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

Deacons in the serviceFour candidates were ordained Deacon in the Cathedral on Sunday and are entering their first year of training as a curate. A further 12 candidates have completed their first year and were ordained Priest in the Cathedral 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. Bishop David Wilbourne, Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of York, preached at the service in the Cathedral having led the pre-ordination retreat for candidates.

Ordained Deacon:

  • Sarah Bardell, to serve in the Benefice of Dudley
  • Victoria Barlow, to serve at Astwood Bank, St Matthias & St George and The Bridge, Headless Cross
  • Jonny Gordon, to serve at Great Malvern
  • Francis Moloney, to serve at Redditch Holy Trinity

Ordained Priest:

  • Sue Adeney, serving in Upton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome w Hill Croome & Strensham
  • Jen Denniston, serving in the West Worcestershire Rural Team Ministry
  • Stephen Dunton, serving Pershore with Pinvin, Wick & Birlingham
  • Richard Hackett, serving at Holy Trinity, Old Hill
  • Adam Hadley, serving at St Thomas in Stourbridge
  • Janet Hatton, serving at St John, Bromsgrove
  • Timothy Hupfield, serving in East Vale and Avon Villages (Badsey with Aldington & Offenham & Bretforton)
  • Peter Myres, serving in the Chase Team, Malvern (St Andrew’s & All Saints, Malvern Wells & Wyche)
  • Robin Parry, serving in the Worcester South East Team New priests after the service
  • Julia Quinn, serving in Stourport on Severn and Wilden
  • Andy Smith, serving Worcester, St Nicholas & All Saints with St Helen
  • Jo Williamson, serving in Broadway, Evesham

Bishop John said: “One of the great privileges of being a bishop is being 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.”

See photos from the ordination of Deacons.

See photos from the ordination of Priests. 

Read Bishop David Wilbourne's sermons (which he writes in blank verse!): 

Quotes and background information from the candidates:

Deacons

Sarah Bardell (Dudley)

Sarah BardellI was brought up as a Christian in a Pentecostal church in Worcester. In 2010, after meeting my now husband, John, we both started attending an Anglican church, following what we felt like God was saying to us. I soon developed a deep love of the beautifully written liturgy and a sense of being part of a community that span the centuries. It wasn't long before various people started asking if I'd considered ordained ministry and giving me opportunities to lead groups, but the concept of being a priest was incredibly daunting!

I felt a deep need to study, so began a degree in theology while taking a slow route through the discernment process. I finally went to panel in 2017 and began training later the same year, following straight on from my degree. I feel like I delayed the call for a few years and now, although still daunted, I'm excited to get stuck into ordained ministry. It still feels a bit surreal but I trust that God has called me and will equip me for all that is to come.

I really look forward to expressing the love of Jesus to Dudley in as many ways as I can and I can't believe I get to be a part of his plan in doing so. If I can be part of his plan to bless people, anyone can. I'm sure I am totally out of my depth and will find much challenge ahead, but God is with us and will provide all we need.

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

Victoria BarlowComing from a non-church family, I hold a neighbour who gave me a children’s bible, and an aunt who gave me a copy of the BCP at my infant baptism largely responsible for the kindling of faith in my life! These were to spark my curiosity and to lay foundations which blossomed as a young teenager when I began to attend church to play the church organ. I still enjoy accompanying services and concerts in churches and cathedrals around Britain in my spare time. I am supported and inspired by incredible friends, and my ever-patient husband and two children, one of whom is into mud, rugby and Romans, and the other; a fencer, self-describes as a “trained assassin”. Do not be calling them cute. I love reading good books of all types, walking, nature, baking, and the sharing of cake ….

A call to ordained ministry flowered in my school years, although I spent many years trying to make it fit other boxes, mainly under the title of “Who? Me? Lord?”; exploring the religious life, musical vocation and training as an English Teacher. Life had its challenges and joys as it does, but throughout them all that call remained insistent, and finally at age 40, I find life beginning, as the proverb says, again, anew.

