Archbishop ordained ten new deacons in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday

Six men and four women, including a former scientist, an inspector of taxes, a physiotherapist and a window cleaner, became new Church of England curates at a special Ordination Service in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday 28 June. Six others were ordained priest at a Cathedral service later the same day.

Within the Church of England there are three stages of ordained ministry: deacons, priests and bishops. Following training at theological college, newly ordained deacons are appointed to a three to four year post of curate, for training alongside an experienced vicar. After one year, deacons are ordained priest.

The following ten people were ordained as deacons by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the Bishop of Dover, Trevor Willmott, in Canterbury Cathedral at 11.00 am on Saturday 28 June:

Mark Peter Ham (S) Staplehurst
Dr Jonathan (John) Paul Huggins (S) Kingsdown and Creekside
Craig John Huxley (SSM) i) Hackington St Stephen

ii) Chaplain of Benenden School

Kevin David Jacobs (SSM) Tunstall and Bredgar
Paul Anthony Kite (S) West Sheppey
Estella Ruth Last (S) Herne
Joanna Sue Richards (S 0.5) Canterbury St Martin and St Paul
Dawn Caroline Stamper (SSM) Willesborough with Sevington
Catherine Ann Wilson (S 0.5) Biddenden and Smarden
Fabian Rene Marc Wuyts (S) Whitstable

Stipendiary (S); Self-Supporting Minister (SSM)

Information about the deacons

Mark Ham

Mark, who was employed in the National Health Service for 25 years, first heard his calling following a trip to Lindisfarne in August 2006. “I felt a very strong spiritual presence then which grew in time and became stronger.” After a friend became very unwell in early 2007, he drew upon God’s strength to help him look after her.  After being confirmed in June 2007 he went on to study to become an Authorised Lay Minister (Pastoral Care) and then started the discernment process for ordained ministry.


Mark is very passionate about social justice.  At Ripon College Cuddesdon he was an active member of the Wilberforce Group and was involved in Christian Aid Week collections, toilet-twinning, fair trade and campaigning against human trafficking. He says: “Inequality, poverty and unfairness concern me as I believe very strongly that they blur the image of God in each person affected by them.”

Mark, who will serve his curacy in Staplehurst enjoys cooking, walking, current affairs, world music and holidaying in the Peak District.
John Huggins

John, who had no religious upbringing, was converted to Christianity in his late teens by the mixture of an American Evangelist who challenged him about what the purpose of his life was, and an Anglican vicar who told him that the love expressed by Jesus Christ on the cross was personal to him. “I suspect that I have been wrestling with whether God might be calling me into ministry in the church ever since! And as I’m no spring chicken, that’s a lot of wrestling!”

After training in science and having a full career in research, John decided to test out whether God was calling him to be a priest.

“I had to have some minor surgery on my right eye recently and just whilst placing a needle into my eye, the surgeon asked me if I didn’t think that science and faith were completely incompatible. As much as I felt in a poor position to argue, I genuinely think the two areas support each other. At a simple level, science deals with ‘how’ questions and faith with ‘why’ questions. I feel that if you think science has all the answers, you should spend some time with a hospital chaplain, listening to and supporting those who are suffering and dying. I did this last summer as part of my training, and there is something profound, spiritual and beneficial that happens when you are simply able to share in somebody’s pain and fears. That’s not to belittle science: it has a major contribution to nearly every aspect of our lives, at least in the industrialised world.”

John loves action movies and reading or watching a ‘good murder’. He enjoys travelling and looks forward to going on a Holy Land retreat this summer.

John, who will serve his curacy in the Benefice ofKingsdown and Creekside, is married to Lorraine, who is also ordained, and has four children.

Craig Huxley

After university Craig did a short stint in HR and Finance with the NHS.  He has sensed a calling to ordained ministry since his mid-teens but has also always felt an affinity to be a teacher: “My teachers were a great source of inspiration to me and I had always wanted to be able to give that back to others.  So, I thought that I would go into teaching, then consider ministry later.” After training to teach in a Church of England Secondary School which had an ordained chaplain, Craig realised that he was being called to teach and minister at the same time, so he offered himself for ordination with the hope of becoming a school chaplain.  In 2007 he moved to Benenden School, worked in a boarding house there and became a head of year.  In 2012 he took over as Chaplain.

“I am looking forward to continuing my work as Chaplain at Benenden – walking alongside students as they chart such an exciting and challenging part of life is a huge privilege.”

Craig, who will serve his curacy in Hackington St Stephen, as well as being Chaplain of Benenden School, enjoys bell ringing (which is how he met his wife), playing the organ, singing, playing squash, canal boating and listening to jazz.

Kevin Jacobs

After feeling called to the Priesthood in his teens and again in his mid-thirties, five years ago Kevin’s Spiritual Director said, “You’re not getting any younger Kevin; you need to find out one way or the other if you are being called!” It was then that he began to explore it seriously and met with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands.

Kevin, who will serve his curacy in Tunstall and Bredgar, has previously worked in sales, restaurants and has had his own window cleaning business. He looks forward to sharing the Gospel, assisting at the Eucharist and Pastoral work.

Kevin is passionate about Chaplaincy work: “I believe that it is essential work in mission, which underpins the work of Parish Priests. Many years ago a Priest friend told me ‘they reach the people that Parish Priests will never see in church’.”

