Ordinations 2021

Within the variety of Christian callings, since early times the Church has set aside some of its members by Ordination, to be fully dedicated to ministry and to bear various responsibilities.  In the Church of England, the vast majority of those ordained are priests. More information about ordination and the national process of Selection for ordination can be found on the Church of England website.

If you, or someone you know, feels they may be called to ordained ministry, this should first always be discussed with the relevant parish priest.  The Diocesan Director of Vocations & Ordinands, Neil Patterson, meets with prospective candidates and oversees the process. Candidates should be prepared for a long and testing process of discernment, over at least a year, accepting that all parts of their lives are potentially relevant areas to be explored and that the outcome may not be what they hope.

Our 2021 Candidates:

Ordination of Priests

Saturday 3rd July pm  

  • Lawrence Gittins (Ludlow)
  • Tiffany Jackson (Ross & Walford etc)
  • Jo Jennings (West Hereford Team)
  • Joseph Simons (Cleobury Mortimer w. Hopton Wafers etc)
  • Katie Smith (Kingsland w. Eardisland etc)
Ordination of Deacons

Sunday 4th July am

  • David Andrews (Church Stretton)
  • Luke Aylen (St Peter & St James, Hereford) 
  • Lauren Bell (South Wye Team Ministry)
  • Lois Beynon (Broseley etc) 
  • Erin Butler (Holmer w. Huntington etc)
  • Stanley (Joe) Chipper (Tupsley w. Hampton Bishop)
  • Wayne Davies (St Laurence & St John, Ludlow)
  • Natalie Jennings (Maund Group)
  • Angie Kateley (Borderlink Benefice)
  • Ruth Leigh (Westbury, Worthen & Yockleton)
  • Elizabeth (Lizzy) Womack (Tenbury Team)

Deacon Biographies:

Below is a list of Deacons who are being 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:

David Andrews
David Andrews
Church Stretton

I grew up in a Christian home, I grew up with Christian parents, I went to church every Sunday and I gave my life to Christ when I was seven in Sunday school but it wasn’t until I was 30 until I was baptised and confirmed. I think it’s fair to say in the period between my childhood confession of faith and being baptised and confirmed as an adult, there was a definite sense of trying to find my place in the church and trying to figure out what was my faith and what was my parents’ faith. But it wasn’t until I was about thirty that I really felt a sense of God saying to me you’ve done everything you’ve wanted to do, I was just finishing my Master Degree and I really felt God saying, okay you’ve done all the things you said you wanted to do, now it’s time to take care of that thing that I’ve been putting there and niggling at you with, so with that I went to my local Vicar at the time and said that I was interested in being ordained, it was something I felt called to and began the process, the discernment process, and it’s been quite the journey, I am not the person I was when I started. I would say trust the process if you are interested in being ordained, it is nerve-racking at times but it’s definitely something that will change you.

So I will be going to Stretton Parish, that’s All Stretton, Little Stretton and Church Stretton and I am looking forward to the opportunities there, I think there are huge opportunities in terms of tourists coming to visit, people coming to an area of outstanding natural beauty and the opportunity to engage with those people to welcome them, to be inviting to them and to share the Gospel with them, I think that is the most exciting part of going up to the Stretton Hills, and also to get to know the community, it’s a packed community in terms of communities and things to do so settling in, getting to know people, seeing where I could do some good in the community for the church and for the Gospel. So hopefully I can see some of you soon and until then take care.

Luke Aylen
Luke Aylen
St Peter & St James, Hereford 

Lois Beynon
Lois Beynon
The Broseley Group of Churches

 

Erin Butler
Erin Butler
Holmer w. Huntington etc

Hello, my name is Lois, and I will be serving my curacy with the Broseley group of Churches, which is right in the northern reaches of our Diocese. I’m married to Joe, and we have two young children.

Whilst at University I was woken by the Church bells one Sunday, and something stirred within me to get up and go to Church. In the coming years became involved with and drawn to church life, whilst working as a school housemistress.

In 2013 on a school trip to the Edinburgh Christmas market, I got very lost looking for the Cathedral, and so found myself worshipping at a large city centre church. Whilst there, I felt God saying this was where I was meant to be. I returned to school, handed in my notice, and made plans to move to Edinburgh. The Holy Spirit must have been at work, because I was offered a similar job with a school in Edinburgh a matter of days before Christmas!

