Trio ordained priests in cathedral ceremony - The Evesham Observer

Trio ordained priests in cathedral ceremony

Evesham Editorial 30th Jun, 2019   0

A TRIO of candidates from across the Vale of Evesham were ordained priests to serve in parishes across the Diocese during a ceremony at Worcester Cathedral.

Stephen Dunton, Timothy Hupfield and Jo Williamson were among 12 candidates who have completed their first year and are now able to preside at the Holy Communion.

Four further candidates were ordained Deacon and are entering their first year of training as a curate.

The Bishop of Worcester Dr John Inge presided at both ordinations, assisted by the Bishop of Dudley. Bishop David Wilbourne, Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of York, preached at the service in the Cathedral having led the pre-ordination retreat for candidates.

Stephen will serve in Pershore, Pinvin, Wick and Birlingham and came to Worcestershire at the age of five when his family moved to Redditch from Derbyshire.

In his mid-30s, he began training to become a Roman Catholic deacon when he was married with children. He trained part time and juggled work and family with studies before being ordained to the Deaconate in 2011.

“I continued to combine parish life at my RC Church in Studley with teaching at a local Catholic Secondary School until I had an experience in Durham Cathedral where I really felt God was calling me to be a priest in the Anglican Church,” he said.

“With the support of my wife, who also felt this was God’s will, I left teaching last July and moved with my family to Cuddesdon College in Oxford to complete a year’s residential training. I’m now really excited to become ordained as an Anglican priest in Worcester Cathedral and move to Pershore to serve the community there alongside the Rev Claire Lording.

Timothy was a stay at home dad before he was ordained deacon a year ago and is serving in the benefice of the East Vale and Avon Villages, just east of Evesham.

“I have absolutely loved every moment of my first year of ordained ministry – even the parts that have been difficult, unpleasant or seemingly unattractive,” he said.

“It has been wonderful getting to know lots of the people who live in these villages and an absolute privilege to walk alongside them, both in their journeys of faith and at some key moments in their lives – at baptism and at funeral.”

Jo said: “At this time last year, I thought nothing would change much from being a Licensed Lay Minister to being a Deacon and then – all being well – a Priest. However, it has all felt very different, partly because wearing a dog collar makes one’s position so much more public.

“It provokes reactions and encounters. I’m surprised how often people who never come to church are pleased the church is there – that we ordained ministers are there, saying and believing and doing what we do.”

Bishop John said: “One of the great privileges of being a bishop is being able to ordain people who have discovered the love of God in their lives and have decided to devote themselves to bringing that love to others.

“Not only the church but all society will be hugely enriched as a result.”

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