Displaying items by tag: ordinand

Learn to be a blessing to each other and to grow and nurture each other in our faith

Bex Allpress: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022

My name is Bex and I will be serving as a curate across four parish churches within Swadlincote Minster:

  • Emmanuel Church, in the Parish of Swadlincote
  • Saint Peter’s Church, in the Parish of Hartshorne
  • Saint John’s Church, in the Parish of Newhall and…
  • Saint George and Saint Mary’s Church in the Parish of Church Gresley.

During my curacy placement, I will have plenty of opportunities to work with lots of people, from across all four parish churches, as part of a dynamic ministry team within the minster.

I am excited to be serving and learning within existing and new forms of ministry within the Swadlincote area, sharing my vocational journey alongside others who are realising their own.

Thankfully I am not an entire stranger to the minster having been on placement here over the last two years during my training for ordained ministry with Saint Mellitus College.

During my training I have had the chance to be involved with aspects of ministry across the Swadlincote area which has helped to form a platform on which to grow during my time here as a curate.

Prior to working in ministry, I worked for 15 years in the National Health Service across a variety of surgical specialities within the operating departments.

Despite sounding gruesome, it was a really engaging career where I gained plenty of experience across life matters.

Although I have some fond memories, I felt God was calling me to explore working further within full time ministry.

My journey in the Christian faith began when I was only three years old attending Sunday school on a regular basis at my local parish church in Derbyshire.

From the age of 14, I then began volunteering as a Sunday school teacher until at 18 years old I left to study at university in Wales.

It was in Wales that I met my husband and after eight years we moved back to Derbyshire.

Only after we moved back did I feel God was drawing me to be more involved once more within the church.

I began helping as a leader within our local church parent and toddler group and when I had to give this up due to changes at work, I first thought that my sense of calling was a call to return back to continue serving this group.

Despite a lengthy discernment process, I realised that God has His timings in hand because the year I was ready to begin formal ordination training was the same year that the new St. Mellitus College opened in Nottingham.

I was super excited to begin my training there and have the privilege of being the first ordinand from Derby to train with them.

My journey is probably one best described as being quite ordinary but filled with extra-ordinary moments.

As for me, I have just this year decided to have a go at growing my own vegetables.

It’s something that I’ve never done before so everything is a learning journey to see what takes well and what doesn’t.

I recently harvested my first crop of potatoes and, although they were smaller than expected, they still tasted delicious!

Favourite Bible Message: When it comes to having favourite bible messages, the importance for me is that the messages speak something significant into the way we live our lives. There are three Bible messages that I incorporate daily into my life. The first of these is taken from Matthew 22:37-40. In this message, Jesus shares with us the two most important rules for living well; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself”. Two very simple rules for living a healthy and active faith, love God and love those around you. From these two simple rules flows God’s transformative power into our lives and into the world. As we start to see positive transformations, we become more attuned to the various gifts and talents that God blesses us all with. We must recognise how these gifts are to be used to help each other in our discipleship journey’s and how we must support and encourage each other, through the good times and in the pain of life. The Apostle Paul reflects on this in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and 12:14 “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone…Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many” and in Romans 12:15-16 when he says that as a community of disciples we must “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (and) live in harmony with one another”.

In summary; To learn to be a blessing to each other and to grow and nurture each other in our faith, requires loving God, loving each other, recognising what each of us has to contribute to one another and finding strength in a community who endeavour together through each season in life. That’s my take-home message for effective everyday living in Christian faith which I draw upon daily for inspiration.

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God put it on our hearts to explore Derby

Jeff Golding: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022

My name is Jeff Golding, I am married to Kim, and we have two children, Phoebe (3) and Jesse(1).

I grew up in South East London but have spent the last three years in Cambridge, studying at Ridley Hall.

My family was non-religious when I was growing up (although most have come to faith now).

I came to faith when I was 18 years old.

My faith journey started when I was ten when I was diagnosed with cancer.

Although I had no idea who God was, it was the beginning of thinking about whether there was more to life.

However, after several years of being in remission, at 18, I had a second cancer scare.

Fortunately, it was not cancer this time, but I nonetheless found Jesus in this experience.

At my baptism, someone prophesied that I would one day be “wearing a dog collar!”

I placed these words on the back burner and decided to study computer animation at university.

After completing my studies, I went on to do many jobs, including youth work for my local council and my church.

However, training for ordained ministry never disappeared.

When I was in my late twenties, while I was a pen salesman (I sold really posh fountain pens!), God brought this calling to the forefront.

