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Update on this year's ordinations

Published: 29th June 2020

Following the postponement of the ordinations until September, those who were to be ordained Deacon will instead be licensed to their new parishes as lay minister this week, by the Bishop of Dudley over Zoom.

Bishop Martin said: “It’s been very disappointing that due to the Coronavirus pandemic we’ve had to postpone this year’s ordinations. All of the candidates have been on our hearts as bishops. They have been on a long journey to get to this point and becoming a Deacon or a Priest is such an important milestone in their lives. However, it’s my privilege to license new Curates as Lay Ministers so they can begin their work in their parishes straight away. God willing we’ll be able to gather in the Cathedral for the service of ordination in September.”

There are nine candidates who will become deacons later in the year. They have expressed their disappointment at not being able to be ordained at this time, while understanding the uniqueness of the current situation and an unwavering belief that God is in control.

Claire BillingtonClaire Billington, who will be serving at Peopleton and White Ladies Aston w Churchill & Spetchley & Upton Snodsbury & Broughton Hackett said: “None of us who are to be ordained would have expected that our years of training would be so disrupted right at the end, and yes, it is disappointing that we can’t celebrate as we had anticipated right now.  But I learned after a serious house fire in 2005 that life doesn’t follow a set path, and that is especially so at the moment when there are serious challenges to be faced by all of us.  My whole story is that everything happens in God’s time, not ours.”

Jon EvansJon Evans who will be ordained Deacon to serve in Christ Church, Lye, said: “Being a deacon will challenge me to be pushed out of my comfort zone and to seek to continually develop my relationship with God so that I may serve His people faithfully. The delay in ordination has not affected me greatly because I believe in the sovereignty of God and that he is in control of it all. Whilst I look forward to being ordained, I will still get to serve in God’s mission which is my primary purpose.”

Christopher HensonChristopher Henson, who will serve at St John in Kidderminster said: “I am very excited to be serving my title in Kidderminster, already the clergy team there have been immensely supportive during such unexpected times, especially as ordinations and moving dates have been delayed. However, with disappointment and change comes healthy humility, a test of one’s character and a trust in God who has complete sovereignty over all, for as the Angel said unto Zacharias, ‘Fear not’.”

The four people who were due to be ordained Priest will also have to wait longer for their ordination.

Sarah BardellSarah Bardell, Curate in Dudley, said: “In one sense I've been waiting to be priested for some years now so a few more months shouldn't make too much difference. Yet, at the same time, it is a cause of great sadness too. The sadness almost feels inexplicable - there are people suffering in many ways due to the pandemic and this hardly compares to what others have faced - but it is very real. I've seen a fair few ordinations now, and I've always found the priestly ordination very moving. When I get ordained as a Priest, it's likely to look different with fewer people attending, fewer priests present and social distancing still in place. It might not be the celebration I'd always envisioned but I still keenly wait for that day and I'm certain that it will be a special occasion and that God will meet with us in a significant way.”

Please pray for all of this year’s ordination candidates. It is hoped their ordination service will be able to take place on the weekend on 26/27 September. 

To be ordained deacon:

  • Claire Billington to serve in Peopleton and White Ladies Aston w Churchill & Spetchley & Upton Snodsbury & Broughton Hackett
  • Lindsey Coulthard to serve at St Stephen’s Barbourne, Worcester
  • Foluso Enwerem to serve at Top Church, Dudley
  • Jon Evans to serve at Christ Church, Lye
  • Jess Fellows to serve at All Saints, Worcester
  • Christopher Henson to serve at St John’s, Kidderminster
  • Rosie Moss to serve at St Nicholas, Warndon, Worcester
  • Kim Topham to serve in Clent and Hagley
  • Carol Weston to serve in Brierley Hill

To be ordained Priest:

  • Sarah Bardell serving in the benefice of Dudley
  • Victoria Barlow serving in St Matthias & St George, Astwood Bank and The Bridge (LEP), Headless Cross
  • Jonny Gordon serving at Great Malvern
  • Francis Moloney serving at Holy Trinity, Redditch
Page last updated: Sunday 20th September 2020 12:55 PM

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