Kevin’s hobbies include music, cooking, fishing, skiing and spending time with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Paul Kite

Paul reluctantly began attending church in 1999 after meeting his wife. Things started to change when his daughter was born in 2003.

“Over the next few years, culminating in 2010, I had several unexpected conversations. Years before I had a conversation in which someone suggested I would make a good Curate. I laughed at this, suggesting they had the wrong person, while being slightly worried by the knowing look in their eyes, one which came to haunt me over the intervening years.”

Paul, who will serve his curacy in West Sheppey, avoided God’s call for years. “I knew in my heart God wanted me to serve Him, but my mind said ‘who are you to think you are worthy? You’ve been a Christian for less than 6 years…you’ve got it wrong’”. Shortly after this our Assistant Curate approached him as he arrived at church and after exchanging pleasantries he simply said ‘Paul, listen to your heart when God speaks…for your mind will surely second guess the Lord and lead you astray’.

Paul says: “I would liken my journey of faith to ignoring my SatNav and going left instead of right all too often.”

Prior to training as an Ordinand, Paul had worked for HM Revenue & Customs as an Inspector of Taxes.

Paul is passionate about children, families and communities. He says: “I believe we should model Christ’s love in our relationship with those around us, and it saddens me to see so many people in need. So often the need arises because public services cannot cope with the sheer volume of need and I strongly believe the Church as a body has a great deal to offer if we can build relations with those who need us most, and that starts at a local level by going into our communities, our schools and hospitals and spending time with those we meet, listening to their fears and worries, their joy and grief.”

Married with five children, Paul enjoys reading a diverse range of topics including theology, doctrine and ethics to science fiction and everything in between.

Estella Last

Estella, who will serve her curacy in Herne, first felt called to ordained ministry as a teenager but dismissed the idea. After re-surfacing at various times since, the call to ministry became impossible to ignore.

After gaining a degree in Business and Finance Law from Brunel University in 1998, Estella went to work in Marketing and Events Management. Her latest job has been looking after her three boys.

Married to Phil and with three children, Estella loves spending time with her family, particularly enjoying trips to the zoo, the beach, the park and their favourite Sunday day out for many years – the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway.

Jo Richards

Six years ago, when Jo’s youngest child was about to go to school, Jo took the opportunity to re-evaluate her job. By completing a careers book, she established that her faith was key to what she was going to do, and so put all into God’s hands. On a weekend away, out of the blue, a friend said ‘have you thought of ordination?’ Her late Grandmother was always asking when she was going to ‘get collared’. The following week, after a church service, a friend explained how she had led a quiet day about the man by the pool and whom Jesus said ‘pick up your mat and walk’ – Jo was “hit” by a force, which she now knows was the Holy Spirit. Three clergy the following week completely independently of one another said ‘have you thought of ordination?’ At this point, Jo says, she was getting the message ‘loud and clear’.

Originally a Chartered physiotherapist, Jo went on to specialise in ergonomics: health in the workplace. Since starting training, she has focussed on her studies and family life.

Jo, who will serve her curacy in Canterbury St Martin and St Paul,is passionate about social justice, especially Fairtrade, and about mission through heritage and tourism, pilgrimage, spirituality and the sacraments.

Dawn Stamper

Dawn will serve her curacy in Willesborough with Sevington. She describes her calling as a “slow burn” which gained momentum after being asked to take part in the pilot Lay Minister training in bereavement and funeral ministry. This coincided with one of the priests in her benefice asking if she had considered ordained ministry. She was aware that God was stirring things up in her life and the calling had to be tested.

Dawn was recently a Family Liaison Officer at Pluckley Church of England Primary School, a role that combined pastoral and community work and allowed her to be a Christian presence in some challenging situations.  She is passionate about education in all its forms because as she has seen, first hand, it has the power to transform lives.

Dawn enjoys looking after the goats, hens and ferrets that her family keep, saying: “they are a great tonic to the frustrations of life in the 21st century.”

Catherine Wilson

Having worked as a primary school teacher before having children, Catherine spent 25 years as a full-time mother and vicar’s wife, with an increasing involvement in the life and leadership of their church.

Catherine is very excited to be beginning a new phase of ministry as a deacon. She says: “I am looking forward to serving the church in this new role and to sharing the good news of God’s love in my new parishes.” Catherine will serve her curacy in Biddenden and Smarden.

Fabian Wuyts

Information to follow.

Six Deacons to be Ordained Priest

On the afternoon of Saturday 28 June, the Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, ordained as priests, eight deacons who have served one year of their curacy, at a service at 5pm in Canterbury Cathedral.

Mark Davey who will continue to serve his curacy at Herne Bay, Christ Church.

Chris Hodgkins who will continue to serve his curacy at G7.

Chris Maclean who will continue to serve his curacy at Walmer.

Liz Resch who will continue to serve her curacy at Sittingbourne with Bobbing.

Judith Shaw who will continue to serve her curacy at Rother and Oxney, Tenterden, St Mildred with St Michael and All Angels and Smallhythe, St John the Baptist.

Ben Thorpe who will continue to serve his curacy at Deal, St George.


Further Information from: Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, 07876 210 446


Photographs of the new curates will be available next week from Emily Shepherd.