I believe the love of Jesus calls and empowers us all to live life joyously, hopefully, caringly, vulnerably and riskily; to seek and celebrate light, life and love, and to bear it together within places of shadow and challenge. John Fitzmaurice, Worcester DDO, described me as “one of a kind – an accomplished musician with a hearing-loss, a mystic who rides a powerful motorbike”, and I love challenging stereotypes and encouraging others to find ways to live into fullness of life. I am really looking forward to embracing this mission alongside the people of Ss. Matthias & George and The Bridge churches and their communities. I have already sampled their cake….

Jonny Gordon (Great Malvern)

Jonny GordonHaving grown up in the Pentecostal tradition, my journey towards ordination in the Church of England was more than a surprise. I still hold my Pentecostal roots of an expectation that Jesus is active & present through us, in us & to the world through the Spirit, but I’ve also developed a love of sacramental theology & practice, of tradition & the whole breadth of the Christian story, practice as well as a realisation that Jesus is as real and present in the everyday and mundane as he is in the incredible.

My journey towards ordination began over a decade ago when I began studying theology, but I avoided a call to ministry for years until God caught up with me. I met my wife Katie who introduced me to Church of England and I began attending Anglican churches for a number of years. We both studied theology in a Pentecostal college but for our month placement we chose Exeter Cathedral. This was the turning point for me as I remember being sat at Evensong on a drizzly afternoon, surrounded by music, smells and words that were completely different to that which I was used to and knowing God wanted me in the Church of England - which was a bit unexpected for a good Pentecostal boy.

After much wrestling, more study and people nagging, I finally began to explore ordination, this process brought me alive and I feel I have found both purpose and a way to truly express who God has made me to be. Life hasn’t been without its challenges in our family but God has been present throughout and incredibly faithful. This past few years of discernment, study and training has been the most formative of my life and although it feels like an enormous task I am excited about being ordained as well as mine and Katie’s next few years in Malvern and the unknown journey beyond.

Francis Moloney (Holy Trinity, Redditch)

Francis MoloneyMy journey to ordination really began with quite a profound encounter with God when I was about 8. I have always looked to people in ministry as examples and with a certain amount of intrigue and a feeling of “I wonder if I could do what they’re doing”.

In more recent years I have been encouraged by a number of friends that ordained ministry is where God is calling me and since putting myself forward I have felt this sense of call again and again.

Through my training at St Mellitus College, where study is combined with part time work in a parish I have been able to get a real feel of what it is like to serve in a local church and community so I am excited to enter this new phase in a new place.

I am looking forward to moving to Redditch and serving in the Holy Trinity team, making new friends and joining in with mission of the church in that place.

Annabel and I have been married since 2015. Annabel will be graduating soon as a registered nurse.

Priests

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

Sue AdeneyMy first year as a curate has gone so quickly that it feels like I’ve hardly drawn breath. Some things have been as they were as I slotted back into many things I was involved in before ordination, although in a different role. In addition, I have been involved more closely in people’s lives as they face death and funerals, which has been the most enormous privilege; baptisms, which I love, and I’m now looking forward to being involved in marriage ceremonies. It’s the opportunity to ask and talk about people’s faith through these occasions that I find very exciting.

Being ordained deacon as a second career in retirement has also been quite tough on me and my family as I try to find the correct balance between them all. In my enthusiasm for being engaged in everything, I sometimes forget how to say no!

As I become a Priest I am looking forward to celebrating communion and experiencing the full liturgical range. I also long to feel that I have the authority to give God’s blessing. I would like to be able to put into practice some of the areas of ministry in my community which I have been thinking about this year as a deacon and I am looking forward to continuing with curate training - we we have a fantastic group which supports encourages and learns from each other.

Jen Dennison (Worcestershire West Rural Team)

Jen DennistonIt’s been a year of new things, since I was ordained deacon in Worcester Cathedral in July last year and started in a new role as curate in the Worcestershire West Rural Team (WWRT).

It’s been lovely to get to know people in and out of the churches across the parishes, at various church and community events. As well as family celebrations and thanksgivings in church services, highlights have included doing church beyond the church walls - Songs of Praise on the showground, Barnyard Nativity in a cattle shed, Rogation in fields and allotments..

I’m looking forward to being priested and finding out what God has in store for the next phase of ministry .

