Mix of ages, genders and diversity in new clergy to serve Suffolk communities

New Priests for Suffolk

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, centre, Dean Joe Hawes, 2nd from right, and Philip Banks Canon Precentor, left, with Priests who were ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Thirty men and women aged from their twenties to their 60s will be devoting their lives to serving communities across Suffolk.

They have been ordained as Church of England priests and deacons and will be working in local churches in a host of different ways - including on community projects to such as food banks, pop-up shops and as town pastors.

Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Lavenham, Haverhill and Beccles are among the communities where the 17 new priests and 13 deacons, ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, will serve.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: "Once again we have a remarkable group of men and women being ordained to serve the people of Suffolk.

"The number of people offering for this public ministry continues to be strong, and this means we are able to provide Christian care and service across our communities.

‘"his year, I am particularly aware of the extraordinary circumstances in which those being ordained have found themselves. Those to be ordained deacon will have received much of their formation and training over the past sixteen months online because of the pandemic.

New Suffolk deacons

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, centre, Dean Joe Hawes, right, and Philip Banks Canon Precentor, 3rd from left, with Deacons who were ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

"Those who are being ordained priest, after a year in parishes across the county, will have been exercising ministry in the most constrained of circumstances. All ordinations are special, but these will have this particular dimension of faithful service through the pandemic."

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The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, said: "It is wonderful to see the mix of ages, genders, ethnicities and diversity among candidates.

"They will be working in local churches up and down Suffolk, contributing to the fabric of local community life in a host of different ways, from phone support networks to food banks, taking services to town pastors, pop-up shops to prayer and much besides.

"Getting ordained takes considerable time, commitment and dedication - it involves sacrifice, selflessness and a passion to serve, all of which these candidates have demonstrated in abundance."

New Suffolk priests and deacond

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, centre, Dean Joe Hawes, 2nd from right, and Philip Banks Canon Precentor, left, with Priests and Deacons who were ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

New priests: 

Maureen Bonsall, Whitton with Thurleston and Akenham; Matthew Key, Ipswich St Augustine; Robert Molton, Tuddenham with Cavenham, Herringswell and Red Lodge; Lauren Moore, South Hartismere; Julia Perkins, Glem Valley United Benefice; Laura Pope, Benefice of Bury St Edmunds St Mary with St Peter; Richard Stainer, Benefice of Bradfield St Clare, Bradfield St George with Little Whelnetham, Cockfield, Felsham and Gedding; Nicola Tindall, Higham, Holton St Mary, Raydon and Stratford St Mary; Mark Bee, Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Tracey James, Debenham and Helmingham; Oliver Kemsley, Alde River Benefice; Sally Letman, Benefice of Capel St Mary with Little Wenham and Great Wenham; Kiran Lotay, Benefice of Ipswich All Hallows; Graham Naylor, Benefice of Lavenham with Preston; Christine Smart, Four Rivers Benefice; William Sokolis, Alde River Benefice; Andrew Todd, The Woodbridge Group Ministry.

New deacons:

Rowland Bareham, Great Cornard; Diane Ekins-Powell, Sancroft; Helen Grover, Benefice of Bradfield St Clare, Bradfield St George with Little Whelnetham, Cockfield, Felsham and Gedding; Elizabeth Livey, Felixstowe Christ Church; Peter Livey, Felixstowe Christ Church; Duncan Myatt, The Two Rivers Benefice; Frances Norris, Haverhill with Withersfield; Jennifer Catchpole, Wickham Market with Pettistree; Emma Haggar, Felixstowe St Peter and St Paul with St Andrew and St Nicholas; Mark Hinde, Saint Edmund Way; Linda Pepper, Ipswich St Matthew with Triangle and All Saints; Dimitri Theulings, Ipswich St Matthew with Triangle and All Saints; Adrian Waller, Elmsett with Aldham, Hintlesham, Chattisham and Kersey.

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