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Meet our new Priests...

by Michael Ford last modified 04 Jul, 2019 11:23 AM

7 new priests who are serving in urban parishes and rural benefices across the Diocese from Royal Wootton Bassett in the north to Poole in the South have been ordained by Bishop Nicholas.

Meet our new Priests...

Photo by Ash Mills

After a special service of ordination at the Cathedral on Saturday, surrounded by family, friends and parishioners the 5 men and 2 women celebrated Communion in their own Parishes on Sunday.

Click here for online photos from the service,

And here for Facebook photos.

Read Archdeacon Sue's Sermon here.

The group, whose hobbies are just as diverse as their Parishes are interested in everything from the Morse Code to collecting action figures and before entering training our new priests worked as sound engineers, police officers, maths experts, teachers and even as a pilot.

We met two of them last week

#dosalrevs2019- David Perry

The Revd David Perry, an airline pilot with a life-long love of Morse code, will now be juggling the day job flying for Thomas Cook with his role as Assistant Curate with the Clarendon Team.

#dosalrevs2019- Heather Brearey

And former police officer Revd Heather Brearey, who served as a custody sergeant at Southampton custody centre with 36 cells, is now Assistant Curate with St Mary and St Melor, Amesbury near Salisbury.

This week, we meet the rest. [and click here for our Deacons]

#dosalrevs2019- Darren Dalton

The Revd Darren Dalton - Assistant Curate at St Andrews Church Parish of Kinson, Bournemouth

Darren thought his tattoos and lack of university education would stop him from becoming a priest. But he was wrong. Aged 41, Darren is the Assistant Curate at St Andrews Church Parish of Kinson, Bournemouth. Last year he moved to the parish from Littlemoor in Poole, where he was a Youth Worker, with his wife Stephanie and his children, Charlotte, Joseph, Elizabeth, James and Isabelle.

Darren says he is most looking forward to continuing to "see how God is going to help me develop into the Priest he is calling me to be" in the year ahead -

But also wonders, "What other comfort zone is God going to pull me out of to help me grow?"

During his Curacy, Darren is also focussing on serving the elderly, those with dementia, and the deaf.

Darren’s hobbies, outside of those tattoos, are Comics, Films, Lego and Minecraft. He says:

“There are a lot of ways the comic industry relates to God and can be used within sermons and teachings. Where the industry is popular at the moment it gives me a good conversational starter.

"I own around 270 superhero figures all displayed in my office. A great conversation starter but, kids, no touching!"

We interviewed Darren for our April/May Grapevine. Here is what he said:

"I’m from a council estate, I’m not educated, I have tattoos, I didn’t think I was priest material - so I just didn’t trust what I was feeling.

"I lived opposite St Francis and one evening I felt this unending peace and God said to me "Spread my word."

"Lorraine (Dobbins, the Team Vicar) got my passion for family and community and outreach and so encouraged me to become a Youth Worker, dealing with families on the local estate, setting up a crisis centre, dealing with social services. I didn’t believe God had another plan for me.

"Once I accepted God was calling me, once I trusted him, I saw that training for ministry could be practical rather than academic.

"I’m coming to the end of my first year of curacy and I have now got to grips with what priesthood is about – it’s about encouraging and equipping others to grow God’s church.

"My regret – not listening sooner, not trusting in God’s judgement for me – he doesn’t make mistakes."

And about those tattoos...

"In some ways my body is a stained glass window, telling the story of God’s amazing unconditional love for me, so while the people would look at me and say he will not accomplish anything -my faith and God told me I could!"

Read about Darren’s take on tattoos and faith at

#dosalrevs2019- Karen Wilson

The Revd Karen Wilson - Assistant Curate in the Okeford Benefice

Karen, who is Assistant Curate in the Okeford Benefice came to our Diocese from Essex. She has also moved from urban to rural life to take up her Curacy.

Karen, who was in Education for 28 years as a teacher and Pastoral Head of Year, moved to Dorset with husband Chris, and they share their home with three rescued cats and three chickens!

During her Curacy so far Karen, who is 52 has focused on children’s work but has more plans now she has been ordained a priest at Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday afternoon (June 29th).

"I am going to undertake a placement as hospice chaplain."

She says looking back on her diaconate year she most enjoyed:

"Being a full time minister, living my whole life in the service of God and the parishioners of the Okeford Benefice. Also just being a Deacon and not having any other job!"

And she says she is really looking forward to her first year as a priest, especially to be able to "Preside at Eucharist Services and undertake my hospice placement."

She also says she has no worries about the year ahead:

"I have heard God’s calling on my life since I was 11 and being ordained is a huge, long-awaited privilege."

