Forty new clergy for London ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral
Forty men and women have joined London’s team of clergy as they were ordained to the office of deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.
The new deacons, 29 men and 11 women, bring a huge breadth of age and experience to the family of clergy in the Diocese of London. They range in age from 25 to 61 years old and among them are a mix of backgrounds; from theological students and youth workers to GPs and barristers.
The number of ordinands has increased from 35 last year, and a further 20 London ordinands are being ordained in other dioceses, reflecting the commitment to Invest in leadership and increase the number of ordinands by 50% as part of Capital Vision 2020, the Diocese of London’s strategy for serving London in a way that is confident, compassionate and creative.
Among the new deacons are:
Dr Mohan Seevaratnam: St Peter, West Harrow
Mohan is a local GP and will continue to practice alongside his role as deacon. He brings a vast array of experience, such as through eight years spent doing medical and church work in Sri Lanka, including collaborating with Tearfund to set up mobile clinics in areas affected by the 2004 tsunami. Building strong intercultural multi-ethnic church communities is a key interest of Mohan’s and he will be particularly focusing on this area of mission as well as exploring new ways the primary care practice and church can work together to serve the community.
Ben Vane: St Thomas’ Church Oakwood in Enfield
Ben joins the clergy from a career as a radio producer for a number of stations around the country, including London’s Capital Radio. While on the path to ordination, the development of his gifts for Bible teaching and encouraging people in faith in Jesus led Ben to move from working behind the scenes and he now presents the night show on Premier Christian Radio. He joins the team at St Thomas’ Oakwood, where he has already been involved for some years, to focus on youth and small group ministry and looks forward to using his skills in video production as well as radio to help people to engage with the Bible.
Michele Lee: St Stephen’s, Westbourne Park and St Matthew’s, Bayswater
Prior to training for ordination, Michele initially worked in the hotel and hospitality industry in Devon, Cornwall, Whitby and Central London. She then qualified as a Ballroom and Latin American dance teacher, coaching beginners, medallists and student teachers. Latterly she took music and dance into care homes and day centres where she saw a notable improvement in general wellbeing, especially amongst those with dementia. In 2000, Michele joined the chaplaincy team at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, where she has specialised in paediatrics, offering pastoral and spiritual support to parents and children. Michele has recently gained further experience as part of the multi-faith chaplaincy team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Michele was Pastoral Assistant at St Marylebone Parish Church for ten years prior to ordination. She will continue in hospital chaplaincy alongside serving her title in the Paddington Deanery.
The Bishop of London said:
“In addition to the 40 men and women ordained in St Paul’s, 20 London ordinands were ordained in other Dioceses as we seek to serve not only our own world city but the Church in other parts of the UK. This is the high point of the year for me.”
The office of deacon is most 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 London, serving their local communities and undertaking public worship, teaching and pastoral work. After a period of normally a year, a deacon can be ordained to the priesthood. This year, 34 of last year’s deacons have also been ordained as priests by their Area Bishops, having completed their year of service and training.
The new Deacons are:
St Augustine with St John Kilburn
St Gabriel Pimlico
St Stephen with St John Rochester Row
St John the Evangelist Hyde Park Crescent
St Bride Fleet Street
St Stephen Westbourne Park and St Matthew Bayswater
St Olave Hart Street
St John’s Wood
St Michael and All Angels London Fields with St Paul Haggerston
The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.
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