This weekend (Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July) the diocese celebrated the annual Petertide ordinations with services across the diocese; in Exford, Merriott and Keynsham as well as Wells Cathedral.
Bishop Peter and Bishop Ruth ordained ten priests (those who have served one year of their curacy) and nine deacons (new reverends being ordained for the first time).
Amongst our #newrevs are a former professional singer, an artist, a dance teacher, a drama teacher, a former student of music and a director of a growing organisation which coordinates contemporary worship nights for young people.
They bring diverse experiences in family and children’s work, youth and schools worship, church planting, university administration and the Scout Association.
Revd Sue Rose, Vocations Team Leader at the diocese says, “We are blessed to be welcoming this group of ordinands. They are a really pioneering and creative bunch, which reflects our aspirations as a diocese.
“Our pioneer project, launched last year, is all about creating a culture of pioneering and innovation across the diocese. Whilst the focus is on creating nine new pioneer posts across Somerset, the ultimate aim is to catalyse pioneering activity across the diocese, refreshing and enriching what is already on offer. The way in which we are approaching vocations is starting to reflect that.”
Rich Miles’ placement in particular signals a new approach to curacy. Rich is Director of Movement, which aims to bring the handful of young people worshipping in rural and small town churches together for high energy, contemporary worship nights. Movement have a base in three churches in the South West but organise pop-up nights in other towns too.
Rich will be piloting a new form of combined curacy which will see him serve a ‘traditional’ curacy in the newly named Beacon Trinity Benefice alongside his Movement role.
Rich says, “Bishop Peter and Bishop Ruth, as well as other key diocesan staff team members have been hugely supportive and open to a different way of doing things. For me this journey has been about fulfilling the call to be ordained, serving both the young people who are a part of Movement and the wider church family too. I’m excited and grateful to have this opportunity to serve here in Bath and Wells in this way.”
Former dance and drama teacher, Caroline Deakin, is delighted to be joining St Michael’s Without. The church is right in the heart of Bath, offering ministry and hospitality for the thousands of people living, visiting or studying in the city.
“I can’t wait to see what God is doing there and what plan he has for me,” says Caroline. I sense that St Michael’s is a creative place where people try and think outside the box – I don’t work any other way! The possibilities are endless.”
Michelle Taylor, also a qualified drama teacher, has been involved in a number of church plants over the years and describes herself as a ‘natural pioneer’. She admits to being ‘a bit thrown’ when placed at Trendlewood, originally a church plant from Nailsea but now operating as a fully independent church.
“I was convinced I would be placed in an anglo-catholic church to learn from a different tradition then return to my roots and who I am afterwards,” says Michelle.
“After all this waiting, that is God saying to me, ‘Get on with it, you are no spring chicken, you can’t tread water anymore’. I feel that God has been really kind.”
Learn more about some of our #NewRevs and their journeys and join us in praying for all our ordinands in the rich variety of their traditions and vocations.