Whilst living in Edinburgh I began exploring vocation with a priest at my church, but I didn’t feel priesthood was very ‘me’, and so kept reading and praying, but put all notions of priestly vocation to one side.

I moved to work for Scripture Union Scotland in 2015, and it is here that I met my husband. It was around this time various people noticed and commented upon my calling, and I was encouraged to explore my vocation. I’d been involved in planting an outdoor church, contributing to ‘Church in a pub’, and was part of a really supportive home group, so didn’t want to leave, but knew that the time had come to intentionally explore priestly vocation, and I joined the Leominster Team Ministry as a Hereford Diocese ‘Discover’ Intern.

I really enjoyed my time in Leominster, and the surrounding villages, and it quickly became apparent that perhaps ministry was for me after all. The internship offered a great place to try out ideas, dip my toes in various areas of ministry, and to hone in on my sense of calling.

I’ve just finished training at Cranmer Hall in Durham, where I have been able to deepen my knowledge of Scripture and God, develop a greater understanding of, and better articulate my sense of calling, and explore the breadth of mission and ministry in the Church. I've been blessed to be been involved in a supportive community where all vocations are championed, whether that be as a wife, as a mum, or as a priest. I’ve really valued the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of theology and mission, particularly in areas I hadn’t previously known much about, such as Global theologies, and missional entrepreneurship.

I’m really looking forward to returning to parish life, getting involved in the local community, and looking for where God is already at work in Broseley and the surrounding areas. I’m passionate about rural ministry, and new ways of being church. I’ve just finished a project looking at creative ways of engaging with people living with dementia, and hope to put this research to good use!

Wayne Davies
Wayne Davies
St Laurence & St John, Ludlow

It's October 20th 2003 I’m going to a house and see a man to drink beer and talk about mountain bikes. When I arrive at the house, he opens the door beckons me in and it hits me, we won’t be talking about mountain bikes as there are two other men there and they don’t look like they ride MTBs.

It turns out I’ve been hijacked into a bible meeting, being a firm non-Christian, this could be a fight or flight moment, I decide to stay and have some fun.

I spent the night taking the mick out of the three guys there, I was rude, arrogant and aggressive, but I was having a blast.

Well, let's just say God was laughing at me, at the end of the night the main leader said do you want to give your life to Jesus, I said no but I’ll come again because I like taking the mick out of you. They stand up to pray and then this voice says get up. I’m a little shocked and think that one of them is a ventriloquist, I look at them and they’re looking at me because I audible say no. Then the voice says again get up, I say no again. Then the volume goes to a 100 and the voice says get up NOW, to which I leap out of the chair, crying like a baby and shouting I have to give my life to Jesus.

What a roller coaster ride that night began. 7 years ago when living in Kidderminster I was in the shower chatting away to God and I hear God say you need to become a vicar, just like that, I laughed so hard I wet myself (thankful it was in the shower). You see I wasn’t part of the church of England. I stopped laughing I said oh you must be serious then. I went downstairs and said to my wife, I think Gods just told me I need to become a vicar, she looked at me and began laughing. Not deterred I phone a very good friend who was a vicar and said how do you become a vicar. He explained the process, the time it takes, the theological training and the required curacy. My response was I haven’t got time for that. And like a good Jonah two weeks later moved to Manchester and put that notion firmly behind me.

An opportunity arose for our family to move back to Shropshire for work and I met a rural dean who said you ever thought of being ordained, then light came firmly back on. An opportunity to become an Intergenerational Missioner for Ludlow arose and whilst in this role I began the journey as a Pioneer ordinand. It has been a beautifully challenging time in my theological training as I’m part of CGH and a part-time pathway, but actually, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have had some growing up to do spiritually and I have been graced and challenged to do so.

I’m also so wonderfully fortunate as I’m staying in Ludlow to do my curacy with my TI being the person I phoned seven years ago asking how do I become a vicar. God does have a wonderful sense of humour. The IM work has opened amazing doors within our town and the lives I have the honour to journey with, and to see it those journeys continue through my curacy is so precious. The honour of serving all I come into contact with but also having the ability to offer so much more. I am nothing short of amazed. Who would have thought all those years ago God had his plan and today I’m here part and part of it?

