Ordinations 2023

Our 2023 candidates were ordained at Hereford Cathedral, at the following times:

Ordination of Priests

Saturday 1st July, 10:00 AM

  • Jonathan Roberts
  • Richard Lonsdale
Ordination of Deacons

Saturday 1st July, 4:30 PM

  • Rosie Roberts
  • Freddie Strong
  • Sarah Lupton
  • Andrew Falconer
  • Fiona Honeysett
  • Owen Pembery

Deacon Biographies:

Below is a list of Deacons who were ordained this year. We have explored each ordinand's journey into faith, and we're delighted to share their personal stories here for you to read and learn more about each one:

Rosie Roberts

Hi, my name's Rosie and I'm going to be a trainee vicar, otherwise known as a curate, in Kingsland, Eardisland, Aymestry and Leinthall Earls from July. For me, the journey to becoming a vicar started through music. I sang in church and cathedral choirs when I was growing up, and when I started to feel like I wanted to find out more about faith, it was the friends I'd met through these choirs that I went to talk to. Through choirs, I also met my husband, Paul - we've been married for 12 years now and he's also a vicar. We believe that God was very much involved in us getting together and that God has a plan for us together as we continue to follow our calling. For the last three years, I have been studying at the Queen's Foundation, which is a college in Birmingham where Church of England and Methodist students train together, and now I'm excited to start getting to know the people of Kingsland, Eardisland, Aymestry and Leinthall Earls, to find out what's important to them, to listen to how God's already working in these places, and to join in, and help, where I can.

Freddie Strong

I’m of Anglo-Indian heritage and grew up in North India. I love a good curry and cup of chai! I moved to the UK when I was sponsored to attend Brighton University to study Hospitality Management. After university, I stayed and worked in marketing and music publishing with Kingsway worship music.

I first sensed a call to ordained ministry 18 years ago. Since then, it has been a long journey with many ups and downs. During this time, I’ve grown closer to God and found a deeper compassion and empathy for people.

After working in marketing, I took a job as a Ministry Assistant at East Dean church in Eastbourne. Here I gained valuable parish ministry experience in a rural, multi- church benefice context.

I’ve had the support and encouragement of many people who have shared my journey of discernment. I’m thankful for their guidance and prayers as I have deepened my dependence on God through prayer, reading the bible and the Eucharist.

The Psalms have been a great source of comfort, helping me to see that I can be completely honest with God about all that is going on in the world and my life - the delays, disappointments and delights.

My heart is for people to know and experience the love of God in Christ Jesus. As Jesus’s apprentice I want to journey alongside others and help them discover the good news of Jesus. God is full of love and mercy. A relationship with God through Jesus gives our lives new meaning and purpose. This invitation is for everyone.

I'm now about to complete my ordination training at Trinity College Bristol. My family and I are excited to be moving to Herefordshire this summer where I’ll be serving my curacy in the benefice of great Hanwood.


Sarah Lupton

I grew up in a church family and don’t really have a time when I didn’t believe in God.

I first remember having a strange feeling of calling when my daughters were pre-schoolers, and there wasn’t much provision for young families in church. I was helping out at the village toddler groups and the other families were asking about church as they knew I went.

I pushed the away thought of training to be a priest but every so often it would niggle at the back of my mind. As the children started school, we moved house for my work, over to the corner of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, near to Cleobury Mortimer, where we started going to church.

I was busy in my job as an analytical scientist but I noticed that a couple of people had put themselves forward for ministry training and there were curates and placement students in the Benefice. Eventually I had a chat myself with Ashley the Rector and that was the beginning of things.

I learnt that God’s timing and my timing don’t always line up, I started as an independent student at the Ripon College Cuddesdon regional pathway that meets in Ludlow and originally we thought I’d transfer on to the ordination pathway after I had had my selection interviews, but it didn’t work out that way. My first application was rejected and I had a big decision to make, should I carry on training as an independent student or just leave and perhaps try again later.

