Diocese welcomes 45 new clergy for London churches
45 new clergy – 25 women and 20 men – have joined churches across the Diocese of London after being ordained to the office of Deacon this week. This marks the second successive year the Diocese has welcomed over 40 new Deacons to its churches, highlighting the strength of the Church in the capital.
The new deacons represent diverse backgrounds including an NHS mental health worker, a former rock singer and a married couple.
The office of Deacon is often a step on the path towards priesthood and follows two to three years of training. They will be working in churches across London, serving their local communities and undertaking public worship, teaching and pastoral work.
After a period of normally a year, a deacon is often ordained to the priesthood. This year, 48 previous Deacons will be ordained as Priest, having completed their year of service and training.
The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, said:
“It’s a privilege to welcome 45 new clergy to the Diocese of London family this year. Their impressive range of backgrounds, careers and ambitions is inspiring, and is testament to the growing diversity of the Church in London. This is a year like no other for all of us, and these new clergy will be a particularly valuable addition to our churches as they continue to find new ways to reach out to and support their communities. Let us all celebrate their ordination, and work together to share Jesus’s love and further God’s mission in the Diocese.”
One of the Two Cities Area’s new Deacons, Georgina Frances Elsey, will join St John Hyde Park church as a Curate. Georgina previously worked in musical theatre and dance stage management before training for ordination.
Georgina Frances Elsey, Curate at St John Hyde Park, said:
“The community at St John’s Hyde Park, where I am serving my curacy, is such a strong force for good, I am buzzing to be welcomed as part of the team and join in. I am already gearing up for the challenge of running a theological course, and I can’t wait to start coordinating our cultural adventures group, given my own theatrical background.”
One of the Kensington Area’s new Deacons, Jemima Adjei, will join Holy Trinity Brompton church as a Curate. Jemima previously worked as a school-teacher for ten years.
Jemima Adjei, Curate at Holy Trinity Brompton, said:
“I have had the most encouraging time of ordination training, at St Mellitus College in the Diocese of London. I have grown so much in my own faith journey and have grasped a greater understanding of what it means to be ordained and in particular what I uniquely have to offer to the Church. I look forward to opportunities to work closely with colleagues, in helping to meet the needs of those in the city, and our parish, both spiritually through the ministering of sacraments, emotionally and physically by supporting programs such as Love your Neighbour.”
One of the new Deacons in the Edmonton Area, Ryan Dunn, will join St Paul Mill Hill church. Ryan has been involved in youth work since he was a teenager.
Ryan Dunn, St Paul Mill Hill, said:
“I’m really excited to signpost the Church as a place and people of great refuge and hope during such a turbulent season, and to be a significant part of a broader collective of Christians in the area who seek to do the same through befriending those who are often hidden or forgotten, working alongside them to know and love Christ more fully.”
Two of the new Deacons in the Willesden Area, married couple Tony and Rosie Richardson, will join Holy Trinity Northwood church as Curates. Rosie trained as a classical pianist and worked as a musician for 20 years, and Tony has worked in publishing and as an English teacher.
Tony and Rosie Richardson, Curates at Holy Trinity Northwood, said:
“We are really excited by the opportunities that this ordination opens to us. We are both London born and bred and it is a real privilege to be ordained in our home city. At the moment it all seems like a bit of a venture into the unknown – but one that offers a deep sense of possibility. Having gone through discernment, training and now ordination together, we hope that this might encourage others that there can be flexibility in the Church of England and that perceived barriers can be overcome for those in a similar position to us.
“We are particularly thankful to Bishop Pete for his pragmatism and vision. It is also really encouraging for us to be part of a cohort which exemplifies the variety within the Church of England’s mission, going out to such a range of contexts and communities.”
One of the new Deacons in the Stepney Area, Becca Rimmer, will join Christ Church Highbury as a Curate. Becca is current writing and illustrating a children’s book.
Becca Rimmer, Curate at Christ Church Highbury
“There are two ways of looking at a ‘Covid Curacy’: Either, poor me, everything is going to be so difficult. Or, what an awesome opportunity to get creative, and dive right into the new things the Spirit of God is doing in this unique moment in history. I can’t actually think of a better time to get ordained and play my part in God’s amazing plan for Highbury, London and the UK. God’s not gone away, and neither has His Church.”