14 candidates were ordained over the weekend to serve in parishes across the Diocese, with more deacons being ordained than there has been for many years.

Deacons in Worcester cathedral12 candidates were ordained Deacon in the Cathedral on Saturday and are entering their first year of training as a curate. A further two candidates have completed their first year and were ordained Priest in their parishes on Sunday; they are now able to preside at the Holy Communion.

Deacon receiving bibleThe Bishop of Worcester presided at the ordination of Deacons while the Bishop of Dudley ordained the two Priests. Archdeacon Rick Simpson, Archdeacon of Auckland in the Diocese of Durham preached at the service in the Cathedral having led the pre-ordination retreat for candidates.

Ordained Deacon:

  • Deacons 2018

    Adam Hadley, who will serve at St Thomas in Stourbridge

  • Andy Smith, who will serve at All Saints in Worcester
  • Chris Sheehan, who will serve in the Arch Benefice, Evesham (Church Lench with Rous Lench & Abbots Morton & Harvington)
  • Jen Denniston, who will serve in the West Worcestershire Rural Team
  • Julia Quinn, who will serve in Stourport on Severn and Wilden
  • Peter Myres, who will serve in the Chase Team, Malvern (St Andrew’s & All Saints, Malvern Wells & Wyche)
  • Rich Hackett, who will serve at Holy Trinity, Old Hill
  • Robin Parry, who will serve in the Worcester South East Team
  • Timothy Hupfield, who will serve in Badsey with Aldington & Offenham & Bretforton
  • Sue Adeney, who will serve in Upton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome w Hill Croome & Strensham as well as Hanley Castle, Hanley Swan & Welland
  • Janet Hatton, who will serve at St John, Bromsgrove
  • Jo Williamson, who will serve in Broadway, Evesham

See photos from the ordination of Deacons

Ordained Priest:

  • Becky Elliot priesting

    Becky Elliott serving in the West Worcestershire Rural Team

  • Paula Honniball serving at St John the Baptist, Claines & St. George’s Worcester

See photos from Becky Elliott's ordination

See photos from Paula Honniball's ordination

Bishop John said: “It is always a great privilege to be able to ordain people who have discovered the love of God in their lives and have decided to devote themselves to bringing that love to others. Not only the Church but all society will be hugely enriched as a result.”

Listen to Archdeacon Rick's sermon at Becky's ordination;

Quotes and background information from the candidates:

Deacons

Adam Hadley (St Thomas in Stourbridge)

Adam Hadley ordinationAdam was born and brought up in the Black Country. He studied for a degree in history and a Masters in Human Rights before spending a decade working in local authorities in the Midlands. Before training for ordination he was working in governance for a charity in Oldbury. He said:

“My family weren’t churchgoers, but I wanted to go to Sunday school at age 4 because my cousins went! I continued attending throughout university and became a Lay Minister after I left. When I moved to Halesowen, I started having conversations about training for ordained ministry.

“God loves everyone, regardless of who and what they are and I really want to share that radical love with people! Until now, I’ve been combining my role as a Lay Minister with a full time job, so I’m looking forward to ministry being my whole life and being able to be with communities in their joys and sorrows. Building relationships with people is critical to the gospel and it’s important to me to be rooted in a community. I’m also hoping to dispel the myth that vicars aren’t normal people and sit around being priestly all the time. That’s definitely not me and I want to be the person that God created me to be!”

Andy Smith (All Saints in Worcester)

Andy Smith ordinationAndy grew up just outside of Cheltenham. His Mum became a Christian when he was about 12, but he remained sceptical of faith. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Warwick University where he met his wife Debbie, who was a Christian. In 2006, Andy attended an Alpha course where he gave his life to Jesus.After leaving university, Andy worked in retail for a few years before his vicar asked him to run the Christians Against Poverty centre at the church. He combined this with being youth worker. Andy said:

“This role was the beginning of my ministry as well as starting to think about dedicating my life to the Lord full-time. However, I ignored the feeling that I needed to do something more until 2014 when the sense of God’s call returned to me and I felt suddenly unsettled. I started the discernment process and decided that I needed to trust God. I’d just keep pushing the doors and if they kept opening, I’d go through! My family and I moved to Bristol in 2016 to start training and now we’re looking forward to coming to Worcester.

