New Priests and Deacons

by Gerry Lynch last modified 02 Jul, 2017 05:06 PM

21 Revs Commissioned for Dorset and Wiltshire

Eleven new priests were ordained and ten new deacons were made at Salisbury Cathedral over the weekend of Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, to serve in parishes across Wiltshire and Dorset.

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.

Photos of all candidates and both services are available via the following links:

  • Flickr (no sign in required, high res download available): here
  • Facebook: here

The new deacons and priests had diverse and interesting routes to arrive at this weekend’s services.

Stéphane Javelle’s path to the Salisbury Plain Benefice took him all the way from Marseille, where he was previously Events Manager for the city council.

Stéphane who will be based in Shrewton, said “I had felt a call to priesthood since childhood, and when I was younger I spent four years training as a Roman Catholic priest. One of my grandmothers was British and an Anglican – I still have her Book of Common Prayer – and at the end of those years I realized I was an Anglican too!

“When I started to attend the Anglican Church in Marseilles, I felt at home; it is a very warm congregation with a great sense of family. I became steadily more involved and 12 years ago, I was licensed as a lay minister, meaning I have been preaching, taking services and preparing people for wedding, confirmation and baptism.

“That developed into a fully formed call to priesthood as I felt called to be a father to people and take care of them.

“I spent a month on placement in the Salisbury Plain Benefice last year as part of my training, and I loved it. I’m looking forward to working in this rural area of open spaces and strong communities. It will certainly give me a chance to see something different after 20 years in the second city of France.”

Caroline Titley, who will be based in Wilton, Netherhampton and Fugglestone, will also have a dramatic change in her working environment. Until this month, she was Chief Executive of a Housing Association providing homes to 7,000 families and employing 250 staff.

Caroline said “It’s was an effort to study while working full time, but I feel I have answered a sense of calling I’ve had for many years. At this point, I feel small in comparison with the scale of almighty God.

“I have always worked in housing or partnerships, and have always been interested in working cross-boundary. So one thing I’m looking forward to is getting to know the community so I can contribute those skills which I’ve developed in secular employment.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting people in three very different churches in three different communities.

“I like preaching and enjoy the musical tradition that Wilton has, and I’m looking forward to help the team attract new worshippers.”

Colin Heber-Percy, will be ordained priest, having been made a deacon last year and will continue as an Associate Minister in the Vale of Pewsey. He will also continue to work full time in secular employment.

Colin said,  “In my day job, I’m a screenwriter, writing dramas and drama documentaries.

“I thought that being ordained would change one enormous aspect of my life – ministry – which I thought would be discrete from my professional life. Instead, I’ve found that writing drama has been transformed and enriched by the process of being ordained. I recently sold a proposal for a contemporary drama about faith, which I would never have considered before.

“People now seem to feel comfortable having the most extraordinary conversations about faith with me in the most rigidly secular contexts. I didn’t expect that.

“An important part of my path to priesthood was working on a BBC series, The Preston Passion in 2012, telling the story of Good Friday but set in Lancashire, working with a range of faith groups and community groups. It was a profound waymark, showing me how to combine writing and ministry.

“It has been a privilege to share the joy, grief and excitements of people’s lives, as well as leading Sunday worship. I have been made so welcome.”

Jonny Scott, who was priested to serve at St Peter’s, Parkstone in Poole, also gets a lot out of using skills gained through secular employment in ordained ministry.

Jonny said,  “I have always worked where faith meets politics: for example, I was a community worker in West London with an organisation called London Citizens.

“My sense of calling came through a lot of people I trusted, through whom I heard God’s voice, and not least through my wife, Fiona.

“I have seen how faith can work through people as they fight for justice, and felt called to serve and lead in those communities.

“Over the past year as a deacon, I’ve worked on all parts of parish life, from the sublime to the ridiculous to the tragic. I’ve rejuvenated our youth group, I’ve taken church services with Lego, prepared people for baptism and taken funerals. A real highlight was singing the Exsultet at Dawn on Easter Day.

“For me, it is about fully entering into the sacramental privilege of my role as priest, learning from those around me and looking for the unique way God has called me to minister.”

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