A former solicitor and sheep farmer, an indie band leader, and a mother with a thirst for adventure were amongst the 23 people ordained at Wells Cathedral this weekend.
In the cohort of ordinands in 2017, 12 were ordained priest and 11 were ordained a deacon. The special ordination services took place on Saturday 01 July and Sunday 02 July respectively.
The Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, presided at the ordination of deacons at Wells Cathedral on Sunday. He says: “It’s wonderful to be able to offer my personal congratulations to the ordinands and to be part of such a significant and special day in their faith journey. Many of the deacons and priests ordained this weekend will have been praying, thinking, discerning and preparing for this moment for a very long time. It’s a joy to be able to share in that moment, with them, before God.”
Ordination is the Church of England’s official recognition of a person’s sense of calling to ministry. As a priest or deacon, he or she is granted the authority to conduct activities in the name of God and the Church.
Nicola Butt is one of the eleven people ordained as a deacon by Bishop Peter on Sunday. Before taking up ordination training, Nicola worked as a solicitor in Cheshire, and more recently as a sheep farmer on Exmoor. She says her faith has always been important, but she had not considered training for the priesthood until her local vicar suggested she should give it some thought. After speaking with her vicar she spent time praying that same day and experienced God’s presence like never before.
Nicola says: “Tears flooded out of my eyes. Never had I experienced anything like it – it was complete affirmation for me. Revd David Weir helpfully said afterward that I had experienced the gift of tears.
“I think God needed me to see things clearly and it’s very hard to resist a call like that. I’ve never questioned it since. With that sort of experience; of feeling his presence so clearly, I know I am on the right path.”
|Priest – 01 July, Wells Cathedral||Deacon – 02 July, Wells Cathedral|
|Justine Billett||Jennifer Buckler|
|Adam Burnham||Nicola Butt|
|David Fox-Branch||Nicholas Clarke|
|Katherine Hawksley||Ann Gibbs|
|Alexandra Holmes||Julie Harris|
|Joel Mennie||Andrew Hiscox|
|Elizabeth Mitchell||Bryan Martin Little|
|Deborah Perreau||Adam Pitt|
|Clarissa Shaw-Notice||Janet Shellard-James|
|Joanna Slade||Craig Sinclair|
|Liza Wortelhock||James Taylor|
View all of the photographs from the ordination weekend here.