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Meet our new Deacons for 2020

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Sep, 2020 05:48 AM

On Saturday 26th September, 14 new deacons will be ordained by Bishop Nicholas in 2 groups of 7 in our Cathedral during services at 9.00am and 11.00am.

They include a garden designer, a classical singer, an IT project manager who appeared on the Big Breakfast and Noel Edmund’s Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, and our previous Director of Communications. One deacon is related to the founder of the first post office in Freemantle in Australia.

Their hobbies include conjuring, paddle boarding, geo-caching, and amateur radio.

This week, we meet 6 of them, and the rest next week.

Meet our new Deacons for 2020- Adrian Burholt

Former Project Manager in telecommunications, transport and payments Adrian Burholt, a Licensed Lay Worship Leader from Devizes, will move from an urban parish to the rural Wellsprings Benefice.

Experienced in change management, his first order of business is simply "Trying to get my head around rural ministry!"

Aged 54, he and his wife Katie have 4 children, 2 of whom have left home. Tom (22) has just finished a mechanical engineering degree and Molly (19) will be working for Public Health England.

Our Diocesan link with the Sudans is dear to his heart, as he "co-founded a charity that supports the South Sudanese through short-term projects."

Training at Sarum College has also been a joy. He says "The community and staff there are wonderful!"

Adrian's hobbies include conjuring and vintage electronics, and has appeared twice on television - on the Big Breakfast and Noel Edmund’s Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. He says:

"Using conjuring may be useful for school engagement, and my technical skills should prove useful as we set up for blended in-person and online services."

This year, he hopes to "Get to know as many people as I can and have some fun," but is not looking forward to "The weight gain from being offered lots of cake wherever I go!"

Meet our new Deacons for 2020- Leila Mather

One of the youngest in the group is Tisbury's Leila Mather, aged 29. A trained classical singer and graduate teacher, she will join the Benefice of Charminster, Stinsford and the Chalk Stream Villages.

A dog lover with an interest in Eco Church, and passions for painting, dance, music, and Hebrew, Leila looks forward to life in Charminster as she tackles discipleship, teaching, mission and evangelism.

Of her eclectic background, she jokes:

"I've learned how to keep cool in heavy costumes during summer heat waves!"

Reflecting on how her life is changing, she says:

"I loved the community and the inclusivity of our common life at Westcott House, Cambridge. There is something very special about being in a community where everyone is quite different but deeply connected by a shared faith and vocation.

"I'm now looking forward to being immersed in parish ministry and serving in a wonderful benefice after what feels like 3 years in the library!"

Meet our new Deacons for 2020- Nick Webb_

Former Swanage youth minister Nick Webb, 39, is moving along the coast to the St Aldhelm Benefice. A pioneering leader of a Fresh Expression Breakfast Congregation, he says he is:

"Excited about serving and loving the people in the community through weekly meetings, and the development of a Fresh Expression and Primary Schools ministry, plus training days and written reflections, and of course the Christmas services and activities!"

"My previous role as Youth Minister has been incredibly useful over the years. I’m a full-time garden designer and will continue to do this in Purbeck alongside ministry."

Nick and his wife Naomi have 3 children, as well as a Border Collie, Barney.

His interests include rock climbing, paddle boarding, tennis, mountaineering, geo-caching, walking and exploring, and notes:

"I was a Lifeboat Crew member in Swanage for several years prior to my children being born. I still appear on lots of promotional materials and fundraising boxes and stalls."

Nick attended Sarum College for an MA in Theology, saying: "I enjoyed the friendships which formed during this time, and these I will cherish for the rest of my life."

Meet our new Deacons for 2020- Sally Taylor_

Two of this week's deacons are married to Chaplains.

Sally Taylor, from Peasedown in Bath, will join the fast-developing Hamworthy Benefice in Poole.

Married to James, who is about to become a Chaplain in Poole hospital, they have 3 children.

She adds:

"We also have a very energetic Cocker Spaniel called Hetty, 2 Bantam chickens called chickadee and chick and one guinea pig called Stan!"

