Deacons and Priests Ordained

by Gerry Lynch last modified 06 Jul, 2016 11:11 AM

10 priests ordained and 12 deacons made at the Cathedral

Deacons and Priests Ordained

New deacons after their ordination

Ten new priests were ordained and twelve new deacons were made at Salisbury Cathedral over the weekend of Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June, to serve in parishes across Wiltshire and Dorset. They are among 900 or so new clergy being ordained across the Church of England this summer.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Ramsbury, the Rt Revd Dr Ed Condry, the Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, and the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, were all present at both services.

The Revd Neil Robinson is one of those starting out in ministry, and will serve in the Bemerton parish in Salisbury, as well as being the chaplain to deaf and hard of hearing people in the Diocese. Neil is himself profoundly deaf.

Neil said, “Before I was called to ordained ministry, I used to work for Action Deafness as Community Support Worker. I loved this job but I feel that being an Assistant Curate will be the best job in the world! Despite facing challenges of barriers, I recognize God’s clear calling on my life to become an ordained clergy. Although things seem impossible to me, nothing is too difficult for God.

“A deaf priest once said. ‘Deaf people are not incomplete hearing people; they are complete Deaf people.’

“I strongly believe that Deaf people can become ordained clergy, not just onlookers within the church community. I know for sure that God can use them to glorify Him through serving faithfully in the life of the Church. God loves Deaf people so much that He longs for them to experience His love and enter into the relationship with Him through a language they can understand. The cross clearly demonstrates God’s ability to draw everyone together as a family, regardless of their backgrounds.”

The Revd Jane Williams has switched careers from being a nurse, and will serve in Wareham. After being ordained, she said, “I’ve discovered that when God calls you, there is no way you can ignore him. I was at the height of a long career in the NHS and I loved being a nurse, but God had other ideas.

“Even though I resisted for a while, a bit like the story of Jonah, here I am today, being ordained, and it feels like the most natural thing. It’s been an incredible journey so far and I’m really excited about it.”

Special permission had to be sought to allow the Revd Ben Rundell-Evans to be ordained this year, to serve in St John and St Mary in Devizes. Aged 22, he is a year below the normal lower limit for someone to be ordained in the Church of England, and only the Archbishop of Canterbury can give permission for someone younger to become a deacon.

Ben said,  “Being ordained at this stage in my life doesn’t say much about me in particular. It does, however, say something very profound about the Church of England. In ordaining me, the Church says that whatever your age, experience or background, you can play a part in the mission of God.”

The Revd Jo Haine has already completed a year as a deacon in Dorchester and the Winterbournes and was ordained a priest at the weekend. She said,  “The call to ordained ministry is sacrificial and involves stepping out in faith, away from all the comfort and security that we surround ourselves with. As I knelt in the Cathedral today looking up at the Prisoners of Conscience Window, I could not have been more aware of my weakness and vulnerability, this is all I have to give; but God continues to choose to use me and responding to His call is the most amazing privilege.”

As well as the twenty-two new priests and deacons, one unusual and special commissioning is that of the Revd Guntars Reboks, a young priest already ordained as a Lutheran in Latvia 18 months ago, who will be furthering his training in Sherborne.

Guntars said,  “I’m really excited. It was amazing to be part of this day. I’m looking forward to getting a wider view of the universal church, and being part of uniting us into one church.

“I served as an assistant priest at St Saviour’s, the Anglican Church in Riga, which has links with Sherborne, so spent four months on placement at the Abbey last year. That’s when I got the idea of coming here for a longer posting.”

Ordinations of priests and deacons are annual events marking the culmination of years of training, and are highly significant events for the ordinands themselves, their family and friends, and the parishes they serve.

Final photo: 2016 priests after their ordination

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