New deacons include a scientist and a former retail manager
A scientist and a former human resources manager at Marks and Spencer are among the six new deacons to be ordained by the Bishop of Ludlow, the Rt Revd Alistair Magowan at Hereford Cathedral this weekend.
The two women and four men will join churches in Herefordshire and south Shropshire after the service on Sunday 1st July, where they will serve for three to four years.
David Poyner will continue to work as a university lecturer and researcher in drug action at Aston University and serve as an unpaid minister in Highley with Billingsley, Glazeley and Deuxhill and Chelmarsh, the same church community he belonged to as a child.
David said: “Faith for me has always needed both an emotional and intellectual response and I first had this when studying my O level in RE at school.
“I was at Cambridge University and studying Natural Sciences and this was a very exciting time for me as a Christian, confirming that it was possible to have a faith that was both intellectually coherent and personally sustaining.”
David initially approached his vicar about training to become a Reader, someone who is not ordained but has training to lead certain services, before coming to the conclusion that God wanted him to be a priest.
Fellow new deacon, Sue Jelleyman returned to Church through a bell-ringing group, at Rushbury Church, but over a period of time couldn’t ignore the call she had been putting to one side for several years. She will serve in the same group of churches following ordination.
They are joined by former Human Resources Manager for Marks and Spencer, Tim Starling. He used his experience to set up a charity shop at the church he was involved with before moving to theological college. He is looking forward to spending more time in the countryside, with a move from London Diocese to a group of rural churches near Ross on Wye in Herefordshire.
25-year-old Elliot Swattridge grew up in a non-Christian family and came to faith through a Gideon’s New Testament given to him at school. After reading it, he decided he wanted to be baptised. The service for this was the first church service he ever attended. Ten years later, he is further committing his life to God. He will serve at St Peter with St Owen and St James in Herford.
One of this year’s deacons is combining parish ministry with further study Alison Walker, will be continuing to work on her PhD whilst also serving church communities in the Much Wenlock area.
Unusually for the Diocese of Hereford one parish is getting two deacons this year, Tom King will also be serving in Highley. He studied at Cranmer Hall in Durham before moving to south Shropshire.
Being a deacon is the first stage of ordained ministry life, which usually lasts for a year before they are ordained priests, although some people choose to remain as deacons.
Four deacons will be ordained priest by the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Richard Frith on Saturday 30th June. They are Father Matthew Cashmore (West Hereford Team), Revd Sam Mann (Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge and Little Wenlock), Revd Clive Munday (Bridgnorth and Morville Parishes Team) and Revd Rachel Robertson (Tupsley with Hampton Bishop).
You can find images of the deacons on this link