Stephen Dunton (Pershore, Pinvin, Wick & Birlingham)

Steve DuntonI was born in Derbyshire, but moved to Redditch when I was 5. My family wasn’t at all religious and my faith journey only started age 14 when a school teacher showed the film ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ about a minister working with gangs in New York. There was a follow up session with the teacher explaining about the Christian faith and something just clicked.

In my mid-30s, I began training to become a Roman Catholic deacon – by that point I was married with children. I trained part time and juggled work and family with my studies before being ordained to the Deaconate in 2011. I continued to combine parish life at my RC Church in Studley with teaching at a local Catholic Secondary School until I had an experience in Durham Cathedral where I really felt God was calling me to be a Priest in the Anglican Church.

With the support of my wife, who also felt this was God’s will, I left teaching last July and moved with my family to Cuddesdon College in Oxford to complete a year’s residential training. I’m now really excited to become ordained as an Anglican Priest in Worcester Cathedral and move to Pershore to serve the community there alongside the Revd Claire Lording. I can’t wait to become a full time minister and to be able to preside at the Lord’s table. God has done so much in my life and I want to continue to share his love and to grow in my own ministry.

Rich Hackett (Holy Trinity, Old Hill)

Rich HackettHaving spent 20 years building my career in IT, it would be fair to say that I approached ministry with a certain trepidation, and yet strangely, all of those things which would have been difficult to leave behind, became unbuttoned very easily, and I can genuinely say I have never missed my former life for a minute.

Being a deacon is unlike any other vocation.We are given the unique opportunity to stand at the liminal moments in people’s lives and rather than fear, anger and uncertainty which we so often see in society, we offer a message of unconditional love and of hope.We are able to offer peace which comes from knowing Jesus.

It has been my privilege to serve with some fantastic people at Holy Trinity, and I look forward to being able to serve them in a full priestly capacity sharing in God’s gift of marriage in the years to come.

Adam Hadley (St Thomas in Stourbridge)

Adam HadleyDuring my first year as a Curate I have met loads of people and journeyed alongside them during happy times and sad times. It has been a year of doing things I would never have imagined doing a couple of years ago - working with primary schools has been a particular highlight. Perhaps the biggest gift is being able to work and minister in the community in which I live. I try to walk to as many places as possible as I find this opens up conversations with so many different people in the parish.

Watching priests preside at the Eucharist throughout my life was a major influence in considering ordination in the first place. As I become a Priest, to be able to preside myself will be an honour. I hope I can enthuse others to meet with Christ at his table and be transformed by him.

Janet Hatton (St John, Bromsgrove)

Janet HattonI have really enjoyed my year as a Deacon and cannot believe how quickly the year has gone. It has been a very busy year as I still work at the moment so life can be a bit of a balancing act. I have had the wonderful experience of baptising children and of observing some marriage services. To be able to be part of people’s lives at these times and knowing that God is with them is truly amazing.

It will be a dream come true when I am priested and I look forward to serving God and people in the way that he wants me to. I want people to know God’s love and to spread that word of love.I feel that I have a pastoral and sacramental ministry and to walk alongside people at times of need is something that I feel called to do. To be able to preside over Holy Communion is going to be such an emotional experience and a huge privilege because it is at this time that I really feel close to God.

Timothy Hupfield (Badsey with Aldington & Offenham & Bretforton)

Timothy HupfieldTimothy was a stay at home dad before he was ordained deacon a year ago, and is serving in the benefice of the East Vale and Avon Villages, just east of Evesham. He said:

“I have absolutely loved every moment of my first year of ordained ministry - even the parts that have been difficult, unpleasant or seemingly unattractive. It has been wonderful getting to know lots of the people who live in these villages and an absolute privilege to walk alongside them, both in their journeys of faith and at some key moments in their lives - at baptism and at funerals. The variety that ordained ministry contains has been a real source of joy. I've found the pattern of morning and evening prayer that holds all of this together to be a real source of strength, too. This has allowed me to really inhabit the diaconal ministry - which, of course, I will carry on into and through my priesthood.”

“My ordination prayer card, my ‘ember card’, last year had a black and white line drawing of an ancient tattoo design of the Ascension. A friend painted her copy, as a present for me, filling in the colour. I used her painting on this year’s ember card. That symbolises a lot of my feelings about my ordination as a priest - a filling in of my vocation, bringing out all of the texture and variety and brightness - a making it into all that it can be, and me into all who I am meant to be, with the sacramental focus of priestly ministry.”

