54 clergy have joined churches across the Diocese of London following their ordination to the office of Deacon this week – and one is about to begin a journey to the Diocese of Melbourne where she will become the Cathedral’s curate.
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 be working in churches across the Diocese of London, serving their local communities and undertaking public worship, teaching and pastoral work. After a period of around a year, a Deacon is often ordained to the priesthood.
This is the fourth successive year that the Diocese has welcomed over 40 new Deacons to London’s churches, with a total of 54 being ordained. The new Deacons will serve across 47 churches.
The Bishop of London, the Right Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, said:
“It is an honour to welcome these 54 new ordinands, with all their unique gifts and talents, to the Diocese of London. God has called them to serve the rich tapestry of people who call London home, and it will be a joy to see how they progress in their ministry. I pray that they find this next chapter as fulfilling as I did during my years as a Deacon.”
“I can’t wait to join the vibrant community at St Giles-in-the-Fields. St Giles is a neighbourhood that never sleeps. Theatreland, the shops of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, universities, offices, restaurants and cinemas draw people here from far and wide, alongside those who live in the parish. I have been called to serve all in these diverse communities, but especially those who feel lost amongst the bright lights of the city.
“I recently discovered that my great grandparents lived in a room in the parish and worked as porters around Covent Garden Market. The building where they lived later became the birthplace of punk music and is now a patisserie! “Porter, punk, patisserie, prayer book” sounds like a perfect preface to the start of this new chapter in my life. Thanks be to God!”
“I am so excited to get to know the lovely people of Soho. It is such a wonderfully vibrant part of London, with a real mix of people who live, work and visit there – from those in residential spaces, the elderly and school children, to those in the pubs, restaurants and creative industries. I can’t wait to serve in a parish that is in the heart of the city, but also has an amazing sense of community.
“Jesus always created a safe space where people could authentically be themselves, be honest and be open to meeting with him and then through him, their lives were transformed. I only hope to follow the way that Jesus ministered to others and in doing so see their lives renewed also by him.”
The Bishop of London, the Right Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, said:
“The Two Cities is home to some of the country’s most iconic and celebrated churches, from St Bride’s on Fleet Street to St Martin in the Field’s in Trafalgar Square, and it will be a joy to see how these ordinands progress as they answer God’s call. I pray that Jesus Christ may guide them on their journey to follow in His image.”
“I feel very privileged to be serving my curacy in the London Diocese at St Luke’s Millwall. It is a diverse and multicultural area with people from many different backgrounds and cultures. God is already working in this area in people’s hearts and lives, and during my curacy I get the privilege to join in with what God is already doing.
“I am particularly looking forward to working closely with the local church school and building relationships with its families. As a Deacon, I hope to build relationships with the community, to find out what changes they would like to see in the local community, and to partner with them to make changes, or campaign for change to improve the local area for all. I also hope to work with other local faith groups, such as the local Mosque, to form relationships and get involved with what they are doing to serve the local community.”
The Bishop of Stepney, The Rt Revd Dr Joanne Grenfell, said:
“I am so excited to welcome these 15 ordinands to the Stepney area of the Diocese, and to see Revd Amy Footson begin her ministry in Australia. We have felt the work of the Holy Spirit in every part of East London, encouraging and enabling Christians to grow as disciples and offer themselves for ministry. I am excited to see what our new Deacons bring to their parishes and the ways in which they develop in their ministry. I pray they find strength through God to serve every person in their community and to spread the good news of Jesus in every corner of the city.”
Eva Webb Sheen
“Having been a pub landlord for five years, it’s safe to say there’s not much that can shock me. The skills I learnt from behind the bar are just as useful in the pulpit. I hope my ordination can show people like me that anyone, no matter your background, can answer God’s call. As a working-class woman born and bred in Fulham, I never believed that I could be ordained – but I can testify that God has a plan for everyone.
“I am looking forward to planting our new church, engaging and connecting with the parish community, extending my role in our parish schools, being able to baptise, and to walking alongside people through some of the most important moments in their lives.”
“I’m looking forward to being immersed in my new role and getting to know the people of the parish; their needs, their joys and their struggles. The parish has put a strong emphasis on outreach, and a lot has been done to build bridges within the community; between neighbouring parishes, and between people and our parish. I’m overjoyed to come to such a place, and to try to honour this inheritance and play my part in that bridge building vision!”
“My career in television was essentially about people – and it involved working with a diverse bunch of talented people to make the best show possible. Created in God’s image we are all creative beings with diverse talents. I long to encourage others to embrace their talents and engage with the passions God has placed on their hearts. TV taught me that despite planning and rehearsals when you put real people in the mix you have to be ready for every eventuality. With real people and the Holy Spirit – anything can happen!”
“I came back to faith after years of thinking “church” wasn’t for me when I encountered a worshipping community who wholeheartedly embraced their neighbours outside their church building. I think I have found kindred spirits in the St Gabriel’s church family.”
“The parish of St Cuthbert’s has a number of brilliant initiatives in place, such as Daniel’s Den and Memory Café, which I can’t wait to get involved in. I am looking forward to working with the vicar to develop a café-style church to make services more inclusive and welcoming to the unchurched, and to develop inroads into local schools. I am excited to work in partnership with my training incumbent and the PCC to serve God and the community and to develop my ministry within the church.”
The Bishop of Willesden, The Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, said:
“It is such a privilege to welcome eight new clergy to Willesden’s churches; every ordinand brings something truly special and unique to the area and the Willesden area is blessed to have their leadership and talents. The ordinands’ love for Christ shines through in everything they do – what a joy to be with them on their journey. We pray for them, their families, and the respective communities they will be serving.”
“As a former teacher, I am very fortunate that St. Alban the Martyr is attached to a primary school, which will hopefully form the core of my work with the local community. Being in central London, the parish takes in a broad range of people and experiences and that presents an equally broad range of opportunities; Leather Lane Market, Hatton Garden and the Royal Courts of Justice are all on our doorstep, and I hope to build on the relationships which St. Alban’s already enjoys with local businesses and institutions.
“Above all, it is my hope that the people of the local community will be able to feel that St Alban’s is their church and that we the clergy are there to serve them. St. Alban’s is a bastion of the Anglo-Catholic movement, and it is a great privilege to serve in a church which has such a fantastic history. It’s a truly stunning space with a rich musical tradition and it will be a great privilege to worship in so beautiful a setting.”
The Bishop of Fulham, the Right Reverend Jonathan Baker (currently providing episcopal oversight for the Edmonton Area)
“What a joy to welcome six new clergy to the Edmonton area. Each and every one of these new deacons brings their own unique experiences and vision to their churches and communities. We are blessed that God has called them to serve in North London and I am so excited to see what the future has in store for them as they develop their ministry.”
For the full list of names of those who were ordained please visit this page
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