39 new clergy have joined churches across the Diocese of London following their ordination to the office of Deacon this weekend.

The office of Deacon is often a step on the path towards priesthood and follows two to three years of training. The new Deacons will serve their ministry across 33 churches throughout the Diocese of London, serving their local communities by leading them in worship, teaching and pastoral work. After a period of around a year, a Deacon is often ordained to the priesthood.

The Bishop of London, the Right Revd Dame Sarah Mullaly, said:

“It is a great blessing to be able to welcome these 39 new members of the clergy to our city. I pray that each of them finds this next chapter in their ministry as fulfilling as I did, during my years as a deacon, and thanks be to God for calling upon each of them to serve those who call London their home.”

Two Cities

Lucy Newman Cleeve
“It is a joy and privilege to be returning to the City of London and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the daily rhythms of life and worship at St Giles Cripplegate whilst getting to know the people who live, work and learn here. I am completing a PhD exploring ‘Contemporary Art as Public Theology,’ and so I am especially excited to serve a parish that includes the Barbican Arts Centre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

One of my key roles will be serving as a chaplain at the City YMCA, supporting young people transitioning from homelessness to independence. Joining the YMCA community at the Whitecross Street Party in July, which combines street arts, performances, and community interaction, will be a highlight. I hope that this blend of art and community engagement will become a distinctive mark of my ministry during my curacy and beyond, as I seek to share God’s message of hope, love and compassion.”

Lucy Newman Cleeve headshot

William Allen

“As a Deacon in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the church, and having formerly trained as an organist, I am excited to be involved in the great musical and liturgical tradition of St James’ Paddington. It is a place where the rich symbolism of worship reflects the exciting diversity and needs of the local area. I’m excited to live in busy central London, and I hope to prove that local community and parish life remain as important in the City as in the rest of the country.

Central London brings with it the challenge of a rapidly gentrifying and redeveloping climate, coupled with the needs of the families and residents who continue to reside there. St James’ Paddington is truly a ‘parish’ place, with a community spirit where individuals can meet each other, and encounter God in accessible and open-armed worship.”

William Allen

The Bishop of London, the Right Revd Dame Sarah Mullally

“It is a great joy to welcome these five new deacons to the clergy team in the Two Cities. The breadth and diversity of experience which each of them brings will be a great gift to the parishes in which they serve. The churches of the Two Cities engage daily with people who live or work in central London as well as the millions who pass through. As our new colleagues begin this exciting chapter in their ministry, I pray for God’s blessing on them and look forward to working in partnership in proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.”


Robyn-Ann Russell-Jones

“It will be an honour and a privilege to get to know my local community, serve them pastorally, get stuck in with outreach projects, and begin my ministerial journey in East London. When the time comes, I absolutely cannot wait to preside over the Eucharist for the first time.

I have a teaching background, so working with young people is especially important to me. I’m really looking forward to working with our local church primary school. Our church has really close links with the school, so this will be a great opportunity to continue the existing relationship and get to know the young people and their families in the area. I love how children are so unpredictable and full of life!”

Robyn Ann Russell Jones

Stephen Sodadasi

“My new church has plenty of exciting ministries with the local community, including playing neighbourhood football, teaching English as a foreign language, and teaching important day-to-day life skills, but the one I’m most excited about is door knocking!
I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into serving the Church family and making Jesus known throughout our community. It’s the people which make my parish so exciting and welcoming.

It’s a typical, inner-city London church, which is wonderfully diverse, full of people from all ages, stages and backgrounds. I’m looking forward to getting to know them all!”

Stephen Sodadasi

The Bishop of Stepney, The Rt Revd Dr Joanne Grenfell

“It’s a great pleasure to welcome these seven new members of the clergy to the Stepney area of the Diocese. The Stepney area spans a huge part East London, serving a hugely diverse array of people and communities. It is a privilege to welcome new deacons to the area who share such a wealth of experience and strength of vision. I very much look forward to welcoming them to our community, and to seeing their ministry develop over the coming months and years”


Melissa Dickinson
“I’m very excited to help launch a new series of ‘Climate Anxiety Cafes’, together with other local churches in the Edmonton area. The idea is to give local people a chance to come together to confront our fears about the awful things being done to God’s good Creation. I’m hopeful that we’ll find strength together to keep fighting for justice, and come up with creative new ways to live well in the world. And I’m sure there will be tea and cake involved!

