Meet the eight new deacons ordained on Saturday 30 June…

Six men and two women including a former farmer, a G.P., the first Chinese woman from South East Asia to be ordained into the Church of England and a Fire Safety Officer became new curates at a special ordination service in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday 30 June. Eight others were ordained priest at a Cathedral service later the same day.
 Dr. Christine Arnold will serve her curacy as a Self-Supporting Minister, St Peter-in-Thanet, BroadstairsI began to sense and explore my call to ordination approximately eight years ago. I had recently taken part in an Alpha course at my local church, bringing me back into the church, and shortly after this I became more and more involved and began to sense that God may be calling me to step out and do more. I attended a Diocesan vocations weekend and began to sense that this may be a call to an ordained ministry and subsequently I explored this with my local vicar and several mature Christian friends. I trained with SEITE.

I have worked as a General Practitioner and Community Paediatrician in Thanet since moving to this part of Kent in 1990. Following ordination, I will continue to work part time for Community Paediatrics, based in Thanet.

I am excited about the opportunity to serve God in Broadstairs and to join with Him and them in proclaiming the Gospel and the love of Jesus in and to the community. I am also passionate about music in worship, prayer and spirituality and long for everyone to experience the healing and transforming love of God in Jesus.

I am married to Nigel, and have two sons – Matthew, 22, and Nicholas, 17 and, two dogs called Max and Roly! My hobbies are music, reading, socialising with friends and visiting the cinema and theatre. I also love to cook and entertain.

Ken Cox will serve his curacy as a Self-Supporting Minister at St Laurence in the Isle of Thanet

I am 57 years old and have been married to Sue for 29 years. We have two children, Richard who is 28 lives in West Wycombe and is getting married this year. Gemma, 25, has lived with us since her return from Hong Kong in 2010. I live in Ramsgate and have worshipped in the parish of St Laurence in Thanet Team Ministry for twelve years since my posting to the area, mainly at the village church of St Catherine in Manston, one of the four churches in the team.

I am a fire safety officer in the NHS and with my team cover the 3 Primary Care Trusts, 2 Community Health Trusts plus the Kent and Medway NHS Partnership and Social Care Trust. Prior to this I was the fire officer at University College London Hospitals after leaving the RAF having served for thirty two and a half years.

My hobbies are photography, watching formula one racing, attending air shows and air rallies/fly-ins.

I have been a district churchwarden for St Catherine’s Church and the Parochial Warden for the team; I was also the churchwarden at the Church on the RAF Odiham. This is a helicopter base near Basingstoke where I was based prior to being posted to the Fire Training School at Manston from where we joined the congregation at St Catherine’s.

My walk towards ordination has been a long one; I feel the seeds were sown some years back when my incumbent suggested that she felt I had the qualities to go forward for ordination. This I resisted jokingly, telling her that I was back of house while she was front of house and that’s the way it should stay.

Over many months I think the seed grew unnoticed until it burst out in the feeling that I should put myself forward for healing ministry as an ALM. I approached my incumbent and she said that she did not think that I should be going that way but needed to attend the diocese vocations’ day, which I duly did.

The DDO at the day encouraged me to “push the door” and see if it opened I was duly given the details of an ADDO and the discernment process began in March 2008. We met regularly and during this time I came to realise that it was God calling me forward, but in what form of ministry I did not know. I did know however that I was being called to serve my home parish in some way or form and asked to be considered as a Self-Supporting Minister, to stay in the parish.
I started training through the LMTS scheme and was transferred to SEITE when LMTS ceased to operate.

With regards to my calling, I feel that my original call to stay in the parish is the correct one I feel stronger than ever that this is where God wants me to be. My faith and trust in him is stronger than it ever was and grows in intensity as the weeks go on. I wrote in my journal as I started training, ‘I don’t know where I am going but it will be some ride’. So it has proved, the start of the journey is ending and I look forward with hope and excitement to the future years of ministry amongst God’s people.

