“Nothing has ever felt more right”

Eight become ‘Reverend’ in East Kent.News from the Diocese of Canterbury

2 July 2018

“Nothing has ever felt more right” – eight become ‘Reverend’ in East Kent

On Saturday 30 June, 15 men and women were ordained to serve in churches and communities across East Kent and Jersey. A former soldier, a teacher, and a former member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary are among those who were ordained deacon in the special service at Canterbury Cathedral.

Eight deacons were ordained as ministers of the Church by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby. The Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, ordained seven priests in a service at the Cathedral later that day. Bishop Trevor also ordained a further two priests – Giles Bartleman and Helen Gunton – on Sunday 1 July in Jersey. Revd David Hazell will be ordained priest at a service later in the year.

“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,” said former teacher Jeanette Kennett, who will start her ministry as Curate in the Tenterden, Rother and Oxney Benefice. “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 a delight to affirm the ministry of such a diverse and talented bunch,” said the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover and Bishop in Canterbury. “They stand as testament to the fact that God calls people from every walk of life and at every age to share in the building of his Kingdom here on earth. I have no doubt that their ministry will enrich the lives of churches and communities across Kent and the Channel Islands.”

It was a particularly special weekend for the youngest ordinand Cat Darkins, who celebrated her 26th birthday on Sunday. “I am an avid journaller, and like to spend my time being creative with paint and paper,” she said. “I also enjoy exploring the ways in which creativity and spirituality mix.”

Sandra Marsh has led a varied life. Born in Northern Ireland, she served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary during the troubles until she married and moved to Kent. Since then she has worked for a heritage steam railway and taught within the private education sector. And Saturday marked another major career shift for her. “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,” she says. She will serve her curacy at Eastry with Woodnesborough.

Click here to meet all of our new deacons.

For more information, contact Anna Drew, Director of Communications, Canterbury Diocese on 07753454586, or email adrew@diocant.org.