After getting through my BAP, my wife and I packed up and moved to Cambridge with a two-month old baby.

Although we always intended to return to our sending diocese, God put it on our hearts to explore Derby.

After several months of praying and listening, we knew this was where God was calling us.

We are so excited to be moving to Derby and being part of what God is doing in the East Midlands, seeing the Kingdom grow, and seeing people’s lives transformed by God.

Looking after two little children have meant some of my hobbies have taken a back seat.

However, I still really enjoy cooking a delicious curry for new and old friends, cosying up on the sofa with a good boxset, and chilling in coffee shops talking about life with friends.

Favourite Bible verse - Matthew 14:22-31, where Jesus calls Peter to walk to Him on the water. It reminds me of Jesus’ call for all of us to a life of water-walking. However, stepping out ofthe boat is often scary, but we must “take courage!” and trust that Jesus is always there,whatever we might face.

Favourite song: “Oceans” by Hillsong, because it encapsulates my call to ordination.

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I am passionate about the opportunities that can be created to allow children and young people to explore their faith

Sam Dennis - ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022

I have been training with the All Saints’ Centre for the last three years in preparation for ordination as deacon. 

My study has been part-time; some in Derby during the evenings and residential weekends in Crewe. 

I have been studying alongside working full-time. 

My day job is working for the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham as their deputy director of education. 

I have worked in Church of England schools throughout my teaching career and am passionate about the opportunities that can be created to allow children and young people to explore their faith and ask those ‘big questions.’

I worship at All Saints’ Parish Church in Sawley and have done so since I attended the Sunday School as a young child.   

I have been very involved with children’s work in the church over the years and am looking forward to continuing to develop the skills I have learnt during my training in other areas of parish ministry during my curacy.  

I will serve my curacy at All Saints’ as a self-supporting minister and also continue working. 

I am married to Phil, who is a butcher, and I have two daughters and a step-daughter. 

All the girls are grown up now and our eldest had a baby last year; we are really enjoying being grandparents. 

We have two rescue dogs, who have been living their best life during lockdown as I have been working from home since the middle of March 2020.   

It goes both ways though and I have also been very grateful of their company over the last year or so.  

Having been a half-hearted knitter since my children were little, I have recently learnt to crochet and am really enjoying making some baby clothes for my granddaughter – it is surprisingly easy. 

We also enjoy taking our dogs out, walking along the River Trent which is on our doorstep.

Favourite bible passage I don’t have a passage that has stood the test of time as ‘always a favourite.’  Passages seem to speak to me more at sometimes than others, but Philippians 4:13 is one I often return to ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me’

Favourite hymn It is hard to choose …  ‘Thorns in the Straw’ by Graham Kendrick …

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My vision of ordained ministry is to walk alongside others in such a way that our relationship with Jesus is deepened, and that those who don’t know him encounter him. 

Charlotte Wallington - ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022

I’m excited to be ordained in June and beginning my curacy in the benefice of Hathersage, Bamford and Grindleford.

I grew up in Greater London, in a Christian home and attended a large local church. I came to faith at the age of nine.

Because I became a Christian when I was such a young child, my faith is so integral to me that I cannot imagine who I would be as a person without it.

As for everyone, my life has had its ups and downs but in all these things I have known God’s presence with me.

I finally made the decision to offer myself for ordination after a deep sense of challenge, followed by prayer and reflection on Moses’ encounter with God in Exodus 3.

I had known from the age of about twenty that I was being called to ordination, so the challenge of Exodus 3 was the culmination of a long journey for me to get to this point of being faithful to that calling.

I am so glad that now I have.

For the last two years I’ve been hugely privileged to study at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and hope to take the lessons I’ve learned there, and the ones I will learn in my curacy, as I grow in ministry.

On a personal note, I particularly love to spend time with my family, I have four nieces and two nephews.

Other personal interests include reading, meeting up and chatting with friends, and walking.  

Worship is a very important part of my life; it is not really possible to pin down one favourite song as I have lots of favourites - so in honesty the list would be way too long! But one of my favourite hymns is ‘Tell Out My Soul The Greatness Of The Lord’, and two of my favourite worship songs are ‘Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me’ and ‘In The Darkness We Were Waiting’ (King of Kings).

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Mel Hartley: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022

My name is Mel Hartley and I have just completed two years with St Hild College, studying for an MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

I shall be ordained in June 2021 and serve my curacy in the north of the diocese, in the parishes of Eyam, Baslow and Foolow.