Of her impending ministry life, aged 42, Sally says:

"I have a Pioneer House for Duty curacy, and will see where the Lord leads. I want to focus on pioneer work, discipleship and community building.

"I worked in special needs education in a secondary school, I worked in a pottery painting studio and had my own card and keepsake design business. I also worked as a Church Community Pastor at my sending church before we moved to Bristol for my husband to train at Trinity college and then to Bridgwater for him to serve his curacy.

Her hobbies include running, swimming, reading, watching films, and history, and there may be a particular reason for the latter. Asked for an interesting fact about herself, she replies:

"My great, great Aunt set up the first post office in Freemantle in Australia!"

Meet our new Deacons for 2020- Nick Wells

Nick Wells, 40 this year, is also married to a Chaplain - the Revd Ruth Wells, ministering at Bournemouth University - and they have 3 children.

Unlike many others, Nick will be staying put, working with Wimborne Minster, where he is currently based, and the Wimborne villages.

Nick says:

"I’m looking to broaden my experience of Anglican worship and gain more experience of the traditional, choral tradition that the minster provides. I will also be listening and looking for where new ministry can be pioneered, involved in the worshipping life of the community on a day to day basis, and getting to know Wimborne and the people who live, work and play there.

"I’ve worked as a professional youth worker for the last 20 years, most of that time for Bournemouth youth service and Bournemouth YMCA, and I spent 3 years as the parish youth worker for St Nicholas’ Corfe Mullen.

"I enjoy playing and recording music, and I expect that once more ‘normal’ times return I’ll be playing my guitar for the minster ‘praise’ service.

"I was once the lead singer in a band called ‘The Plymouths’ and got to play a live set on Sally Taylor's BBC Radio Solent breakfast show.

Reflecting on his ordination training at Sarum College, he said:

"Some elements were residential, which built community but the majority was delivered online which meant I could stay rooted in my context, so that helped to flesh out what we were learning. We also had a great variety of Speakers, especially at our Summer schools, covering topics such as queer/ black/ feminist theology which was really challenging, in a good way."

Meet our new Deacons for 2020- Gerry Lynch

Our former Director of Communications Gerry Lynch, 43, has also returned to the Diocese, based at St John with St Mary, in Devizes.

Having been trained at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, he says:

"What I most enjoyed about St Stephen’s House was the way everyone wanted the quality of worship to be exceptionally high; I also enjoyed living in the centre of Oxford with all its cultural and educational opportunities."

After 13 years in politics and 5 years working for us, how prepared does he feel? He says:

"Political work is much more about working with volunteers than people realise. In that sense it has some resemblance to parish ministry.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know the people of St John’s better - kind, caring, and faithful Christian people from what I’ve seen of them so far - dealing with Covid-19 and the impacts it might have on mental as well as physical health over a long winter; helping our churches reach people exploring faith or new to Christianity; teaching churchgoers more about their faith; and starting my doctorate part-time at Oxford next month.

Hobbies such as photography, amateur radio, hill-walking, learning languages, and listening to music, especially classical music, hold his interest and, as he says knowingly, "Photography skills always come in handy."

What might people find surprising about him?

"I hold the British speed record for being able to understand Morse code, and I first went to see my Rector to tell him I thought I might have a call to ordained ministry 22 years ago this month!"


Please pray for our new Deacons:

Alison Alexander   Salisbury St Thomas and St Edmund
Sharon Boyle        Wimborne Minster and the Wimborne Villages
Adrian Burholt       Wellsprings
Helen Croud          Bridport
Karen Franklin       Canford Magna
Katie Jackson        Broughton Gifford, Great Chalfield and Holt St Katharine
Gerry Lynch           Devizes St John and St Mary
Leila Mather          Charminster, Stinsford and the Chalke Stream villages
Matt Smith             Corfe Mullen
Caroline Spindlow Warminster Christ Church
Sally Taylor           Hamworthy
Nick Webb            St Aldhelm
Nick Wells             Wimborne Minster and the Wimborne Villages
Helen Williams      Wareham

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