Congregations across Suffolk to welcome new ministers following ordinations at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

New deacons with Bishop Martin following the services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

New deacons with Bishop Martin following the services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. - Credit: Photo: © Keith Mindham Photogr

Fourteen new priests and deacons are taking up roles serving communities across Suffolk following ordination services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Fourteen new priests and deacons are taking up roles serving communities across Suffolk following ordination services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The new clergy will serve in communities including in or near Ipswich and Stowmarket, at Bury St Edmunds, Hadleigh, Newmarket, Sudbury and East Bergholt and Brantham.

Among those becoming deacons was Laurence Smith, 24, the youngest of those being ordained. Originally from Felixstowe, he served his curacy at St Mary’s and St Peter’s, Bury St Edmunds.

Other new deacons included Matthew and Claire Ling who met at Sheffield University and celebrated their silver wedding anniversary a few weeks before being ordained.


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Claire’s career has been in nursing and health visiting and Matthew started life in physics and engineering, before moving into local government in Ipswich 10 years ago.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I can think of no greater honour and privilege for a bishop than to ordain new deacons and priests for the Church.

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“I will never forget my first ordinations as the new bishop.

“I am ordaining an extraordinarily gifted group of men and women, they are themselves clear evidence of the work of God among us.

“Every one of those being ordained is filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. They all know they cannot do what God is calling them to in their own strength, so they all possess a remarkable mixture of courage and humility.”

Rev Tim Jones, diocesan director of oprdinands and new ministries, said: “We have an unusually large number of people being ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in this year.

“It is a huge step for anyone to take: some are leaving behind secure jobs with a relatively high income, others have chosen ministry alongside the significant demands of other life commitments.

“Each of them are taking vows which shift the focus of their life onto the mission of Jesus Christ, in response to their sense of calling.

“What really impresses me is their eagerness to serve the people of Suffolk, in all of the joys and griefs that life can bring to any of us.”

Well-wishers, families and friends gathered for the services at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.

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