parishes across the Diocese.

Deacons 2017Three candidates were ordained Deacon on Saturday and are entering their first year of training as a curate. A further seven candidates have completed their first year and were ordained Priest on Sunday; they are now able to preside at the Holy Communion.

Priests 2017The Bishop of Worcester presided at both ordinations, assisted by the Bishop of Dudley, and the Revd Rhiannon King, Director of Mission in the Church of England, Birmingham, preached.

Ordained Deacon:

  • Becky Elliott, who will serve in the West Worcestershire Rural Team
  • Paula Honniball, who will serve in St. John the Baptist, Claines & St. George’s Worcester
  • James Treasure, who will serve as part of the Kidderminster West Team Ministry

Ordained Priest:

  • Kalantha Brewis, serving at St Barnabas with Christ Church, Tolladine in Worcester
  • Alex French, serving at St Mary, Oldswinford, Stourbridge
  • Rick Tett, serving at Holy Trinity, Eckington and St. James, Defford cum St. Peter, Besford
  • Orion Edgar, serving in the Benefice of Pershore with Pinvin, Wick and Birlingham
  • Chris Enwerem, serving at St John the Evangelist, Dudley Wood & Cradley Heath
  • Sue Hale, serving at St Mark’s, Pensnett
  • Sallie Butcher, who will serve in Teme Valley North, Shrawley and Witley with Abberley

Bishop John said: "Ordination services are a great celebration of God’s call to serve. It is always a joy to ordain those who have responded to God's call to dedicate their life to the service of God and other people in ministry."

The ordination service for priests took place at 2pm on Saturday 24 June and the service for deacons at 10.30am on Sunday 25 June, both in Worcester Cathedral.

See photos of the Ordination of Deacons

See photos of the Ordination of Priests

ENDS

Quotes and background information from the candidates:

Deacons

Becky Elliott (West Worcestershire Rural Team)

Becky Elliott was brought up near Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District. As a child I attended the local Anglican church, going to Sunday School, singing (quite badly!) in the choir and enjoying the youth group. On leaving home to study Microbiology at Aberdeen University I gave up on the Church and didn’t return for a number of years.

Whilst at university, I met my husband, Jamie. We enjoyed living in Edinburgh for three years whilst Jamie completed his PhD. I trained as a secondary school Science teacher and taught for the next 18 years.

In 2002 Jamie and I moved to Chaddesley Corbett near Kidderminster, when Jamie got a job in Birmingham. I taught part time Biology at Haybridge High School in Hagley. We lived there for 15 years, until moving to Clifton-upon-Teme in April 2017.

After the birth of our daughter Hannah, who is now 14, Jamie and I started going to our local village church. Our son, Tom, was born 4 years later. As a family we became more and more actively involved in the life of the church.

I was somewhat surprised when people began to suggest that I should get ordained in the church and even more surprisingly it turned out to be something I was called to do. I have been training at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham for the last two years and am delighted to be serving my curacy with David Sherwin in the West Worcestershire Rural Team. I am passionate about the transforming love of Christ in people’s lives and I look forward to being part of and serving the community.

I enjoy being out in the countryside, climbing mountains, visiting family in Northumberland and Norfolk and meals with friends.

Paula Honniball (St. John the Baptist, Claines & St. George’s Worcester)

Paula HonniballI am originally from Nottingham, and began my working life as an Executive Officer in the Civil Service, then moved to the Queen’s Medical Centre where I was responsible for training medical, nursing and clerical staff to use new computer systems. After moving to Droitwich in 1994 with my husband Keith and two sons, Tom and Alex, I took the opportunity to do teacher training at Worcester University. I have since taught at St Peter’s First School, Droitwich and am currently teaching part-time at Chawson School, Droitwich.

I resisted God’s call to ministry for several years. I am grateful for the encouragement of so many people who listened patiently to my excuses and prayed with me. Studying at Queens College alongside students from different traditions and denominations has been stimulating and inspiring, yet has also instilled a deeper appreciation of my own Anglican identity. A placement experience with the Halas team and a chaplaincy placement with Faith at Work in Worcestershire provided valuable opportunities for personal and theological reflection. I am delighted to be serving my curacy at Claines and St George’s in Worcester and look forward to exploring new opportunities for mission and pastoral care together.

I enjoy singing and drama, time spent catching up with friends, reading and taking our Springer Spaniel for long walks. With three men in the house, I’m pretty knowledgeable about football too!

