New deacons ordained in services postponed from July

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A nurse, a former toy tester, police officer and solicitor are among the 22 new deacons  ordained to serve in churches across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

The ordinations took place in a series of services across the Thames Valley region on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2020.

Bishop Colin with the new Deacons ordained at Dorchester Abbey on 27 September 2020. Photo: Jane Hemmings.

Bishop Colin with the new Deacons ordained at Dorchester Abbey on 27 September 2020. Photo: Jane Hemmings.

The ordination services were due to take place in July but were postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, the ordinands were licensed as lay workers, to allow them to begin serving in their respective parishes.

Below are details of the services and a short biography of each ordinand.

Berkshire Area – ordained by the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, the Bishop of Reading, at Reading Minster on Saturday 26 September.

Angela Brennan, to serve in Thatcham
Angela is married to James, and they have two children.  She worked in project management before leaving full-time employment for full-time motherhood.  Although Angela never imagined she would be ordained, she is very excited about it and hopes her creativity and expertise in the areas of Lego and play dough will prove useful in ministry.

Carol Cooper, to serve in Furze Platt, Maidenhead
Carol began her career in Management Development, before moving into education, where she worked for about 15 years, teaching English to all year groups from Primary through to Secondary. She loves sport, especially playing and watching tennis, and is an avid England rugby and cricket supporter.

 Polly Falconer, to serve at St George’s, Reading
Paulette (Polly) Falconer is a mother and grandmother. She was born in Jamaica and lives in Reading. Polly works in the mental health field and sees her work as a vocation. She states that no one could have been more surprised than she was that she was called to ordination.

 Jackie Fountain to serve at St Nicolas, Newbury
Jackie Fountain was born in Accrington.  She trained to be a teacher at the University of Warwick. Jackie is married to Paul, and the couple have four children. They served with Tearfund in DR Congo (Zaire). Before Newbury, they lived in Reading. Jackie has been a community worker with NewHope Community Church.

 Sarah Mortimer, to serve in Sunninghill with South Ascot
Sarah, now back in Berkshire, enjoyed spells living in France, the Midlands and the North East. Her husband and three adult sons would say open spaces make her happy, closely followed by tea and a literary classic. To see everyone enjoying life to the full is her dream.

Cara Smart to serve in Wokingham
Cara is married to Richard. They have two children, Oscar and Bethan, and an energetic wheaten terrier.  Cara has been training for ordination part-time at Ripon College Cuddesdon alongside being a Children’s Worker for her benefice.  Before that, she worked as a toy tester and for Macmillan Publishers.   

 Phyl Sopp, to serve at St Luke’s, Maidenhead
Phyllis Sopp will continue to work as a Nurse Practitioner in General Practice whilst serving as a self-supporting minister in her sending Church. She is married to Dave and a mother and Grandmother. In her spare time, Phyl enjoys cooking and country walking. She is excited about what this next step in her faith journey will bring.

Buckingham area – ordained by the Rt Revd Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham on Saturday 26 September at:

St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Buckingham:

James Forward, to serve in Gerrards Cross
James was born and raised in Wimbledon but is only average at tennis. He is married to Katie, and they’ve recently bought a puppy. He was converted in Derby, worked in Cheltenham, worshipped in London, trained at Oakhill and looks forward to being ordained in Oxford.

Ross Mungavin, to serve in Gerrards Cross
Ross Mungavin is from Northern Ireland and is married to Emma. They have three boys: Ben, Alex, and Tom. Ross is excited to see what God has in store for the next chapter. In his spare time, he enjoys watching, playing, and talking about Rugby and was, until recently, the captain of Saracens Amateurs Rugby Club.

 Kate Pellerau, to serve at St Peter’s and St Paul’s, Buckingham
Kate is a former teacher of religious studies. She was working in a countryside prep school fifteen minutes away from Buckingham, so the area is familiar. Her ordination training was completed at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, where she enjoyed endless cycling and good cake and learnt to play real tennis.

 St Mary’s Bletchley

Samson Kuponiyi, to serve at St Peter’s, Burnham
Samson is aware of the constant love of God in our ever-changing world. Having studied Botany before training/working as an accountant for over two decades then later running a cleaning company and now training for the priesthood, Samson is graciously anticipating what God is set to do in this next phase of his life.

Peter Landry to serve at St Mary’s, Bletchley
Before moving to the wild plains of Bletchley, Peter Landry grew up and lived in South Africa and Namibia. When he isn’t answering a mountain of emails, he enjoys the outdoors, traveling, fishing and spending quality time with his wife, Megan and daughter, Myla.

Gareth Morley, to serve at All Saints, High Wycombe
Gareth was born in the Reading area. He worked as a Police Officer with Thames Valley Police for 12 years before starting training for ordination. He will serve his curacy at All Saints’ Church, High Wycombe. He is married to Jenna and has two children named Elijah and Phoebe.

 Dorchester Area – ordained in Dorchester Abbey by the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester, on Sunday, 27 September.

 Jo Allen, to serve in Goring and Streatley
Jo completed mixed-mode training at Wycliffe, is married and has three children. She is learning Clair de Lune on the piano and loves to dance. She feels called to continue to grow and encourage rural ‘fresh expression’ churches across the UK and will be undertaking a Master’s in mission during her curacy.

 David Benskin, to serve in Ickneild
David hopes his ministry will encourage others not to limit their potential. He hopes they will follow God’s call, no matter what difficulties and challenges that. He has learned with God, we can move mountains, after a journey with severe dyslexia.

Steve Short, to serve at St Paul’s, Banbury
Steve is excited that God has called him to St. Paul’s, Banbury. He’ll be carrying on as business consultant alongside being curate, seeking to be a witness to Christ in both contexts. In his spare time, you’ll find him and his wife riding their motorcycles around Oxfordshire.

Benji Tyler, to serve in Wantage
Benji comes to Wantage after formation at Mirfield, Yorkshire. He grew up in East Sussex and, following education at home, pursued a career in interior decoration whilst also working as a church musician and charity fundraiser. He delights in bringing people together with food and drink and sees generous hospitality as central to the life of the Church.

Annette Wade, to serve in Woodstock
Annette Wade enjoys using her natural abilities in art, design and creativity to help make a space where people can meet and grow in their personal relationship with God, including praying with those in need of healing.  She is married to Andrew, and they have an adult daughter Kelly.

Oxford area – ordained by the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, 27 September

Susy Brouard, to serve in Kidlington

Susy has a background in working in the areas of justice and spirituality. Before training at Ripon College, she spent 15 years in CAFOD’s Theology team. She co-parents with Libby, and they have two children, aged ten and eight. She loves all kinds of dancing, musicals and ABBA.

Claire Browes, to serve at SS Mary and John, Cowley
Claire was born in France but grew up in Colchester. She studied Biology and worked for a church before training at Cuddesdon. She is excited about moving to the Cowley Road, with her husband Tim and becoming part of the community. Claire’s enjoys walking, social history and trying to grow vegetables.

Judy Harvey, to serve at St Andrew’s, Oxford
Born and raised in California, Judy has spent most of her adult life overseas. She and her husband Tom raised their three children in China and Singapore, where they were mission partners, before coming to Oxford in 2008. Judy enjoys deep friendships, running, ballroom dancing, and granddaughters

Will Stuart-Lee, to serve at St Aldates, Oxford
Will is married to Rebecca and they have two young children, Peter and Eleanor. Will worked in London as a solicitor before pursuing ministry and has recently completed his studies at Wycliffe Hall.