Ordinations go ahead despite COVID-19 pandemic

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Celebrations ensued for 32 people who were ordained as priests in eight services across six venues in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire over the weekend of September 19 and 20.

Bishop Colin with the new priests from the 10.30am service at Dorchester Abbey. Photo: Jane Hemmings.

Bishop Colin with the new priests from the 3pm service at Dorchester Abbey. Photo: Jane Hemmings.

Those ‘priested’ were mainly those who were ordained deacons at Christ Church Cathedral in July 2019. A former Naval nurse, a former barrister and a woman who has worked as a BBC presenter are among them. Read their biographies in the story we published for the Deacons’ ordinations last year.

The priestings were postponed from the usual date in late June due to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a ban on people gathering for public worship.

Necessary social distancing measures were in place throughout. As congregations were limited, the services were live-streamed online here. 

The services on Sunday in Dorchester marked the last ordinations for the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, who is about to retire as the Bishop of Dorchester. In an encouraging sermon, Bishop Colin described how the new priests will hear miserable prophets of doom tell them the Church is a sinking ship.

He said: “I was ordained Deacon 45 years ago today and over that period I have hard plenty of those voices. They always seem to leave out God to me, which is unwise. If God is as he, is why one earth is he calling so many very able, Godly people into ordained ministry just at the moment?

“One of the huge privileges of bishops is meeting people coming forward for ordination and I do not believe in a God who is a callous God or a God

Below are details of each of the services.who makes sick jokes. There is something very special for you to be involved in in the years ahead.”

Buckingham Area

Ordained priest by the Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham:

11am on 19 September at St Laurence, Winslow

Stephen Jonathan (Steve) Hallett, to serve in the Benefice of Water Eaton

Tracey Anne (TJ) Jones, to serve in the Benefice of Hughenden

Pat Kevin Kerr, to serve in the Benefice of Risborough

Kevin John Lovell, to serve in the Benefice of Prestwood and Great Hampden

Mark Nelson, to serve in the Benefice of Winslow with Great Horwood and Addington

3pm on 19 September at St Mary, Wendover

Benjamin Martin (Ben) Clarke to serve in the Benefice of Gerrards Cross and Fulmer

Claire Louise Gerard, to serve in the Benefice of Hazlemere

Suzanne Joan Johnson, to serve in the Benefice of Taplow and Dropmore

Isaac John Knight, to serve in the Benefice of Flackwell Heath

Sally Elizabeth Prendergast to serve in the Benefice of Wendover and Halton

Dorchester Area

Ordained priest by the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester,

10.30am on 20 September at Dorchester Abbey

Christopher Mark (Chris) Ashton to serve in the Vale Benefice

Andrea Dorothy Colbrook to serve in the Benefice of Ridgeway

Andrew Stewart (Andy) McCulloch to serve in the Benefice of Cogges and South Leigh

Yvonne Beryl Mullins to serve in the Benefice of Shelswell

Catherine Louise Schneider to serve in the Benefice of Dorchester

3pm on 20 September at Dorchester Abbey:

Patricia Moira (Tish) Bird to serve in the Benefice of Charlbury with Shorthampton

Ilona Claire Cheyne, to serve in the Benefice of Chase

Jacob Harold (Jake) Eggertsen, to serve in the Benefice of Banbury St Paul

Michael John (Mike) Madden to serve in the Benefice of Hanborough and Freeland

Judith Elizabeth Marshall to serve in the Benefice of Chipping Norton

Oxford Area

Ordained by the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford:

3pm  on 20 September at St Michael & All Angels, Summertown:

Nikolaj Christensen to serve in the Benefice of Iffley

Thomas William (Tom) Howell to serve in the Benefice of Oxford Saint Andrew

Clare Elizabeth Leal to serve in the Benefice of Summertown

Thomas Christopher (Tom) Murray to serve in the Benefice of Oxford Saint Andrew

Berkshire Area

Ordained priest by the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading,

11am on 19 September at Reading Minister:

Robin Sharples to serve in the Benefice of Hungerford and Denford

Terence Edward (Terry) Ward-Hall to serve in the Benefice of Sunningdale

Katherine (Katy) Weston to serve in the Benefice of Basildon with Aldworth and Ashampstead

2pm on 19 September at Reading Minister:

Amy Jane Cavender to serve in the Benefice of Reading Greyfriars

John Nigel Freeman to serve in the Benefice of Reading Greyfriars

Julie Anne Howell to serve in the Benefice of Newbury St George and St John

Andrew Julian (Andy) Storch to serve in the Benefice of Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham

Ordained priest by the Rt Revd Rod Thomas, Bishop of Maidstone:

 11am on 19 September at St Andrew & St Mary Magdalene, Maidenhead

Ian Daukes Miller to serve in the Benefice of Maidenhead St Andrew and St Mary Magdalene