“Having worked as a debt counsellor in a very poor community in Leamington, I really feel a call to work with the most broken in our community who are seeking help. I love talking about Jesus and I think being a vicar will open up so many evangelistic conversations. It’ll be great to meet people at cross-roads in their lives and be invited into sacred places and moments where I can support and love them. I’m looking forward to being part of a larger church and learning as much as I can from its vicar, Rich Johnson.”

Chris Sheehan (Arch Benefice, Evesham)

Chris Sheehan ordinationChris is married to Carol and they have lived in Evesham since 2002. He was brought up in Worcester where his Mum still lives. Chris became a Christian at a Crusaders summer camp in his teens, but it wasn’t until he became a Street Pastor that he began taking his vocation seriously.He will combine his ministry with his career offering coaching for technology businesses who are launching new innovations in healthcare. He said:

“I’ve always felt called to focus my ministry outside the body of the Church, supporting those in the marginal, difficult places who often don’t have a voice. Jesus’ charge to ‘feed my sheep’ has always resonated with me. I completed a pioneer ministry diploma at Church Mission Society with time also at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and will be ordained as a ‘permanent deacon’ working with people in the local community.

“My paid role is about trying to get business owners to be the best they can be and realising their potential without telling them what to do. It involves listening and asking questions sensitively, skills which I know are going to be very useful as a minister. I’m not starting with an agenda, but am looking forward to seeing where God is already at work in the benefice and joining in, trying to understand where Christ is and where I can make a difference.”

Jen Dennison (West Worcestershire Rural Team)

Jen DennisonJen is nearly 60 and is originally from Rural Aberdeenshire. Most recently she has been teaching children with additional needs at a school in London, but moved to Worcestershire when her husband bought a farm in the county – his family has lived in the area for a number of generations. Jen began training as a lay minister, but put her training on hold in the early days of owning the farm. She said:

“When the time felt right, I began exploring my vocation again and before long I was going to a selection panel for ordained ministry! It feels like the right thing to be doing and what God is calling me to. I have a real heart for reaching those people who struggle to make it to church on a Sunday morning and am looking forward to getting out and meeting people where they live and work, getting to know the local farmers and local families and understanding how we might offer church in a different way.

“I have served as a churchwarden in a busy London church and I hope that I can use some of that experience in rural Worcestershire. I know it’ll be very different, with more miles to cover in the beautiful countryside, but I’ve got lots to share as well as lots to learn! I can’t wait to get going in my new role and make an impact, bringing the gospel and God’s love to local people.”

Julia Quinn (Stourport on Severn and Wilden)

Julia Quinn ordinationJulia has been a Christian since she was small and remembers singing the first verse of Away in a Manger in church aged six! She was confirmed as a teenager and her faith really developed while studying science at university. It was when she and her husband Andrew moved to Areley Kings and began attending St Bartholomew’s Church that she felt that God was calling her to do something. She said:

“After a conversation with my vicar, I completed the Bishop’s Certificate Course and then six years ago trained as a Lay Minister. I absolutely loved the role and for a long time felt I’d found my vocation and would struggle to do more. However, slowly, my list of excuses for not doing anything else were crossed off – God gave me the strength to do things I never thought I’d be able to. That prompted more conversations about training for ordination – a journey I never expected to be on!

“I’ll be a part-time assistant minister, serving in both rural and urban communities where it wouldn’t be possible to have a second ordained person.I’m very grateful to both Areley Kings and Astley parishes who have been hugely supportive along the way and I’m looking forward to getting to know a new community and going wherever God leads me.”

Peter Myres (Chase Team, Malvern)

Peter Myres ordinationPeter, 50, served for 16 years in the Royal Navy after leaving school, followed by five years organising expeditions for an overseas charity before running the administration of a large London Church. He has been training for ordination in Bristol and will move to Malvern with his wife and four children. He said:

“I really enjoyed working for my church, but others started to ask whether I’d considered being ordained! I didn’t go to university so was apprehensive about going back to studying, but everyone at the college was great at building my confidence. I enjoyed the training, although it was difficult being away from my family who remained in London. It’ll be a big change for us all moving to Malvern.

“I definitely feel like the Lord has been drawing me to a more community or parish based ministry. Malvern will be very different to London, but I’m looking forward to seeing what ministry looks like in a new context and being part of the church family there. People feel very isolated in today’s family and I believe that church can really help to build a sense of belonging where people are known. I hope to help show how people’s lives can be turned around by faith.”