Eileen Harrop will serve her curacy as a Stipendiary Minister at Tenterden, St Mildred with St Michael and All Angels and Smallhythe St John the Baptist

Singapore is my birth-place. My ancestors travelled from China to Hong Kong, Malacca and Singapore. My parents, now retired medical doctors, made their home in Singapore. I have two sisters and a brother who are married and live in Singapore and Canada. I grew up in a British-colonial evangelical Brethren family and attended a Methodist school. I enjoyed playing sport, making music, my school’s chapel services, and the church’s young people’s ministry.
I met Brian during Teaching Practice in my last summer at university in England. In our 26 years of marriage we have enjoyed our love for music, the British countryside and culture, travels to lots of places, gastronomy and many other delights.

My occupational life reads like fiction but I believe God was preparing me through each experience for Ordained Ministry. My first post in England was as Head of Religious Education in an inner-city high school. Then, after a master’s degree in Diplomacy, instead of a Diplomatic career, I managed hospitals. A telephone call from a ‘head-hunter’ took me into the world of business and industry, advising international blue-chip companies around Australasia. When Brian and I returned to England I set up in business working with clients from Britain to the Urals. Brian’s profession as a Educationist/University lecturer provided us with quiet stability and continuity.

We were living in an idyllic South Oxfordshire village when I heard God’s calling to serve in the Church in England. I was drawn to the liturgy and the Church of England as we worshipped at All Saints’ Church, North Moreton, using the Book of Common Prayer. We moved to St Mary’s Platt near Sevenoaks in Kent to discern this calling, during which time I had 2 further jobs, as a Governor in a high security prison, then as an advisor to government and the health service. That was two years ago! I am thankful for good preparation at Ridley Hall, which has included ministry-attachments at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge; St Andrew’s (two parishes and churches), Histon and Impington; Holy Trinity Church, Vancouver, Canada; and Hatfield Broad Oak and Bush End. My Theological studies with the University of Cambridge will conclude in May, and I look forward to our move to Tenterden this summer.

In August last year, I read about the vacancy for a Curate at Tenterden Benefice and its parish profile and instinctively felt this was where God wanted me to be. After a 3-month wait, the Diocese of Rochester (my sponsoring Diocese) released me to approach Tenterden. The Bishop of Dover’s invitation to serve my Title here is an answer to prayer.

Brian and I truly appreciate how we were so warmly welcomed when we visited St John’s, St Michael’s and St Mildred’s churches, and look forward to complementing such caring communities. I am so glad that Canon Lindsay is kindly and patient with a sense of fun.

Craig Hunt will serve his curacy as a Stipendiary Minister at Canterbury, St Mary Bredin

I became a Christian at university. After graduating I worked on the Peckham Urban Mission Placement Scheme for two years, working mostly with young people but also having a chance to preach and be involved in other areas of ministry. At this time I started to sense a call to ordained ministry. It was something that people first started suggesting to me and God spoke to me clearly at a friend’s ordination service in Durham. I spoke to my vicar and began to read and learn about what it meant to be a vicar. I have enjoyed being part of people’s lives as they try to work out what it means to be a Christian and also to tell people about the good news which I had found for myself.

I am really looking forward to getting to know a new community of people and to continue to grow in my giftings and follow God’s call on my life.

I am passionate about discipling people and seeing people begin a relationship with Jesus. I am passionate about living in community with people and getting alongside others. I love seeing people realise their gifts and grow in them. I enjoy seeing things done well whilst maintaining an attitude of grace and involvement. I am passionate about working out ways of making the church accessible to all people whilst bringing the best from the Christian Tradition we are a part of.

My interests include appreciation of good wine and coffee , playing and watching football. I also enjoy gardening and growing vegetables. I am recently married to Becky.

  Ben Jones will serve his curacy a Stipendiary Minister at St John the Baptist, Foord, Folkestone

I feel very called to the Church of England. I love its depth and breadth. I feel particularly called to try and help the local church to regain its place at the centre of its community, providing for the needs of that community and bringing the life and light of Christ there.

