New priests and deacons to serve communities across Suffolk
Worshippers are delighted that 15 new priests and deacons, including two in their 20s and others bringing a wealth of experience, are taking up roles serving communities right across Suffolk.
The new clergy will serve in parishes including Bury St Edmunds, Haughley near Stowmarket, Newmarket, Hadleigh, the Sudbury area, Kesgrave near Ipswich and the Felixstowe area.
They bring youth and decades of experience to their new roles, including backgrounds working in the military and with those with disabilities in previous careers.
The ordinations of new priests and deacons are seen by the Church’s many thousands of regular worshippers across Suffolk as one of the most important festival days of the year, when they celebrate those at the beginning of a deacon, or priest’s ministries in towns and villages across the county.
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich which includes almost all of Suffolk, welcomed the new clergy as he lead two moving services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds in front of well-wishers on Saturday and Sunday <June25/June26>.
Bishop Martin said: “These 15 men and women are giving their lives to God and to serve the Suffolk communities where they live.
"Their deep faith, and their strong commitment, will make a real difference to so many people.
"They know they have a great deal to learn, and are both excited and daunted by their new responsibilities. It is humbling for me personally to be part of this next stage in their Christian lives."
The new deacons are: Penny Brinkley, 58, who will serve at Felixstowe St John the Baptist with St Edmund; Dr Karen Burton, 47, who will serve in the Bury St Edmunds area and Charlotte Cook, will serve in the Walton and Trimley group of churches.
Max Drinkwater, 25, will be a deacon at Newmarket St Mary with Exning St Agnes. Sue Foster, 57, and Simon White, 55, will serve in the Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley churches.
The new priests are: Sue Bates, 50, curate at Yoxford near Saxmundham; Cathy Bladen, 52, curate at Fressingfield near Eye; Tricia Box, 61, curate at Bures; Paul Darbyshire, 65, curate at Felixstowe; Chris Hood, 46, curate at Haughley near Stowmarket; Claire Ling, 49, and her husband Matthew Ling, 51, curates at Kesgrave near Ipswich, East Bergholt and Brantham respectively.
Laurence Smith, 25, is a curate at Bury St Edmunds; and Jane Wright, 53, at Sudbury.
The moving Petertide ordinations were attended by many Christians and well-wishers at the cathedral during the weekend for the joyous events.