I’m a Londoner born and bred but I’ve been away from London for three years during my training. I’ve really missed the diversity of London and can’t wait to be join Emmanuel, West Hampstead where the church is building a community where everyone is included. I’ll also enjoy being within cycling distance of the Ladies Pond on Hampstead Heath – an old haunt!

Church communities in London are so important, because they’re one of the only means by which you can become family with people who you might otherwise never have met.”

Melissa Dickenson

Alex Williams

“North London has been my home for over eight years now, and so being called to serve Christ in such a vibrant parish is a complete joy.

Swapping news for reporting for parish ministry is a big change, but the prayer and support for ordinands has been wonderful. Ordination might feel very nerve-racking otherwise! Having friends and family join the service is a wonderful blessing.”

Alex Williams

The Rt Revd Canon Dr Anderson Jeremiah, Bishop of Edmonton

“This is my first series of ordinations as Bishop of Edmonton, and I am sincerely looking forward to seeing each new member of the clergy flourish in our community of worship. Each of our ordinands comes from an interesting background, bringing with them their own vision and perspective, and creative way to connect with their parish. I pray that they find strength through God to serve everyone, be the presence of Christ in their local community, and spread the joy of worship throughout our wonderful part of the city.”


Ben Evans

“I was drawn to this curacy because St Paul’s is such an outward looking church. There is a real heart for social action here, whether this is making sure people have food on the table, to providing community support for mental health.

Myself, my wife and our baby are moving back to London after spending a few years in Bristol for my ordination training, so we’re all looking forward to being back! Ealing is a new part of the city for us, so we can’t wait to get to know our local community, and to understand the highs and lows that people are facing in their day to day.”

Hanneng Kailean Khongsai

The church here is vibrant, and has made significant strides in connecting with other local churches and the community to promote the gospel. I look forward to supporting the church’s mission, especially in establishing a creation care ministry and engaging with the broader community.

At my home church in Southall, I have had the privilege of leading ‘Outside Church’ events and the ‘North East India Fellowship’. Additionally, my time with the Church Mission Society working for A Rocha UK, a Christian conservation charity, has been incredibly enriching. It has provided me with opportunities for spiritual growth and the opportunity to meet people from diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds. These experiences have equipped me to navigate various challenges, which I hope will be invaluable in my role as a curate and help me to serve my community.”

Hanneng Kailean Khongsai

The Bishop of Willesden, The Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy

“We feel immensely privileged to be welcoming our four new members of the clergy to Willesden’s churches. They each are bringing with them such unique visions, and we are blessed by their variety and wealth of experience. It is a joy to be with them at this stage in their ministry and I look forward to seeing their development on this exciting journey.”


Warren Furman

“I spent my twenties bodybuilding, trying to be Mr Universe, but then I encountered the real Mr Universe in my forties: the Creator of the universe and everything in it!

I am most looking forward to sharing the Gospel in new and creative ways in my parish. I’m serving my curacy at St Francis, Dalgarno Way which is a fast-growing community church, reaching out and blessing the community in so many ways already. My parish is special because it is extremely culturally diverse, and our church reflects the diverse community it serves.

I’m particularly excited for my ordination as my wife is also being ordained, so she’ll be serving her curacy alongside me!”

The Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson

“It is a privilege and a joy to welcome 13 new clergy to churches across our part of the Diocese. The Kensington Area makes up a huge part of London and a bit of Surrey, and is wonderfully diverse. I can’t wait to see the ways in which our new deacons will develop in their ministry over the coming months and years. We are blessed that they have been called to serve God’s church, each of them coming with such different backgrounds and experiences. I look forward to supporting them in their ministry.”

View the full list of ordinands