Natalie Jennings
Natalie Jennings
Maund Group of Parishes

Angie Kateley
Angie Kateley
Borderlink Benefice

Hello, my name is Angie Kateley and I am very excited to be joining Hereford Diocese as I embark on the next stage of my training, as Curate of Abbeydore Deanery.

I am coming to the diocese following two years’ full-time residential training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, a broad college where I was blessed to study amongst ordinands and staff from across the spectrum of Anglican spirituality and theology. Although most of my college training took place under various Covid restrictions, it was a wonderful community to be part of. Before my time at Cuddesdon, I lived and attended the parish church in a lovely village called Wadhurst in East Sussex, part of the Diocese of Chichester, and was sponsored for training by Bishop Richard of Lewes, now Bishop of Hereford (he also confirmed me!). I am very grateful to Chichester for recognising my call to ordained ministry, sponsoring me and supporting me through my time at college. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the congregations and leaders of the churches who supported me through discernment: Wadhurst, Tidebrook, Stonegate, Uckfield, Isfield and Little Horsted.

On 4th July, I am due to be ordained as a deacon in Hereford Cathedral alongside a number of my colleagues. The verse I chose for my ordination ember cards is from Lamentations: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This has certainly been my experience. Life has not always been easy or straightforward, but God continues always to be gracious, with me through sunshine and storms. Through the love of Jesus, I am a person saved by grace, and it will be my privilege to live that love out amongst the people of Abbeydore Deanery. I was thrilled to be offered such an exciting role. As deanery curate, my time will be split between parish-based ministry within a group of parishes and developing a mission project which will see me working across the whole deanery, all guided by my Training Incumbent Luci Morriss and working as part of the deanery team. As I prayerfully prepare for ordination, I wonder about the people and the places I will get to know, the exciting ways that God is at work in that beautiful corner of the world, and I can’t wait to get started.

Ruth Leigh
Ruth Leigh
Westbury, Worthen & Yockleton

My story is a tale of two very different dioceses. Coventry established in 1918 and Hereford almost as old as the hills themselves. My parish in Coventry helped to rebuild my life and took me gently and firmly back to God. They brought me home. Then having reignited my rather dim flame of faith they proceeded to pour petrol on it. Small groups, Alpha, Families and Children’s work, trips to the Holy Land, Sunday Nights Song of Praise, Reader training and Licensing in 2006. It was heady, exhilarating, Spirit-filled stuff. You would think that that would be enough. You would think that God had generously graced my life and set me on a highly fulfilling path in ministry. You would think.

In 2012 on April 1st I moved to Shropshire, became all rural and remarried my ex-husband – it’s quite common actually. My license was transferred to Hereford Diocese and I began to learn all out Rogation and crop rotation and how there’s no point putting on any shoes other than wellies until after April – May this year.

I would like to say the exact moment that ordination was first an idea in my head. It wasn’t like that. But what I can say is that everyone I met with, everyone I talked to and especially everyone in my home Westbury Benefice were kind and gentle and encouraging. No one laughed at the prospect, well not out loud anyway.

So here I am. Grateful to two dioceses that have done what a diocese should do, nurture, care and move you on in your faith. I am so looking forward to taking my next steps as collared clergy. And I will be staying put in Westbury as an SSM. Me, the old man and the dog.

Lizzy Womack
Lizzy Womack
Tenbury Team

I’m Lizzy and I’m a Pioneer Ordinand. At the heart of my ministry is a belief that the church has an important role to play in helping communities to flourish, by nurturing and celebrating the diverse and creative ways that God is at work in the world. Building new relationships and connections is one of the great joys of pioneer ministry and I’m looking forward to getting to know a new community, as I begin a part-time, pioneer curacy with Tenbury Team Ministry.

My journey to ordination over the last 10 years has been full of surprises and discoveries. It has taught me that in each endeavour that we undertake and in every encounter that we have, God provides us with the opportunities, resources and inspiration that we need to equip us for what lays ahead. I have learned to say yes to unexpected conversations, opportunities, and invitations – trusting that God is always paving the way before us.