The following will be ordained as Deacon by The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, at 11am on Saturday 30 June 2018 at Canterbury Cathedral.
Peter Bone, Assistant Curate at St Laurence-in-Thanet
Me and my family come from Coventry in the Midlands. Coventry is almost the furthest point in England from the sea. I have had many jobs, from a soldier to a refuse collector, before finally working in the automotive trade.
I came to a real faith on an Alpha course when I was forty and it was clear that God was calling me to ministry. We, Lynne (my wife) and I, became active in youth work at St Bartholomew’s in Coventry and during this time both felt called to missionary work in the UK. Since 2009 we have been with the Church Army and as I leave Lynne continues her ministry with Church Army.
We have three children, Charlie 21, Mary 19 and Anne who is 9. We moved from Coventry to Sheffield then moved to work in mission with Oaks church in Skelmersdale, This lasted six years before we moved to Broadstairs on the Isle of Thanet. This is such a lovely part of the country and we all enjoy it here.
For the last three years we have worshiped at St Lukes in Ramsgate and bid them a sad farewell as we begin our new ministry at St Laurence Church-in-Thanet.
Andrew Brown, Assistant Curate at Ashford Town
I grew up in a town called Bangor in Northern Ireland, where like most children my age, I attended Sunday School at Bangor Abbey on a regular basis. As I grew older I joined the Boys’ Brigade in the local Methodist Church and started to attend there throughout my teenage years. As time went on I started to lead the Seniors’ Bible Study and got very involved in the daily life of the church. Throughout this time I was told by many that I was being called to be ordained, so like anyone that age I chose to run away from the calling and instead started looking into going to university. This however simply made my calling stronger, so I had to start listening to what God was saying. As I explored my vocation, I decided to go to university and test my calling further while undertaking a degree in theology at Canterbury Christ Church University.
During this time I got involved with the Cathedral Community and began to serve on a regular basis before taking a casual post as a Verger. It was while working in the Cathedral that I started my discernment officially with the diocese and started the journey towards ordination. While this journey progressed I took a job as a Student Worker and Chaplain for the Methodist Church and later as the Children and Families Minister in both St Paul’s Canterbury and then St Edward’s in York. Working in these various roles gave me a desire to help others to explore their faith in whatever way came naturally to them, encouraging them to ask the “Big Questions” and simply accompanying them along their journey in whatever shape that took. One of the things that brought me great joy working in these various posts, was seeing how God was working and bringing out the extraordinary in the ordinariness of daily life.
After my post in York, I began my training at Ripon College Cuddesdon where I believe God truly began the process of forming me. Throughout my time at the college I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to go on several placements, of which one was working in a parish in Central London. While here I was able to get involved in their Homeless Project every Saturday, that catered for between 50-100 people from various backgrounds. It was being part of this that truly brought the message home of the Road to Emmaus story in Luke 24. About accompanying those on a journey, reaching out to the stranger, and offering hospitality, being open to the encounter that could take place.
I am excited to be taking this next step along the journey and to see what it is that God has planned for my time in Ashford. I am looking forward to joining the people of the Ashford Town Benefice and to further developing my relationship with God.
Cat Darkins, Assistant Curate at Herne
I first heard the call to Ordination whilst I was studying for a Theology degree at Canterbury Christ Church. Like most young adults that age I was trying to work out what to do with myself once my degree was finished, and felt quite strongly that I needed to go out into the world and serve God.
I spent the year following my degree on a ‘Pastoral Assistant’ scheme in North London. These schemes are designed to give young people practical experience of working in the church whilst still working through the discernment process. After this I moved back home to Cambridge and worked as a children’s Nursery Nurse whilst I finished the discernment process. During this time I learnt a lot about what it means to be ‘in the world but not of the world’.
I am an avid journaller, and like to spend my time being creative with paint and paper. I also enjoy exploring the ways in which creativity and spirituality mix.
In my spare time I like to play board games with friends and going out to the cinema.
I am excited to be serving my curacy in Herne and Greenhill. Being fairly new to the Kent area it also means that I have lots of exploring to do!
Jeanette Kennett, Assistant Curate at Tenterden, Rother and Oxney
At the age of 8 I joined the local church choir on the Isle of Wight and so began a journey in which my relationship with God and my understanding of Him in my life has continually grown and developed.
During my teen years I was fortunate to be a part of a vibrant and lively church youth group, which gave me opportunities to learn about Jesus and the way the Church celebrates his life and work. It was around this time that I first felt a call to ministry. When I moved to Canterbury in 1990 to train as a teacher, my priority was to find a place to worship with a choir to sing in – and it happened that in doing so I met my husband, who also sang in St. Stephen’s church choir. But the feeling of being called to ministry has never gone away and in 2014 I knew that I had to do something about it.
