A former wrestler, army officer, youth worker, and teacher were just some of the people ordained for ministry in Canterbury Cathedral last weekend.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Rt Revd Rose Hudson Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, ordained 19 new deacons and 6 new priests for ministry in the Church of England on Saturday 29 June during the ordination services held at Canterbury Cathedral.

Ahead of the service, Bishop Rose said:

“The journey to this point is different for each person, but what is key to all of those being ordained, is that they have heard and accepted the call to serve in God’s church.”

Former wrestler turned deacon Steven Horne said:

“Prior to ordination, my adventures have, among many things, included: serving as a police officer, jumping around a wrestling ring, earing a PhD in Theology, working in strategic management, and writing the first comprehensive ‘Traveller Theology’.”

Speaking of her call to ministry, new deacon Clary Read said:

“This sense of calling was like an explosion of love and joy from within my heart which simply could not be ignored. So, putting my trust in God, I followed in my father’s footsteps, studying at St Augustine’s just as he had done back in 1948.”

One of the new priests, Seb Lundberg said: “All the events of recent times remind me, as I journey into priesthood, of the simple truth that it’s never done in isolation. So much of our formation happens alongside others.”

Age is not a barrier for those exploring ordained ministry, as shown with the new Dover Pathway, a route to ordination for those over 65 years old. It is available for people who lead in the local church and have already undertaken theological study. Clergy ordained through this route will continue to serve in the church where they are currently licensed or locally authorised.

Norman Gilliland came through this new route to ordination:

“You think, at times, that you’re too old to be called to do more but then along came the Dover Pathway and I heard God knocking on my door again. What a wonderful opportunity has come my way. Thank you, Lord.”

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Pictured above from left to right: Denise Parrett, Maria Stuttaford, Will Adam (Archdeacon of Canterbury), Norman Gilliland, Dan Ralph, Jayne Edinboro, Stephen Brown, Hilary Baldwin, Rose Hudson-Wilkin (Bishop of Dover), Bill Mills, Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), Paul Henderson, Vicki Young, Steven Horne, Jessica Rodewald (behind), Sally Waters (front), Heather Tapsell, Bethany Keenan, Clary Read, Andrew Sewell (Archdeacon of Maidstone), Robin Fassenfelt, Darren Miller (Archdeacon of Ashford), Barbara Lewis, Malcolm Sawyer. All were ordained Deacon on Saturday other than the Archbishop, Bishop and Archdeacons.

By Ed

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