James Treasure (Kidderminster West Team Ministry)

James TreasureSince I was a teenager I have felt a clear sense of vocation – a feeling that God was calling me to share the good news of the Jesus with others. My dad was an Anglican priest, but I ended up in the Free Church tradition. In 2000, I planted and led a Free Church in London which grew from three of us to 150 people and seven years later I moved to Stourbridge to take on the leadership of Chawn Hill Church.

For the past five years I been a member the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis, a religious order for those who want to live by Franciscan values. Through this, I reconnected with the Anglican tradition and began to feel strongly drawn towards ordination. While praying in a small countryside church, I asked God if that was his plan for me and after that met a number of different people who all pointed me in this direction!

I will be serving the parish of Kidderminster West, which has an Anglo Catholic tradition very different to that of the Free Churches that I’m used to! I’m looking forward to learning more about that tradition and understanding what God is doing in Kidderminster through the churches there. It’s a change for me to serve a whole parish rather than just those who worship in the church and I really look forward to getting involved in community life.

I have been married to Esther for 15 years and we have three boys, aged 13, 12 and 9.

Priests

Kalantha Brewis (St Barnabas with Christ Church, Tolladine)

Kalantha BrewisThe past year has been wonderful – rewarding, unexpected, challenging and extraordinarily varied. I have learned so much from, and been so warmly welcomed by, the community I seek to serve. There is always a sense that I am learning and receiving far more than I can offer or give. It is an enormous privilege to be permitted to represent something of what the church is seeking to be in this city.

Occasions like baptisms and funerals are always moving, important, sacred moments in people’s lives, and to play a part in those is truly to be on holy ground. But there are conversations too, on the street, at hospital bedsides, at church and in Sainsbury’s, that are humbling, fascinating and inspiring.

As I look forward to ordination as a priest, I renew my commitment to the priesthood of all believers, and to discovering with others how we, as the body of Christ, can be salt and light. It’s been a year of so many national and global changes, and I believe that for many people there is a real sense of dislocation and alienation. My prayer is that as followers in the way of Jesus we can build towards a community of welcome, justice and inclusion for all.

Alex French (St Mary, Oldswinford)

Alex FrenchThis last year has passed faster than any year I have never known! Characterised by many surprises both as one off episodes and more prolonged occurrences, they have all been and continue to be truly life changing. This is the power of Jesus. By putting him at the centre of all we do, life becomes rewritten and enriched, it becomes both freer and more wholesome.

I have been taken aback in many different ways. Most profoundly by the sense of personal completeness that ordained ministry has brought, the warmth of the welcome and the continual out pouring of love and support which the parish have shown me and the recognition and connection by people in both the local and wider community to the ‘dog collar’. Whether welcomed with open arms or arms folded across the chest, there has been a reaction to the ‘collar’ which has revealed glimpses of the deep spiritual undertow that is in us all, whether we acknowledge it or not.

I can’t wait to be ‘priested’ to be able to serve all the people in the parish in a broader and deeper sacramental way. What a privilege, to receive the gift of ministry from Christ, to have the Holy Spirit sent down, bringing its power so that I might be able to search for, shepherd and feed God’s children so that they might be saved through Christ forever. I suspect that this year and subsequent years may go even faster!

Rick Tett (Holy Trinity, Eckington and St. James, Defford cum St. Peter, Besford)

Rick TettMy first year of curacy has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have been made to feel very welcome from the different congregations around Bredon Hill. It is a joy to work in a wonderful rural setting with very encouraging colleagues.

I am looking forward to being ‘priested’. I am both humbled and excited and see it as an absolute privilege to serve God in this way.

I’d like to say thank you to my family and friends without which the job would be much harder. My wife has been my support throughout my ministry and has been a listening ear when things haven’t always gone to plan, giving me the encouragement and love when needed.

Thanks also to Canon Susan Renshaw for instructing me and helping me through my deacon’s year, enabling me to make mistakes and giving the opportunity to be involved in the depth of parish ministry and to the Revd Dave Collier for allowing me to have a rant about things when they haven’t always gone well.

God calls us and when we hear that call, we listen and act with open hearts and minds stepping out of the boat and moving onwards through our journey with faith and joy, even when we are out of our comfort zone. I feel God has given me the tools to enable me to continue in his ministry helping me overcome any doubts I had when I began.

Orion Edgar (Pershore with Pinvin, Wick and Birlingham)

Orion EdgarIt has been my great privilege to serve the people of Pershore and the surrounding area as curate over the last year, and I am hugely looking forward to the ‘step up’ that will come with being ordained as a priest.