Among her hobbies Karen says she loves sea swimming and hospitality - "I love to cook for people and host meals" - and she says this is something that has proved valuable in her ministry so far:

"Hosting meals for parishioners is a great opportunity for ministry and allows you to use your pastoral care skills too."

#dosalrevs2019- Oliver Blease

The Revd Oliver Blease - Assistant Curate at St Bartholomew and All Saints Church, Royal Wootton Bassett

Oliver says his first year in ministry has taught him that having a good pair of walking boots is essential:

"I enjoy walking and our church walking group meets each month and having a good pair of boots has been great for this gathering and fellowship time."

32-year-old Oliver has already been very busy serving his Deacon year at St Bartholomew and All Saints Church, Royal Wootton Bassett and he believes priesthood will only be more enjoyable.

"I have been involved with the local schools both as a Governor and in leading Collective Worship. I also have a ministry of taking communion to the sick or housebound which has been very fulfilling."

Oliver moved to Royal Wootton Bassett with his wife Mariama, who works for Oxford University and they have both enjoyed their first year serving the community:

"It is a market town and therefore has a good combination of being a lively community and wonderful town, and also with many people who join us for services and Life Events (weddings, baptisms, funerals) from farming communities and other surrounding areas," he said.

Oliver, who is serving as a full time stipendiary Assistant Curate is looking forward to becoming a priest at the ordinations on Saturday afternoon at the Cathedral:

"Being in the role of President at the Eucharist will be an enormous privilege. I am looking forward to doing a wider variety of roles outside and within church, especially officiating at weddings which will be wonderful. I am also hoping to work more closely with our all-age team to encourage and nurture that area of the church’s ministry, and help to build upon the great work which is already being done there."

Oliver says his previous job has given him some helpful skills he can use as a priest:

"After a degree in Law I worked in Melbourne, Australia, for the Department of Justice, and in the office of a member of the State Government. I later worked in a Business Development before moving to a full-time Parish Assistant role with the Church.

"The capacity for study and for reading large amounts has been invaluable and makes sermon-writing and research much more enjoyable. I think the administrative side of work and getting to know the legal frameworks is perhaps a more straightforward process having that sort of background.

"The pastoral work in parish ministry before ordination was invaluable as I learned the importance of time with people and that building connections and long-term ministry relationships is central to parish life, and indeed the role of the parish priest.

"I love distance hiking and recently returned from a 4-day pilgrimage walking from Sherborne Abbey to Glastonbury with friends. I also paint and enjoy photography too.

"I use the arts a lot in ministry, especially when exploring the gospel with young people. Often we will look at a painting together, or perhaps an icon, or a stained-glass window, as a focus for reflection. During Lent the church was like an art gallery with artworks by pupils of the church school displayed around the building, all reflecting their understanding of the Stations of the Cross."

#dosalrevs2019- Matt Lee

The Revd Matt Lee - Assistant Curate at St Johns, Wimborne

It is hard to top an appearance in the Maths Olympics, but being ordained as a priest will do that for Matt.

Matt, who is the Assistant Curate at St John's Wimborne, has also thoroughly enjoyed the past year as Deacon in the Dorset parish. Looking back, he says the bit he enjoyed the most was "getting to know the St John's Church family."

Matt, who is 31, moved to the Parish with his wife Becky. They have a daughter Lydia who Matt says is "one-ish."

He lists as his hobbies: "Running, watching sport, baking, Ancient Greek and Hebrew," all of which he says he uses in his ministry:

"I bake for church family members and use my Ancient Greek and Hebrew to prepare sermons."

Matt, who focused on Youth Work during his Curacy so far has a degree in Maths from Oxford and Cambridge, and says this is also helpful as it "helps me to think through problems well."

Looking ahead to his first year as a priest, he says the thing he is most looking forward to is the "Real Lives week of testimonies."

And what don’t the parishes know about their curate?

"Well I once ran into a tree and broke my arm!" Matt says.

#dosalrevs2019- Thomas Pelham

The Revd Thomas Pelham - Assistant Curate at Canford Cliffs

The former Director of Music at Holy Trinity Bradford, Tom is the Assistant Curate at Canford Cliffs, Poole. He really enjoyed his first year of ministry:

"One of the best bits of being a Deacon was taking home communion to elderly and ill members of the church," he says.

Before embarking on ministry, Thomas was a Database Developer, Audio Engineer and Studio Assistant. He says what he is most looking forward to in the year ahead is:

"Continuing to serve in my community in my new role as presbyter."

The full list of those ordained as priests this weekend is:

Oliver Blease       Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Heather Brearey  Amesbury, Sarum
Darren Dalton      Kinson and West Howe, Dorset
Matt Lee               Wimborne St John, Dorset
Thomas Pelham  Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks, Dorset
David Perry          Clarendon, Sarum
Karen Wilson       Okeford, Sherborne

Click here for our Deacons

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