Bishop ordains a dozen deacons in special service at cathedral - The Evesham Observer

Bishop ordains a dozen deacons in special service at cathedral

Evesham Editorial 8th Jul, 2018   0

CANDIDATES from across Evesham were among those ordained during a service at Worcester Cathedral to serve in parishes across the Diocese, with more deacons being ordained than there has been for many years.

A total of 12 candidates were ordained Deacon in the Cathedral on Saturday and are entering their first year of training as a curate. A further two candidates have completed their first year and were ordained Priest in their parishes on Sunday; they are now able to preside at the Holy Communion.

Chris Sheehan, will serve in the Arch Benefice, Evesham – Church Lench with Rous Lench and Abbots Morton and Harvington, Timothy Hupfield will serve in Badsey with Aldington and Offenham and Bretforton and Jo Williamson will serve in Broadway.

Chris is married to Carol and they have lived in Evesham since 2002. He was brought up in Worcester where his mum still lives. Chris became a Christian at a Crusaders summer camp in his teens, but it wasn’t until he became a Street Pastor that he began taking his vocation seriously.

He will combine his ministry with his career offering coaching for technology businesses who are launching new innovations in healthcare.

“I’ve always felt called to focus my ministry outside the body of the Church, supporting those in the marginal, difficult places who often don’t have a voice. Jesus’ charge to ‘feed my sheep’ has always resonated with me. I completed a pioneer ministry diploma at Cuddesdon College and will be ordained as a ‘permanent deacon’ working with people in the local community.

“My paid role is about trying to get business owners to be the best they can be and realising their potential without telling them what to do. It involves listening and asking questions sensitively, skills which I know are going to be very useful as a minister.

“I’m not starting with an agenda, but am looking forward to seeing where God is already at work in the benefice and joining in, trying to understand where Christ is and where I can make a difference.”

Timothy wasn’t a churchgoer growing up, his only contact with the church was through Scouts. He studied science at university and it wasn’t until he got engaged and his wife wanted a church wedding that he started going to church to find out what it all meant.

The people he met had a massive impact on Timothy and he was baptised and married within a couple of weeks. It was at his baptism that Timothy first got the sense that he might be being called to ministry.

“At the start I just assumed I was misinterpreting the call and tried serving the church as a youth worker, on the PCC and as a verger. I also trained to be a teacher and then when my wife fell pregnant while she was training for ordination, I became a full time stay at home dad.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Badsey and am excited about getting to know people and being part of the community there. To work alongside people, their lives and their faith is a privilege. I’m going with a very open mind to explore what shape ordained ministry will take for me. I’m expecting my curacy to tell me an awful lot about where God is calling me, although I’ve already been surprised a lot of times!”

Jo has lived in Broadway for 35 years and has been a Lay Minister in the Church for the last ten years. She is already involved in taking funerals and supporting local parishioners.

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