I decided to stay as I was finding the learning was really helping me understand so many things about my faith that I knew in my heart, but wasn’t really able to explain in words. It gave me the chance to explore, question and develop my faith more fully. I took a short break when my studies ended, I didn’t feel the time was right to re-apply, but then, in then in the middle of all the Covid lockdowns, I was ready. The interviews were on Zoom this time but I was recommended for training and am just completing a part-time two year course at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, an ecumenical college where I have had the joy of studying alongside Methodist and Pentecostal students.

I still work, now as scientist working with University innovation teams looking to commercialise new ideas and technologies, but alongside this I will be a self-supporting curate working in the Cleobury Mortimer Benefice and I’m looking forward to seeing where God leads next.

Andrew Falconer

My name is Andrew Falconer and I think I’ve always had a sense of the spiritual. I remember feeling it when singing the Tallis litanies in procession as a cathedral boy chorister. And the deep red sunlight burning through stained glass windows. I was aware of something bigger even if I couldn’t articulate it. My family was Presbyterian but my experience of Anglicanism, the music and liturgy, was transformative.

When I left school, I volunteered with the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland and witnessed the spirit subtly working through others to bring understanding and reconciliation despite the ongoing troubles of this time.

I first felt called to ordained ministry in my early twenties. Over the next twenty years I felt that call at different times but always ignored it – it didn’t fit the life I was leading. I called myself atheist for much of my thirties but God didn’t stop. I had a great job, beautiful car and life was good. But I became envious of a colleague. One who lived his faith like I’d never seen before. God was central to his life and I just knew I was missing that in mine.

One Easter I felt an absolute desperation to be back in church, to know God once more. The poignancy of Maundy Thursday, the stripping of the altar and the solemn vigil brought me home.

I’m no longer in my early twenties but am coming to ministry with substantial professional and pastoral experience. God never gave up and I look forward to serving him as assistant curate at the Benefice of Colwall and Coddington.

Fiona Honeysett

Hello, my name is Fiona.

My Christian faith and Church have always been part of my life. When I was young going to Sunday School, singing in church choirs and in my late teens helping with the Sunday School. Even though we moved around the UK and overseas a great deal, due to my Fathers work in the RAF, we were always involved in church life.

As a young adult, I sensed a calling, but I wasn’t sure where God wanted me to be, I didn’t want to be a nun, being married and having a family was very important to me and then females couldn’t be priests. So, I lived out my faith by working as a Nursery-Nurse in London and Birmingham hospitals. Caring after sick babies and children and supporting their parents.

In 1988 I moved back to Hereford and worked at a local primary school with a unit attached for  children with disabilities and later as a Teaching Assistant. During this time, I worshipped at St. Mary’s Church Credenhill , were I met my future husband, we married, we have one daughter who was baptised , married and our grandchildren have been baptised there. I have actively been involved in church life, over the years, as a choir member, on the PCC and as a Church Warden.

In 2016 I left work in education to look after my parents, on end of life care and it was during this time, that I had a sense of calling into Ordained Ministry. After a time of discernment, conversations with our local priest and DDVO and getting through BAPS, I started my training in September 2021 at CGH Ludlow.

The training has been transformational and enriching beyond all my expectations and after ordination I am looking forward to my curacy as part of the Leominster East Team Ministry and becoming part of a new community.

Owen Pembery

Hello, I'm Owen Pembery, and I'm going to be a curate in the Fownhope Benefice, between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye. I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home, down in the Forest of Dean, to a Welsh Father and a Mother who comes from a long line of Herefordshire farmers.

And so I've always known God as my God. But when I moved to Bath, to study maths at university, my faith really came alive, as I realised how wonderful the salvation that Jesus won for us on the cross really is.

And during my time at university, I was surprised when the curate at our church suggested I thought about church ministry. And gradually, alongside some time working for our church, and some further study, God gradually grew in me a desire to serve Him, and the church, as a minister, until I reached the point where, as the minister Charles Spurgeon put it, I couldn't do anything else. So my wife and I headed off to Oxford to train at theological college, and we were delighted when, in God's providence, we found our curacy in the Diocese of Hereford. I'm really excited to get started, and help people as they seek to live as Christians.

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