Rich Hackett (Holy Trinity, Old Hill)

Rich Hackett ordinationRich was born and bred in Bromsgrove and until 12 years ago didn’t go to church. After experiencing a moment of conversion where he felt God speaking to him, he started to explore faith and became a Christian after getting married. Prior to training for ordination he worked in the IT department of a marketing company. He said:

“My vicar asked whether I would consider being ordained and I began to explore the possibility. On the weekend when I’d planned to go away and pray about it, a congregation member came up and asked the same question!

“I’m hoping to be able to bring some of the lessons I’ve learnt in business into parish life. I think it’s important for churches to understand and respond to how people are consuming information today and the fact they’re used to a well-packaged product. We need to represent Jesus as well as we can. I want to come alongside people and journey with them. Today’s society is all about not being good enough and is often very fragmented, but faith and the church can offer a different narrative. In particular, I really feel called to minister to those who are most disaffected in our society and are on the fringes. I hope my ministry will be one of mission and evangelism – meeting people where they are.”

Robin Parry (Worcester South East Team)

Robin Parry ordinationRobin moved to Worcester after marrying his wife in 1991 and until 2001 taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at Worcester Sixth Form College.Alongside teaching he studied for an MA and then a PhD in Old Testament Studies and in 2011 moved into theological publishing, where he will continue working after ordination. Robin and his wife have two grown up daughters and a cat!He said:

“I am from a non-conformist/ free church background, but a number of small incidents and questions from my studies meant my views on church began to change as I understood more about liturgy. In the past people mentioned the idea of me being ordained, but I never thought I wanted to be a priest so dismissed it for a long time before beginning to explore the idea seriously.

“I have worked in theology for a long time and I think God wants me to use that background. I see my ministry as drawing on a range of different traditions and bringing them together. I’m looking forward to seeing how the church can engage missionally with its parish, firstly getting a feel for the people in the church and community and then exploring different opportunities. Throughout my training the Methodist Covenant prayer has been very important to me – remembering it’s OK to explore things, even if they don’t work out. It’s not about being a success of failure, but about discerning what God wants for me and for the Church.”

Timothy Hupfield (Badsey with Aldington & Offenham & Bretforton)

Timothy Hupfield ordinationTimothy wasn’t a churchgoer growing up, his only contact with the church was through Scouts. He studied science at university and it wasn’t until he got engaged and his wife wanted a church wedding that he started going to church to find out what it all meant. The people he met had a massive impact on Timothy and he was baptised and married within a couple of weeks. It was at his baptism that Timothy first got the sense that he might be being called to ministry. He said:

“At the start I just assumed I was misinterpreting the call and tried serving the church as a youth worker, on the PCC and as a verger. I also trained to be a teacher and then when my wife fell pregnant while she was training for ordination, I became a full time stay at home Dad. My wife became a deacon in 2011 and then a priest in the Diocese of Lincoln the following year. It was when we moved the Lincoln that everything started coming together and after speaking to a retired priest who helped me work through my worries, I started training for ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Badsey and am excited about getting to know people and being part of the community there. To work alongside people, their lives and their faith is a privilege. I’m going with a very open mind to explore what shape ordained ministry will take for me. I’m expecting my curacy to tell me an awful lot about where God is calling me, although I’ve already been surprised a lot of times!”

Sue Adeney (Upton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome w Hill Croome & Strensham, Hanley Castle, Hanley Swan & Welland)

Sue Adeney ordinationSue explored ordination 30 years ago, but she was newly married and just starting a family so the timing wasn’t right. She has served in her local church and for 18 years was the Cathedral Education Officer, retiring in 2016. Sue will continue to serve in the benefice in which she lives after being ordained. She said:

“There’s definitely a feeling that God will get you in the end about my ordination and although I’m excited, there’s also a part of me that is absolutely terrified! In some ways, not a lot will change – I’ll still be serving my local community as I’ve done for many years. However, in other ways, it’ll be a total change! I’ll be more overtly representing God in the villages and I’m hoping that being ordained will help open new doors. I’m particularly looking forward to being involved in life events and getting into schools.

“I’ve always been a community person and am involved in a lot of different things, which I hope will be an asset in my new role. I intend to be a minister for the community, not just the church. I loved my training in Birmingham. Queen’s College have been fantastic in supporting my vocation and now I’m looking forward to getting started and seeing where God will call me next.”

