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Record numbers of men and women are coming forward to serve as Church of England clergy

Monday 2nd July 2018

Record numbers of men and women are coming forward to serve as Church of England clergy
Record numbers of men and women are coming forward to serve as Church of England clergy
Record numbers of men and women are coming forward to serve as Church of England clergy

Bishop Martin ordained 34 deacons and priests to serve in the county’s communities, during two moving and packed services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Saturday.  The new priests and deacons will bring both youth and decades of experience to their new roles in many communities including Ipswich, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Saxmundham, Woolpit, Elmswell, Lavenham and Brandon.

They come from all sorts of backgrounds – business, teaching, farming, nursing, finance, media, or young enough not yet to have embarked on any particular career, with the youngest Cat Connolly,28, and the oldest Jay Price, 67 (pictured with Bishop Martin).

The ordinations of new priests and deacons are seen by the Church’s many thousands of regular worshippers across Suffolk as one of the most important days of the year, when they celebrate those at the beginning of a deacon, or priest’s ministries in towns and villages across the county.

Bishop Martin said: “I am thrilled to be ordaining so many men and women to serve as deacons and priests across Suffolk. I believe this could be the highest number of people being ordained in Suffolk for many years and reflects a growing interest in people across the county seeking to serve in this demanding and rewarding ministry, making a difference to others’ lives.’’ 

Bishop Mike added: ‘‘This is a record beating year for ordinations with more men and women being ordained deacon or priest this Petertide than any previous year.”

The Revd Canon Tim Jones, Diocesan Director of Ordinands and New Ministries, said: "We have increased numbers of young adults now in training, and increased numbers of more mature people offering for ministry, all from a wide range of backgrounds, an exciting mixture of energy and wisdom, insight and experience.”

The moving ordinations were attended by many Christians and well-wishers at the cathedral during the weekend for the joyous event. 

Bishop Martin ordained the following as deacons during the service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral: Claire Kiddy, the Benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Andrew Buttress, Ipswich St Matthew with Triangle and All Saints; Benjamin Edwards, the Benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Sarah Jenkins, Nacton and Levington with Bucklesham and Foxhall with Kirton and Falkenham and Waldringfield with Hernley and Newborne; Catherine Connolly, Ipswich St Thomas, and Mark Cresswell, Carlford Benefice; Jeremy Lind, Newmarket St Mary with Exning.

Also, Adam Barclay, Stanton, Hopton, Market Weston with Hepworth, Hinderclay and Thelnetham, Barningham and Coney Weston; Cheryl Belding, Newmarket St Mary with Exning St Agnes; David Butcher, Mildenhall Team; Philip Cudmore, the Benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Mervyn Dye, the South West Ipswich Team Ministry; William Herbert, Woodbridge St John and Bredfield; Gary Jones, Kesgrave; Faith Marsden, Acton with Great Waldingfield; Kay Palmer, South West Ipswich Team Ministry; Janine Price, Pakenham, Norton, Tostock, with Great Ashfield, Hunston, Stowlangtoft; Rebecca Artiss, the Benefice of Four Rivers.

Also, Lawrence Carey, Ipswich St Matthew with Triangle and All Saints; Dennis Coburn, the Benefice of Brandon; Eric Falla, Whitton with Thurleston and Akenham; Catherine Held, Blyth Valley Team; Kathleen Martin, the Benefice of Mid Loes; David Mulrenan, the Benefice of Four Rivers and Christine Pinder, Martlesham with Brightwell.

The following were ordained as priests by Bishop Martin: Herbert Birt, Woolpit with Drinkstone; Elke Cattermole, Lavenham with Preston; Johanna Mabey, Alde Sandlings; Lynda Sebbage, the Benefice of the Stour Valley; Nicolas Stuchfield,  Saxmundham with Kelsale-cum-Carlton; Donna Gibbs, the South West Ipswich Team Ministry; Matthew Selman, Lark Valley / North Bury Team Ministry; Christopher Tyler, Lavenham with Preston and Ifeanyichukwu Okeke, Elmswell.