I came to faith as child, when at the age of 7, I used to question the caretaker of a local Wesleyan chapel as he arrived.

I asked him so many questions he started a Sunday School, which was the start of my faith journey.

I attended church through my years as a child and then a youth, occasionally with my mum and brother, but after a couple of earlier years, I attended alone.

My faith grew and I became increasingly frustrated with how to communicate my wonderful experiences with church, into words and practices that my family would relate to or have an interest in – I guess this sparked my passion for mission and reaching those beyond the fringes of our churches.

I have been in education for the last twenty years – starting as a lecturer of music, then moving to classroom teaching and also supporting further education students with specific learning disabilities.

Along side my career in education I continued to lead in churches: being a local preacher in the Methodist Church and leading various groups, projects and times of worship.

I completed an MA in Mission in 2011 alongside my teaching – to enable my ministry further.

I candidated successfully for Methodist Ministry and started my training at Queens College… but there was something that didn’t quite fit.

It was training alongside ordinand colleagues in an ecumenical environment that allowed me to explore my personal call further.

After much searching, I asked the Methodist Church to release me from training and found my home in the local Anglican church – where my husband was already leading Messy Church – we were already rooted amongst our Anglican friends.

Several years later, I became a candidate for ordained ministry in the Anglican Church and was overwhelmingly affirmed.

My prayer is that I enable others through my own call, and that I can demonstrate His love in areas of our communities where the church doesn’t always reach.

As a trauma survivor, I spent many years feeling unworthy.

The verse from Jeremiah 2:13, talking of broken cisterns that hold no water, reminds me that we all have the ability to hold streams of living water when we learn to fully embrace his grace. My favourite Bible verse is Galatians 2:21, ‘I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.’ My favourite hymn is Amazing Grace.

The countryside is my sanctuary and I love walks. I’m a creative person and as such I cover my desk with pictures, journaling, diagrams, art, sewing and music… and I love making lists to make everything ordered! I am married to Matt, and we have four amazing daughters: Elizabeth (16), Evelyn (13), Niamh (11), Miriam (9)… and an Irish Red Setter called Milo!

My favourite Bible verse is Galatians 2:21: ‘I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.’

My favourite hymn is Amazing Grace.

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It was during my time in the choir that I first felt God’s calling on my life

Ellie Launders-Brown: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022

I am Ellie Launders-Brown, I am training for ordination at St Mellitus College South West Centre based in Plymouth and currently living and ministering in the diocese of Bath & Wells.

Before training I was an aircraft engineer, spending 14 years in the Royal Navy and a further 12 years as a civilian contractor.

I will be serving my curacy in the East Scarsdale benefice consisting of the parishes of Shirebrook, Pleasley, Upper Langwith and Whaley Thorns.

I grew up in a village called Whitburn, on the North East Coast just to the north of Sunderland.

I was baptised in the Methodist church, but I desperately wanted to sing.

After being told by my junior school music teacher I had the most untrainable voice he’d ever heard, I went to join the local parish church choir.

It was during my time in the choir that I first felt God’s calling on my life, but at that point, women couldn’t be ordained into the priesthood, and I had neither the maturity or the experience to know how to respond to that calling.

I have been with my partner Jo for 25 years and in a civil partnership 15 years. She was born in Derbyshire and is delighted to be returning home. We have two labradors Toby and Gypsy.

Reconciling faith and sexuality was a difficult time and being banished from the church simply because of who I am hurt me and cut deeply.

I felt disguarded and abandonded, but God never gave up on me and still kept calling me into ordained ministry.

When I finally answered this calling with a “yes”, I suddenly felt free, protected, needed and loved and I knew where my life was going and that God had a plan for my life.

Inclusion is important to me and it’s what drives me forward in my ministry.

I firmly believe that we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” (psalm 139:14), and I look to seek out and welcome all who have been or feel excluded from hearing God’s message and make the church an inclusive and safe place for everyone.

I have a passion for choral music, nature and God’s creation and following the highs and mainly lows of Sunderland Football Club.


Favourite Bible passage: Isaiah 43:1 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”

Favourite hymn: And can it be – Charles Wesley, when I answered God’s call, the release and clarity that I felt resonated with the words of the chorus:-

My chains fell off,

my heart was free,

I rose, went forth and followed thee.

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I gave my life to Christ after my 12th birthday

Julius Anozie: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022 

My name is Onyekachi Julius Anozie.

