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New deacons on the way

Date: 02 July 2017

New Deacons (Surrey) July 17Following the ordination of new priests the previous day, the diocese’s 16 new deacons were celebrated at the cathedral on Sunday 2 July as Bishop Andrew performed two Petertide ordination ceremonies - one for Surrey Archdeaconry and the other for Dorking Archdeaconry - in the presence of hundreds of friends and family of the new clergy members.

For several days before the ceremonies, all the new deacons – clergy in training entering their final year of ministry and study in parishes before many become parish priests – were on retreat, reflecting on their call to serve.

“It was a real privilege spending time with each of our deacons in the weeks leading up to the ordination service, and hearing the stories of how they had discerned God’s call and followed it through,” explained Bishop Andrew.

“They’re a great bunch, and the Diocese and Church of England will be very much the richer for their gifts, passion and experience.”

The 16 taking the next step on their journey are:

From Surrey Archdeaconry: Mike Currier, Shere with Peaslake; Ray Driscoll, Guildford Stoke Hill; Nick Hill, Stoke next Guildford; Derek Holbird, Hindhead; Sarah Norbron, Farnborough, St Peter; David Preece, Busbridge and Hambledon, Phil Roche, Milford; Ellen Turtle, Bagshot; and Debs Wignall, Aldershot Holy Trinity.

From Dorking Archdeaconry: Simon Fraser, Egham; Sarb Klair, Thames Ditton; Caroline Merrick, Walton-on-Thames; Alex Munro, West Molesey St Peter and East Molesey St Mary; Stuart Sadler, Claygate; Jo Trickey, Guildford Christ Church and Ian Whitley, Banstead.

Find out more about vocations...

... and the many and varied ways that everyone is called to serve - here and view and download lots more images from both services at Guildford Cathedral from Sunday 2 July on the diocesan flickr pages here.

A little about just three of our new deacons' journeys so far…

Caroline Merrick, Walton-on-Thames, is married and has two teenage children. She works as a part- time physiotherapist in Guildford.

“I have had a sense of God’s call on my life for many years but I studiously ignored it. Instead I concentrated on my work, my family and parish life.

“I had spent so many years firmly ignoring his plan but once I gave in and began to co-operate things seemed to fall into place. It is much easier to make progress when you take the brakes off! My prayer is that, with God’s help, I will be able to put into practice what I have learnt during my training and continue serving Him in my parish.”

David Preece, Busbridge and Hambledon, is married with two daughters and coming to the end of his time studying at Trinity College, Bristol, following a teaching career in religious studies.

“I originally felt the call to ordination when I was a teenager, so it has been a fifteen-year journey to where I am today. There have been various times when I have had a particularly clear sense of my vocation. For example, I was at a confirmation service in Oxford and the bishop said that there may be people in the congregation, however young, who are considering ordination and that they should pursue it; I knew that was me.”

Debs Wignall, Aldershot, Holy Trinity, sat in Bristol Cathedral at a friend’s ordination four years ago, reading the testimonies of those being ordained – that’s when she had her calling.

“As I read each story I sensed God saying to me, “Why not you?” to which I very flippantly replied, “Because I already live in a vicarage!”  In fact I had lived in a vicarage for fifteen years and had a fulfilling role as a teacher, working in a school I loved.  Yet I knew at that moment that this was a question I had lived with for a long time, but had never confronted.

“I am especially thankful for my husband Danny’s love and encouragement and for the support of our sons and for the family of St Stephen’s, Shottermill, who over the last ten years have taught me and blessed us so much as we have journeyed together.”

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