People from diverse walks of life will be ordained as Priests and Deacons in the Diocese of Durham at ceremonies to be staged at Durham Cathedral on Saturday 29th June (Priests) and Sunday 30th June (Deacons).
Each one has been called to ordained ministry after amassing a wealth of experiences in a wide range of places and jobs and they include a former luxury car engineer, a man who led a campaign to free his town of abandoned shopping trolleys and those who overcome serious illness on their way to Ordination.
ORDINATION OF PRIESTS
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ORDINATION OF DEACON
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Revd Paul Child – Monkwearmouth
The Revd Paul Child, 34, becomes Associate Curate with Monkwearmouth Team Ministry, Sunderland. He said: “I was born and raised in Norfolk, in a non-Christian family. My faith journey began in my late teens, when I was asked to play for the local Baptist Church’s newly-formed football team in the Norfolk Christian league. Playing alongside people who wanted to win yet carried themselves in a different way on the pitch led me to explore what motivated them to be different. I attended an Alpha course and felt moved to become a Christian.
“Less than a year later I had quit my job and was training with the Baptist Missionary Society to work in the favelas of North East Brazil, alongside children with malnutrition, and on other Church-based projects. While there I met my wife-to-be Miriam, and after the scheme had ended got a job in Sunderland so I could be near her as she studied at Durham University. Not long after we were married I spent many years battling a debilitating illness with various medications, eventually culminating in surgery. Having made a successful recovery I felt called to explore ordained ministry in the Church of England. “During my time overseas and on tour in the UK there were comments made by people I met about exploring some form of leadership role but during my subsequent illness this seemed to be an impossible idea. Having moved to the Church of England during this period, I found a home where I could begin to grow again in my faith, and a God who held me and stood by me in all the chaos that was going on. After recovery, the feeling I was being called to ministry began to grow again – I often describe it as being like a stone in my shoe, which I just couldn’t shake out.”
Revd Claire Gibbs – Evenwood, Cockfield and Lynesack
The Revd Claire Gibbs, 37, is ordained a Deacon to serve in Evenwood, Cockfield and Lynesack The Revd Claire Gibbs came to ministry after achieving a degree and Masters in Archaeology, followed by five years as head of a busy museum education department at Bede’s World, Jarrow. During her time at the museum, she spent her days dressing children up as monks, helping them explore the realities of life in the Anglo-Saxon period.
She said: “Having had two children in quick succession, once it became feasible to work again, I tried returning to museum education. This door seemed very definitely shut but I was surprised to feel happy about this, and that God was saying he has something better, something even more me, than this job I had wanted to do for many years. So in the meantime, I set out to make my hobby, of stained glass, into an income generator. My work – teaching, and working to commission – was always well received, but never made a profit. At the same time, I began on this journey. It all started with my vicar asking me if I’d ever considered ordination. I explored it further, prayed that God would shut the door if it was the wrong thing, but it swung wide open. It is exactly what I felt called to do.
Revd Glen Macknight – Penshaw & Shiney Row
|The Revd Glen Macknight, 50, moves from St Mary and St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street, where he has been part of the worship team, to be ordained as Curate to the Parish of Herrington (St Aidan), Penshaw (All Saints) & Shiney Row (St Oswald). He grew up in Chester-le- Street and a significant proportion of his working life has been with Sunderland City Council, working with Adults with Learning Disabilities. For the past 13 years, he has managed a Social Work Team.|
Revd Catherine Mitchell – Croxdale & Kirk Merrington
Prior to becoming a Deacon, she worked as an engineer for 25 years for Jaguar Cars, latterly Jaguar Land Rover working for most of her career within engineering departments, primarily looking after power train systems. She worked at two of the production sites, Browns Lane and Castle Bromwich, and latterly at the engineering centre at Gaydon.
She has now been appointed as Curate at St Bartholomew’s, Croxdale, St David’s Tudhoe and St John’s Kirk Merrington. She was born and bred in Coventry, where she lived until she started training at Cranmer Hall, in Durham.
Revd Joan Robinson – Blaydon
|Joan Robinson, 50, is ordained as Deacon to serve in St Cuthbert’s, Blaydon Holy Trinity, Swalwell. Read The Full Story|
Revd Fiona Collin – Sunderland
|Fiona Collin, 50, is ordained as Deacon to serve in Sunderland Minster. Read The Full Story|
Revd George Lackenby – Harlow Green & Lamesley
|George Lackenby, 64, is ordained as Deacon to serve in Harlow Green and Lamesley. Read The Full Story|
|Revd Caroline Ferguson – Darlington|
|Caroline Ferguson, 49, is ordained as a Deacon to serve in St Mark’s with St Paul, Darlington. Read The Full Story|