I was born and raised in Nigeria. I studied law at the University of Nigeria and graduated in 2012 and was called to the Nigeria Bar in 2013.

I have a Master’s degree in International Human Rights and Humanitarian law from Germany (2017).  I most recently completed a BA in Theology, Ministry and Mission at Cranmer Hall Durham.

Prior to ordination training, I was a Pastoral Assistant at the Trinity Anglican Church, Lyon.

I have been an Anglican all my life. I gave my life to Christ after my 12th birthday and since then my love for God has grown so much. I confirmed my call to ordination when I was 18 years old.

Believing that I was meant to serve in Nigeria, I was preparing to go back after my studies in Germany, but God had other plans for me. I then began my discernment process in Germany, which was not expected at all, but God moves in mysterious ways!

Growing up, I was a member of the Boys’ Brigade, an organisation I am still part of till date.

I also participated in various religious organisations like the Scripture Union, Anglican Students’ Fellowship and most currently was part of St Johns College Christian Union Durham.

I am very passionate about the youth and young adults’ ministries. I love choral music and also hymns, Anglican chants, and Iam a Handel's Messiah enthusiast.

I love singing, dancing, and acting.

My favourite canticle: the Magnificat and the Tedeum Laudamus 

My favourite books of the bible: Psalms and Ecclesiastes.

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Having received the gift of faith myself I am keen to find ways to reach out to others

Becky Reeve: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022 

I am looking forward to being ordained in June and starting my curacy at St Augustine’s, Derby.

It has been a long path to this point - I came to faith on Christmas Eve 2002, having grown up in a non-religious family, and received my sense of call to ministry at the same time as my call to faith.

I didn’t really understand how churches worked though, so I thought I could just fill in a job application form to be a priest like for any other job… little did I know.

I started attending a free church in 2003, but after a couple of years felt drawn to Anglicanism, and I knew as soon as I started attending an Anglican church that I had found my home. 

My discernment has been long and varied, and has involved living in a number of communities while considering the religious life as well as 4 moves of area and 4 interregnums, all of which helped to slow things down.

Eventually though I was recommended for training and have been lucky to spend the last two years in full-time training at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, living alongside a community of monks.

I grew up in Sutton Coldfield, on the edge of Birmingham, but went to university in London, and then stayed there for the next 19 years.

When I met my husband, Patrick, I moved down to the South Coast, where I have been for the last 10 years. Patrick has continued to live and work down there while I have been studying in Yorkshire, so we have both got to know the M1 pretty well. 

Before becoming an ordinand I worked as a primary school teacher, 6th form college lecturer in English and Classical Civilisation, tutor for marginalised young people and school SENCO.

I have also spent time living in communities supporting young adults with learning difficulties and working with street homeless people.

Walking pilgrimages are a passion for me: I walked the St Martins in the Fields pilgrimage from London to Canterbury every year from 2008 until Covid struck, and Patrick and I organise regular reunion walks for this pilgrimage.

In fact, Patrick and I actually met on a walking pilgrimage to St David’s in Wales.

We are also part of other pilgrimage groups and we completed the Camino de Santiago just before I started training which was a fantastic experience.

My faith isn’t easy to label, and draws on a number of aspects of Christian traditions, from both ‘wings’ of the Church of England as well as from Orthodox Christianity and the Emerging Church. I am more interested in the fruits of peoples’ faith than the part of the Church they identify with, and find that for my faith life to be most alive I need to keep both prayer and working towards the Kingdom in relationship.  

Having received the gift of faith myself I am keen to find ways to reach out to others.

When I was interviewed about being a curate in Derby diocese I had to admit that I didn’t have a connection to Derby, although I am a Midlander.

It was only after I had agreed my curacy at St Augustine that I found out from my Father that my great grandfather had not only been born in Derby, but in the same parish that I will be based in!

His father was an itinerant stonemason who worked on churches, and who moved into the parish just as the church was being built, so it is highly possible that my great-great grandfather helped to build the church where I will be a curate!

Favourite Bible Passages: Mark 10: 46-52/ Isaiah 61:1-3

Favourite Hymn: I heard the voice of Jesus say

Favourite motto: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are

Favourite religious leader: Desmond Tutu

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Being an ordinand during Covid-time has probably been the best and worst time

Rachel Burdett: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022 

My name is Rachel Burdett. I’ve just completed two years of study at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, and I’m excited to be joining Belper Christ Church with Turnditch as the assistant curate.

My sending parish is Eckington with Ridgeway, in North East Derbyshire. I grew up in Ridgeway.