Janet Hatton (St John, Bromsgrove)

Janet Hatton ordinationJanet grew up in Bromsgrove and has lived there for most of her life, now with her husband Cliff and their two sons, Andrew and Michael. From a very early age Janet knew that she believed in God, but didn’t have the chance to explore my faith as she grew up. When she was 42, Janet experienced a strong sense of God calling her to go to church and began attending St John’s. She became increasingly involved with the life and ministry of the church taking on roles including sides person, helping with Sunday school, enrolling member of the Mothers’ Union and assistant churchwarden before helping to lead some services. It was after completing an Authorised Lay Ministry course as a Worship Leader that she felt God was calling her to ordained ministry. She said:

“It has been a long journey for me, and not always the easiest one. Although I firmly believed that God was calling me to ordained ministry, and I never doubted it, I have had to be extremely patient to have my calling recognised.I’m very grateful to my friends at church who have supported me through this time, my family who have always understood how important my faith is to me and to the Revd Ray Khan who has been a great support with his belief in me.

“I approach my ordination date with many mixed feelings and emotions, but am looking forward to my ministry within St. John’s and St. Andrew’s, serving God in any way that I can, with the gifts that God has given me and to the best of my ability. I believe in an amazing God who is full of love and compassion for all.I can’t quite believe I’ll be ordained Deacon in Worcester Cathedral on 30 June, but my journey does not finish there.It is a journey for the rest of my life and one that I look forward to, and to sharing with others.”

Jo Williamson (Broadway, Evesham)

Jo Williamson ordinationJo has lived in Broadway for 35 years and has been a Lay Minister in the Church for the last ten years. She is already involved in taking funerals and supporting local parishioners. She said:

“Being a Lay Minister has been much more fulfilling and rewarding than I’d imagined it would be before I started training and I’m expecting that being ordained will be even better! It’s a real mix of feelings of inadequacy and trepidation with excitement and a sense of wanting to get on with the job. I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the support that I’ve received from so many people, both Christians and non-churchgoers – that’s been really encouraging.

“I’ve been in the parish for a long time and have supported people through many different life experiences. Funerals will continue to be an important part of my ministry and I’m also looking forward to having a focus on children and young people. It’s a real blessing to be able to continue to minister in a village where I’ve been involved with people over many years.”

Priests

Becky Elliott (West Worcestershire Rural Team)

Becky Elliott with Bishop GrahamBecky was a Science teacher before she was ordained Deacon a year ago. She now works across the West Worcestershire Rural Team (WWRT). She said:

“I’ve really enjoyed my first year as curate. I’ve met so many friendly, helpful people and have been made to feel so welcome. No two days are the same and I’ve had a wide range of experiences from taking school assemblies to funerals to praying and planning with our ecumenical partners. It’s amazing to see how God is at work in our communities and exciting that I’m called to be part of that.The WWRT covers a huge area, so it has been challenging getting to know it all, but I’ve enjoyed exploring it – it’s been a fun year!

“Being a curate has not changed my vocation, but it’s definitely cemented my calling to help point people towards God and walk with them on their faith journey, whether that’s in church, through the occasional offices of baptism, weddings and funerals, or where they are. I’m really looking forward to taking weddings, they’re always so exciting – I’ve already got a few lined up over the summer. It will also be a real privilege to preside at communion and that’s definitely something that I expect to grow into and continue to reflect on over the course of my ministry.”

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

Paula Honniball with Bishop GrahamPaula is a part-time, non-stipendiary minister working in the parish of Claines and St George, Worcester. Before being ordained, Paula worked as a supply teacher and part-time Registrar and continues to work as a supply teacher in two primary schools, two days a week. She said:

“I have really enjoyed the past year. It has been hard work and the first few months were about learning the role, but I’ve enjoyed being in ministry – that fact that you can be taking a school assembly one moment and then holding the hand of someone who is dying the next. Although I’ve been allowed to baptise people and take funerals as a Deacon, I’m looking forward to a more sacramental ministry and feel this is the culmination of many years of discernment. It’ll be great for me to be able to marry people in the sight of God – it’s such a life-changing moment for them.

“Being part-time is sometimes difficult as there is always more that I could do. However, I’ve come to realise that the two days that I teach is as much a part of my ministry as my parish work and it’s important to hold both together rather than see them as separate. Being part of a team has also been great, I’ve been able to listen and learn from others who have been in ministry much longer than me. The versatility of parish ministry really suits me and where I am at the moment feels right, but who knows what God is calling me to in the future.”

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