New intake of clergy to benefit Suffolk towns and villages

Men and women from all walks of life including a headteacher, a prison chaplain and a St John’s Ambulance volunteer are devoting their lives to serving communities throughout Suffolk after they were ordained priests and deacons.

Another large intake of Church of England clergy has been welcomed during a service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds. They were ordained by the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich on Saturday 29 June.

Ipswich, Forest Heath, Bacton and Haughley near Stowmarket, Felixstowe and Saxmundham were among the communities represented in the Petertide ordinations.

Bishop Martin said: "More than 20 men and women of all ages and from widely differing backgrounds have now set out on a new stage of their journey in Christian life in Suffolk. We are delighted to welcome these new deacons and priests who are giving their lives in love and service to their churches and communities."

The Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, outgoing suffragan Bishop of Dunwich who has been appointed Bishop of Exeter, said: "These devoted clergy will be at the heart of their communities, guiding, supporting and inspiring people in every day life. They will be in local churches up and down Suffolk, making a difference in village and town life for the benefit of everyone."

The new priests included 50-year-old Jo Gunn, headteacher of St Margaret’s Primary School, Ipswich. 

She said: "Having the joy of two communities, school and parish, is wonderful. I will be continuing in my substantive position as a full time headteacher and continuing to serve the parish of St-Mary-le-Tower, soon to be Ipswich Minster, as and when I can. My priestly ministry at school will continue through empowering others to live out the calling on their lives in order that they enable children and colleagues to flourish, providing a safe, warm and inspiring place to learn and work. Building a tiny part of God’s Kingdom here in our part of Ipswich is a blessing and an honour."  She added: "I believe my skills of teaching, communicating with various groups of people, pastoral care, embracing diversity and passion for inclusion are all transferable skills to the priesthood. I have been actively encouraging many people I know to explore ordination. It is a journey full of surprises, blessings and joy and I would totally recommend anyone who has any kind of niggle or feeling that God may be calling them to public ministry to speak with their incumbent or the vocations team at the team at the diocese."

Edith Peck is the prison chaplain at Warren Hill and Hollesley Bay Prisons near Woodbridge, taking on the benefice of Framlingham with Saxtead.

The new deacons included Simone Ramacci, who is from Italy and was recently awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to St John’s Ambulance during the pandemic. He is attached to Westerfield, near Ipswich.  Former Spanish journalist Raul Diaz de Arkaia is now a deacon with the Forest Heath Team Ministry.

Bishop Martin ordained the following as priests during the service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral:

Mary Brown, the benefice of Alde Sandlings; Joanna Gunn, the benefice of Ipswich, St-Mary-le-Tower; Sarah Hall, the benefice of Ipswich, St Augustine; Sarah Lock, the benefice of Rougham, Beyton with Hessett and Rushbroke; Doreen Page, the benefice of Beccles with Worlingham, North Cove and Barnby; Edith Peck, the benefice of Framlingham with Saxtead; Lorna Penaluna, the benefice of Ipswich, St Matthew, Triangle and All Saints; Karen Smith, the benefice of the Stour Valley; Alexandra Taylor, the benefice of Beccles, with Worlingham, North Cove and Barnby; Katherine Wilson, the benefice of the Wilford Peninsula and Lightwave Pioneer at The Place by the Water.

He ordained the following as deacons: 

Robert Allinson, Martlesham with Brightwell; Phillip Allison, the benefice of Ipswich St Helen, Holy Trinity, and St Clement with St Luke; Raul Diaz de Arkaia, Forest Heath Team Ministry; Gregory Gooch, the benefice of Wilford Peninsula; Carole Jones, Bacton with Wyverstone, Cotton and Old Newton, and Wickham Skeith; Helen Prior-Townsend, Ipswich St Margaret; Gregor Purdie, Ipswich St Mary-le-Tower; Simone Ramacci, Westerfield and Tuddenham St Martin with Westerfield; Alison Roberts, Haughley with Wetherden and Stowupland; Georgina South, Felixstowe St Peter and St Paul with St Andrew and St Nicholas; Amanda Tucker, Saxmundham with Kelsale cum Carlton.

Photography by Keith Mindham.

Page last updated: Wednesday 3rd July 2024 10:05 AM
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