Archbishop ordains six new deacons in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday

Five men and one woman, including three teachers, a Church Army worker, a Chaplain to a young offenders’ unit and an HR professional turned self-employed face-painter became new Church of England curates at a special Ordination Service in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday 4 July. Ten 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 six 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 4 July:


Name Benefice
Christopher Richard Terence Denyer (S) Bethersden with High Halden and Woodchurch
Mark Andrew Pavey (S) Maidstone, St Paul
Peter James Newell (SSM) Kennington
Captain Stephen (Steve) Paul Plumb CA (SSM) The Six
Dr Steven Robert Sivyer (S) Marden
Paulette Joanne Stubbings (S 0.5) Boughton under Blean with Dunkirk and Hernhill

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


Information about the deacons


Chris Denyer

Chris, a primary school teacher since 2002, and father of four, describes his call to ordained ministry as shocking as if he was called to be an astronaut: “One day I was taking a class of children into the local church for an Easter service when I suddenly saw the whole church filled with a bright light, everyone faded away and I heard a voice clearly tell me that I was to “work here”… it took a few years to unpick this surreal experience! I wasn’t yet a regular church goer – it was as if I was told to go and be an astronaut!”

Chris, an amateur novelist with a passion for drama and storytelling, will be serving his curacy at Bethersden with High Halden and Woodchurch. He said: “I am particularly looking forward to sharing the Bible in our village schools and hearing and being a part of the stories of the communities, whether they are of pain or joy.”

Mark Pavey

Mark, who will be serving his curacy at St Paul’s Maidstone, says that his wife and family discerned Mark’s call to ordained ministry, long before he recognised it.

Before attending theological college, Mark worked as a youth worker, schools’ worker and more latterly as a Chaplain to a Secure Training Centre working with young offenders. During his working life, Mark says his passion for helping each person to know Jesus, and understand his saving works, has intensified.

The father of two added: “I am genuinely excited about the prospect of serving as Deacon over the next year and as priest in the years ahead of that.”

Peter Newell

Peter, a teacher of music and RE for around thirty years, will be serving his curacy as a self-supporting curate at St Mary’s Kennington.

Looking forward to moving out of what he describes as ‘the micro-society found in schools’, into the wider society of a parish, Peter commented: “I am looking forward to coming alongside people at all stages of life. I am looking forward to working with the people of Kennington in sharing the joy and the excitement in the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

Motivated by a desire to help people know Jesus and find meaning in their lives, he said: “I think it is so sad that an increasing number of people in western societies like ours have lost touch with God. Each generation has less basic knowledge of Jesus and the love and joy that he brings. They are struggling to find anything to give meaning to their lives. I believe it is vital and our duty as Christians to carry the message to them, to seek ways to help them be open to the workings of God and his Holy Spirit.”

A transport enthusiast, Peter has been married to Alison for 25 years.

Stephen Plumb

Stephen became a Christian aged 24 and just three years later became a Church Army Evangelist, a ministry that has lasted 25 years.

Most recently, Stephen has spent five years helping to develop a new worshiping community at All Saints Iwade, near Sittingbourne.

Stephen who loves MG cards, cycling and running believes his new role of Deacon is affirming what ‘already is’. “This is a very positive sign to me personally, to the church at Iwade and the wider community of the Dioceses, and more importantly God’s favour. It will also open new opportunities for mission.”

Stephen is being ordained deacon the same that his son, Stuart, is being ordained priest at St Paul’s Kingston Hill in London Diocese.

Steven Sivyer

Steven, a professional musician and former head teacher who most recently led a team of educational advisers for Medway Council, will serve his curacy at Marden.

Having studied for his degree at the Royal College of Music, Steven plays the organ and piano, conducts choirs and composes music, mainly for church and cathedral settings. In addition to freelance playing across Europe, Steven has spent most of his life ministering through music in local parishes and deputizing in cathedrals. Most recently, Steven was the Director of Music at Faversham Parish Church from 2000 until his training for ordination in 2012.

Steven, who is married to Emma, with whom he has two children, is looking forward to serve and immersing himself in the community of Marden.

Paulette Stubbings

Paulette, who will become a curate in Boughton-Under-Blean with Dunkirk, Hernhill and Graveney, describes her call to become a vicar a ‘curve ball’.

After volunteering in her local church where various people suggested she explore ordained ministry, Paulette attended a Diocesan Vocations day. She says: “I attended really with the aim of knocking the idea on the head once and for all but found myself instead tentatively accepting that perhaps God was calling me to serve in this way.”

Previously an HR professional, stay-at-home mum and pre-school nursery assistant, Paulette also had a spell running her own business as a face-painter at parties and supporting her husband in his photography business.

A lover of Scandinavian crime dramas, Paulette is looking forward to her new ministry: “I love it when opportunities arise for Church and community to work together, and helping people connect with God and one another in the highs, the lows and the every-day of life.”

Six Deacons to be Ordained Priest

On the afternoon of Saturday 4 July, the Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, ordained as priests, ten deacons who have served one year of their curacy, at a service at 5pm in Canterbury Cathedral.

Name Benefice
Dr Jonathan (John) Paul Huggins (S) Kingsdown and Creekside
Kevin David Jacobs (SSM) Tunstall and Bredgar
Dr Ivan Patricio Khovacs (SSM) Willesborough with Sevington
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
Simon Robert Young (S) i)                    Faversham, St Mary of Charity

ii)                  The Brents and Davington

iii)                Ospringe


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


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


Photographs of the new curates are available, please credit Rob Berry.