I’ve spent most of my working life as a director of music at SMB church, Canterbury, where I also did stints as a youth and student worker.
I am passionate about Social justice and the church being relevant in its community. I am married to Victoria and I enjoy Sport, music, reading.

Chris Pickles will serve his curacy as a Stipendiary Minister at Canterbury, St Peter with St Alphege and St Margaret and St Mildred with St Mary de Castro and at Canterbury, St Dunstan with Holy Cross

I am 26 and have spent the last three years training for ordained ministry and studying for a Bachelor of Theology degree at Ripon College Cuddesdon in beautiful south Oxfordshire. Home is originally Mirfield, in the wilds of west Yorkshire.
Before beginning training for ministry I spent a year as a Pastoral Assistant at Little St Mary’s in Cambridge. I’ve also spent a number of summers on placement in local government and with development agencies in Tennessee, working on inner-city redevelopment. I have found this to be incredibly exciting and rewarding.

Since my mid-teens I began to feel that God was calling me to ordained ministry and it’s been an exciting, challenging and thoroughly blessed journey ever since!
My first degree was in Politics and this has left me with an insatiable appetite for political biographies through the ages! I am a keen cyclist and enjoy the outdoors. I’ve spent a great deal of my life working with children and young people with learning difficulties, particularly autism, something I became involved with through my younger brother who is autistic.

I married last summer and my wife and I met at theological college. Julia is the Curate of Bridge Benefice.

I feel incredibly excited and blessed to be called to serve God and his people as a Deacon, together with all the lay and ordained, in Canterbury City Centre with St Dunstan. I am passionate about growing into being a servant leader, and a messenger, that the love of God may be made truly visible.

Alan Pinnegar will serve his curacy as a Stipendiary Minister at Bearsted with Thurnham

I became involved in leading informal evening worship about 10 years ago: I was invited to go on an ALM course and I was authorised at the end of 2003. My involvement in leadership grew and the question of seeking ordination arose in 2005. However, as I was working 90 miles from home I pushed it to one side. A couple of years later I changed jobs and exploring ordination training became a possibility. Initially, the plan was to be self-supporting but as training progressed, a combination of circumstances and a frustration at being unable to devote sufficient time to ministry drew me toward switching to stipendiary ministry.

I have been working in the electronics industry on the commercial side since 1986. Most recently I have been working for an American company which manufactures in the Far East: this has given me the opportunity to make frequent trips to Europe and China.

I am looking forward to working with members of the church to maintain and increase its presence in the wider community. The key to this is establishing relationships and I hope to be able to make a contribution in this area. I am also looking forward to full participation in the worship life of the church.

My biggest passion is for the church to go out into the community and to demonstrate God’s love by the actions of its members. It is becoming increasingly difficult to draw people in to the church building and I believe that involvement in the daily lives of ordinary people is essential, regardless of personal circumstances or social background.

I am married with three grown up children, all of whom are now working. My main interests are sport, current affairs and contemporary music. I am a lifelong Charlton Athletic supporter and played football and cricket at local league level.

Nick Ratcliffe will serve his curacy as a Self-Supporting Minister at Chartham and the Stone Street Group

I became a Christian through doing an Alpha course in 1995. I have always been interested in making Christianity relevant to the ordinary un-churched person.
As I worked in the church I gradually felt the call to become a leader of a community of believers in fellowship, worship, discipleship and the sacraments.
I was a farmer until the age of 30 but changed careers and have worked in pest control for 20 years.

I am looking forward to putting training into practice serving the congregation and getting involved with the community. To experiment with new forms of church which will attract non-Christians to explore their spirituality and know that God loves them.

I can see the funny side of life and I love to make people laugh and feel good about themselves. I am married to Heather and we have five daughters and one grandson. I like long walks with the dog and making marmalade.