Well, nothing has ever felt more right – even with the potentially daunting prospect of moving from the home I have lived in for 24 years and leaving the school I have taught at since 1994. With prayer and the love, help and support of my husband, children and wider family on the Isle of Wight, as well as my church community, friends and colleagues, my training at St. Augustine’s College of Theology has been a wonderful experience. Through it I have met some truly amazing people who through prayer and fellowship have helped my formation more than they will ever know.
I feel truly blessed and am very excited to be taking up a curacy in the Tenterden, Rother and Oxney benefice and very much look forward to being with the people in that place for the next few years.
Sandra Marsh, Assistant Curate at Eastry and Woodnesborough
I am 57 and have led a varied life. Born in Northern Ireland, I served in the RUC during the troubles until I moved to Kent on marriage to my husband Simon. I have worked for a heritage steam railway and then taught within the private education sector.
My faith has always been strong, and a few years ago I felt I was being called to serve full time in an ordained capacity. I have been studying at St Augustine’s Theological College and will serve my curacy at Eastry with Woodnesborough.
We have three grown-up children and one grandchild with another on the way.
Chris Penfold, Assistant Curate at Sittingbourne with Bobbing
I have a lovely wife and family who are the best part of my day – they are rather wonderful, brainy and amazingly good at things, so I just try to keep up!
As a follower of Jesus, I try to live with a golden thread of: God’s love is for every person, the Bible is relevant for every situation, belief in the resurrection, power and mercy of Jesus and an expectancy of the life changing supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
I have worked internationally in a church humanitarian/mission setting and context with YWAM in Europe and South America and Metro Ministries, this included: youth groups in the Rhonda Valleys, Supporting Arabic communities in the South of France, Compassionate care to the poor in Brazil and Sunday school in the Bronx, New York City. Locally I have founded several interdenominational ministries including: ‘Pop up’ Sunday school on a housing estate, and Café church in a shopping superstore.
For the past 10 years my day job has been at Canterbury District Council. While working as a Community Development Officer my responsibilities included project planning, sourcing resource (both human and material resources from across the Canterbury district) and leading the largest projects produced by the department. Latterly I prepared the foundations and first year in residence for the first Syrian refugees hosted in the district as part of the UNHCR Syrian relocation process, this included: all practical elements, support, community networks and receiving the first families.
In both District Council and church settings I have worked with community groups, schools, universities, minority groups and those in impoverished circumstance across the Canterbury District with a focus on intergenerational, diversity, cohesion, quality of life and community awareness.
I undertook Pioneer Ordination training at St Augustine’s Theological College in West Malling, which has a rich and vibrant community of faith, with superb opportunities to learn in a tranquil setting. I will be working as a Pioneer Curate at Holy Trinity Sittingbourne where I hope to work within a network including; Shepway District Council, churches in Sittingbourne and local community groups.
Hannah Thomson, Assistant Curate at Canterbury, St Martin and St Paul
It has been 9 years since I first felt the call to ordained ministry and this calling has taken me on an interesting, roller-coaster journey that has led me here. I have previously worked as an administrator, a missionary, as a schools worker and as a Children’s and Families Minister to name just a few of the various jobs that I’ve held. I have spent the past two years studying at the Queens Foundation in Birmingham and found my time at college extremely stimulating and exciting.
I am very happy to be coming back to my home town of Canterbury to be serving my curacy at St Martin’s and St Paul’s and I am looking forward to the new challenges and excitements that God has in store for me here.
Rob Tugwell, Assistant Curate at Whitstable
My name is Rob and I am currently chaplain to Junior King’s school Canterbury. I began my working life as a teacher and was very content to build a long term career in the classroom. However, 9 years into my teaching career, Nancy and I took a leap of faith and moved to work in a large Anglican church, overseeing the 0-18s’ and families’ ministry. We loved our time in the church, but after a few years decided to explore a slightly different ministry. This led us from Surrey to Kent and to our current roles – School Chaplain for me and Boarding Houseparent for Nancy.
I came to Kent convinced that ordination was not for me. However, as more and more people began to question when I was going to explore the possibility of being ordained, I finally decided to ‘push the door’. Bishop’s Advisory Panel was successful and 3 years later I can look back on an incredible journey and the most fantastic training experience at St Mellitus college. I am excited to be ordained but also continue to be overwhelmed! Next year I will continue as a school chaplain whilst also serving a part time curacy at St Alphege church, Whitstable.