I’ve had fun getting to know people in their best times and when life is hardest, visiting people who are housebound and ill, and seeing couples preparing for marriage. I’ve taken funerals, baptisms, and school assemblies, seen Pershore’s Carnival, Midsummer Brass Festival, and Plum Fayre, and had a lot of support from all kinds of lovely people.

I’m looking forward to a summer of weddings and community celebrations, to the privilege of leading people in worship at the Eucharist, and to praying for people from all walks of life, and asking God’s blessing on them. I’m so grateful that I get to see the difference that knowing God, in Jesus, makes in so many people’s lives.

Chris Enwerem (Dudley Wood & Cradley Heath)

Chris EnweremI can’t believe it is nearly 12 months since I was ordained deacon and started my curacy in Dudley Wood and Cradley Heath. Before my ordination, I felt extremely aware of the reality that I could not ‘do church ministry stuff’ on my own. Thankfully, I knew that I could rely on the help of the Lord who promised me that His presence will continue to lead me to the next phase of this unknown journey.

I lack words to express what happened to me on that day of my ordination. As the Bishop laid hands on me, I felt powerfully the presence of the Holy Spirit.

My curacy church welcomed me greatly and I have been part of people’s lives in various ways - in times of joy such as christenings and weddings and at times of sorrow and difficulties such as in bereavement. Our church outreach initiative on Cradley Heath High Street – Community Link - provides me with a lot opportunities. I have been moved by a young man who contacted us through the Link and now regularly joins our services and meets weekly with a few of us to study the Bible. His desire to see the scriptures unpacked encourages me.

I am looking forward to my priestly ordination and the challenges and blessings ahead, continuing with hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sue Hale (St Mark’s, Pensnett)

Sue HaleIt’s amazing to think that I’ve been a deacon at St Mark’s Pensnett for a year now.

The congregation has welcomed me with friendship, hospitality and a special Pensnett blend of humour and directness. It has been a joy to begin to get to know them well and an immense privilege to share in their highs and lows, as well as in the ordinary everyday experience of parish life. I am grateful to all who have helped me to discover God at work within the parish and beyond, and for all who have helped me to grow in grace through new demands and challenges. Some memorable highlights of this first year of ordained ministry include taking my first baptism and funeral services, leading a Pilgrim course, as well as meeting people out and about around the parish in homes, schools and the Community Centre.

Quite unexpectedly, I was invited to become school chaplain alongside my work as a Primary School Teacher, giving me the opportunity to be alongside my colleagues in a different capacity, as an attentive listener in times of joy and grief. I’ve also been a link to the Christian faith and church matters, as well as a resource during RE lessons. I shall retire from my teaching role in August, as school enters a new phase following our recent successful OFSTED inspection, giving me more space to ‘be’ as well as ‘do’.

There have been some special moments whilst taking communion to parishioners at home and in hospital, so I look forward to the daunting yet fulfilling role of presiding at the Eucharist. I have already begun preparing my first wedding couples, so I look forward to the immense privilege of marrying them. With God’s help, I hope to enable others to discover God’s abundant love and their own particular gifts as we journey together on the adventure of discipleship.

Sallie Butcher (Teme Valley North, Shrawley and Witley with Abberley)

Sallie ButcherMy Deacon year has been one of privilege, challenge and transition, but with God alongside me every step along the way.

It has been a privilege to both continue to minister in the benefice in which I live (Shrawley, the Witley’s and Abberley) and also to begin ministry in Teme Valley North. It’s been great to get to know a whole new group of congregations who have made me feel very welcome. It’s been challenging to find my way around a whole new group of villages and to discover how differently, and imaginatively, some churches operate. I’m ever grateful for people’s patience as I asked many questions and got used to doing things in a different way. It has particularly been a time of transition for me as I had ministered as a Licensed Lay Minister (Reader) for the previous 17 years. It’s been great being more involved with baptisms and weddings and it’s a real honour to accompany people as they prepare for these very special services. It’s lovely to see God at work in so many people’s lives.

The year has gone so quickly that I can’t quite believe that ‘priesting’ is now so very close. I am excited and humbled about what the next stage in my ministry might be like. I am sure that it will be a challenge but I am also sure that this is where God is calling me and, I’m pleased to say, so many others. Wherever our life journeys take us, and whatever and whoever we meet along the way, God is always there, encouraging and enabling us to become the Kingdom People he created us to be.

ENDS

The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 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
Email: ssetchell@cofe-worcester.org.uk