Peter Myres (Chase Team, Malvern)

Peter MyresMy first year of curacy has been a colourful journey of discovery filled with new experiences and challenges – I don’t know where the time has gone.The church community has welcomed my family and I so warmly and has been incredibly supportive and encouraging.

The first year has been a steep learning curve in terms of growing my own faith, expanding my ministerial and pastoral skills and simply settling into a new community.Whether it is doing my first school assemblies, helping with Alpha, setting up an ecumenical Thy Kingdom Come prayer tent, doing my first live radio interview, or leading the tug of war team at the local fete, there has certainly been plenty of ministerial variety.

Overwhelming though I’m so grateful to God for bringing me to Malvern.

Robin Parry (Worcester South East Team)

Robin ParryMy first year of curacy has been very fulfilling. Stepping into the role of deacon felt unexpectedly ‘natural’ and a surprisingly easy transition to make. God has really been stretching me and growing me, but I find that he also provides all that is needed for the task at hand. (Who’d have thought!) It’s been a steep learning curve, but such fun.

St Martin’s have really welcomed me and my family with open arms and being a part of that community is a joy and an honour.

I am anticipating that these next twelve months will intensify everything: stretching me more and pushing me deeper into God. I welcome that with open arms.

My priestly ministry, as I see it, has a key focus: enabling God's people to live the gospel in their communities. And I intend to pursue that calling going forward.

Julia Quinn (Stourport-on-Severn and Wilden)

Julia QuinnIt has been a pleasure to serve as a deacon in the parish of Stourport-on-Severn and Wilden. I have greatly enjoyed my first year of curacy; everyone has been very welcoming and I have had the opportunity to meet may new people. It has been exciting to see where God is at work in the different activities of my new parish and wonderful to journey alongside those involved. Just a few of the memorable moments include; dancing joyfully in last year’s heatwave along with those at Dementia Café; playing and praying with Lego at Families@4 services; celebrating at the planting of an apple tree, brought specially from Germany to mark our link with the church in Barby, and making ‘Follow the star’ decorations with the children visiting Wilden Church’s Christmas market.

There has been much to learn about being a part-time Non-Stipendiary minister and I am grateful to all who have helped me explore my role.As my ordination as priest approaches, I look forward to continuing to serve my parish in this new way.It will be a great privilege to offer God’s blessing and preside at communion. My prayer is that we may encounter God together as we follow Christ’s command to “Do this in remembrance of me”. I know that the next year will bring many more new experiences and memorable moments – I already have a date for celebrating my first wedding!

Andy Smith (All Saints in Worcester)

Andy SmithThroughout this past year I have been acutely aware of being formed by Jesus, with as much (maybe more!) going on in my internal world as my external one. I have been reminded throughout this past year that while God calls us to serve him, he first calls us to grow in character. The call of 1 Peter 1:15 which says: 'you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy’ requires us to pay attention to our souls and be open to being shaped by the master potter.

Within my role as Curate at All Saints Worcester, the ministry highlight for me has been running several Alpha courses.Being able to point people to Jesus then see them respond to his kindness and grace is just so rewarding! Beyond my priesting, I’m looking forward to presiding at communion; the sharing of bread and wine with friends (and hopefully some new followers!), remembering God’s goodness and living and serving from a place of gratitude.

Jo Williamson (Broadway, Evesham)

Jo WilliamsonAt this time last year, I thought nothing would change much from being a Licensed Lay Minister to being a Deacon and then – all being well – a Priest.However, it has all felt very different, partly because wearing a dog collar makes one’s position so much more public – responsible – accountable.It provokes reactions and encounters.I’m surprised how often people who never come to church are pleased that the Church is there – that we ordained ministers are there, saying and believing and doing what we do.

I hope and believe people in Broadway and Wickhamford (where I serve) approve of the fact that someone who has lived here a long time has been ordained, and will stay; so I want to repay their support by being as involved as I can in both the secular and Church aspects of God’s work here. I am hopeful that as a priest I can broaden and deepen my share in the spreading of God’s word and the pastoral care of people in the communities I love.

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