My parents were both primary school teachers and I have a younger brother, David, who lives in York with his wife Karen and their dog Archie.

I went to university in Leeds and studied Modern Chinese Studies (with a bit of Japanese thrown in).

After graduation I went back to China (having spent a year there as a student) and taught at a university there for a short while, and after that decided to take a job in Japan.

After two years there I came back to the UK, but missed Japan so much I got another job there and then spent the next 25 years teaching in Japanese secondary schools.

For most of that time I was at a private Anglican school called St. Hilda’s, in Tokyo.

There was only one English-speaking Anglican congregation in Tokyo, St. Alban’s, and I was a member there for many years.

In 2013 I became a Companion of Julian of Norwich (https://julianofnorwich.org/pages/friends-of-julian-the-companions-of-julian).

Julian’s writing has been important to me ever since I received a small book called Enfolded In Love when I was confirmed.

When we are able to travel again I am looking forward to being able to revisit Julian’s cell in Norwich.

I am particularly interested in English mysticism, and the different ways we pray, both in church and privately.

I had expected to be a teacher for the rest of my working life but about five years ago I discerned a call to ordained ministry, and started to explore that through Derby diocese.

I moved back to the UK in March 2019 and began college six months later.

Being an ordinand during Covid-time has probably been the best and worst time.

There have been fewer placements and worship has been disrupted in many ways, but it has all given me a lot to think about.

In my time off I do a lot of walking and taking photos.

I love Derbyshire and it is rather mystifying, now I’ve come home, to imagine how I lived on the other side of the world for so long.

At home I enjoy cooking and during lockdown, like apparently many other people, I learned how to make my own marmalade.

In the last two years my reading has been largely taken up with what I have needed to do for college but I do like to curl up with a good book and a pot of tea.

Favourite hymn: Alleluia, sing to Jesus, especially the lines, ‘Intercessor, Friend of sinners, earth’s Redeemer, plead for me.’ 

Favourite Bible passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: 'Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ (I’ve included it on my ember card and sums up how I’m feeling about being ordained.)

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I felt God speak to me through song

John Ferguson: ordained deacon in June 2021 - to be ordained priest in July 2022 

My name is John, and I live in Overseal, a village at the very south of the Diocese near Swadlincote. I’m looking forward to being ordained to work in the parish of St. Barnabas’, Derby, as a Self-Supporting Minister (SSM). As a SSM I will continue to work full time as an IT Manager for a well-known discount retailer.

I grew up in a small village near Blackburn, Lancashire and started attending church at a young age with my sister. We were drawn in by the vibrant Sunday School and by the time I moved away from home to attend University, I was a leader in the Sunday School and a member of both the music group and PCC.

I moved to Derby in 2005 to study Computer Networks at Derby University. On leaving my previous Church, our curate put me in touch with St. Peter’s and this has been my home for nearly 16 years.

During my time at St. Peter’s, I have held various roles: a Youth Leader, a Home Group Leader, a member of the PCC and a member of various working groups. I have also been involved in several outreach activities such as Recharge (church in a pub) and Alpha Café (a social event around the Alpha course). But my primary role was as a Worship Leader. It is from this that my journey to ordination started.

As a child I learnt to play the Piano and was a member of the school choir. I still enjoy playing the piano and singing today.

It was during my time at St. Peter’s that I developed my ministry as a Worship Leader. Part of this development involved attending the Mission Worship Conference in Eastbourne every couple of years. In November 2017, while at this conference, I felt God speak to me through song. I came away with a deep desire to grow deeper in my faith through study, but resisted the call to ordination.

In September 2018 I started a part-time course at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. It wasn’t long before my cohort were encouraging me to consider ordination and a few weeks later God spoke to me again. This time it was through a vision (but it still involved a song) and the rest, as they say, is history. I was fortunate to be able to remain at Queen’s to complete my training.

In my spare time, other than music, I enjoy Scuba Diving. This has taken me to some wonderful places, and I especially enjoy diving in the Red Sea. Recently, my experiences diving have led me to make small changes to minimise my impact on the environment.

I’m still working out what ordained ministry will look like for me, I’m sure it will involve music in some way. But I also feel the fact I will be staying in secular employment could be key, helping to bridge the gap between secular and sacred.

Favourite Hymn – There’s too many to choose from, but Stuart Townend’s In Christ Alone has always had a special place in my heart “for I am his, and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ”

Favourite Bible Verse – John 1:1-5 (if it needs to be 1 verse, then John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word”

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