Jill Hancock: ordained deacon, 1 July 2018

Jill is now the Assistant Curate with the East Scarsdale Team Ministry. She writes:

From an early age I knew how important it was to share and care for others.

Hospitality was at the heart of our family and there would always be an extra place at our dinner table for visitors.

Growing up, I never really had a desire to ‘be something’ and took up all sorts of jobs. I tried hair dressing, travel consultancy, care work, ambulance driving, I joined the Special Constabulary and eventually settled in a job as a nursing auxiliary.

My work as a nurse opened my eyes to life, life at its beginning, life in its fullness, in its messiness and life at its end.

It was during this time that I had the sense that I didn’t actually have to ‘become something’ all I needed was to be myself and to be myself was to simply offer hospitality. I felt a nudge from God.

In 2007, I trained as a Church Army Evangelist and I spent nine years ministering to the vulnerable and marginalised in deprived and fractured communities.

And that’s what I think the role of a deacon is, to share in the life of the community, to offer those in need God’s hospitality; to share in the celebrations, struggles and mess.

I recently finished my theological training at The College of The Resurrection in Mirfield near Wakefield.

The college is situated in 24 acres of beautiful gardens, orchards and woodland within the grounds of a monastery. It’s home to a community of monks who root their lives in the Benedictine tradition.

This monastic rhythm of life teaches the importance of a balance between prayer, study, work, rest, and hospitality - principles which I think are the key in ministry.

I feel very privileged as a curate to have the freedom to get to know the area and to listen to people’s stories.

During September - the start of the new school year - I’ll be getting to know the students and staff at the local schools and joining the chaplaincy team - and I've been very much looking forward to this.

I should also mention…… I am married to Dave and have two grown-up daughters and we live in Bolsover with our little dog Bugsy!

Among my leisure activities are fishing, wine making and crafting.

See also: Explore your calling with us


Favourite Bible passage: 

My favourite Bible passage is Roman’s 8:28.

‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’

This passage has got me through some tough times, times when my faith was in my boots and I struggled to understand what good could possibly come out of such pain.

Favourite prayer: 

My favourite prayer has to be The Lords Prayer. It is filled with incredible meaning and summarises our faith.

You don’t have to think about it, you can say it in every situation, most people can share in it and it does what it says on the tin. Its a prayer of praise, petition, penitence and grace.

Favourite hymn: 

My favourite hymn is "I will offer up my life", by Matt Redman.

When I was a little girl, I always knew I was loved by Jesus because I met him one evening in my mum's 'best room'; he was sat on the settee. He didn't say anything to me but I just knew I belonged to him.

I guess I've always had a sense of being 'called' but was never quite sure what that would look like, so I just followed.

I will offer up my life in spirit and truth
Pouring out the oil of love, as my worship to you
In surrender I must give my every part
Lord, receive this sacrifice of a broken heart

Jesus, what can I give, what can I bring
To so faithful a Friend, to so loving a King?
Saviour, what can be said, what can be sung
As a praise of Your name for the things You have done?
Oh, my words could not tell, not even in part
Of the debt of love that is owed by this thankful heart

You deserve my every breath, for You've paid the great cost
Giving up your life to death, even death on the cross
You took all my shame away, there defeated my sin
Open up the gates of heaven and have beckoned me in

Bruce Johnson: ordained deacon, 1 July 2018

Bruce Johnson, a former IT project consultant, joined the Diocese of Derby as an assistant curate following his Petertide ordination on 1 July 2018. He is currently serving the parishes of Heanor, Langley Mill, Aldercar and Marlpool.

He trained part time for ordination, firstly with Lancashire and Cumbria Theological Partnership and then with All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry, whilst undertaking roles in the Netherlands and the UK. 

Bruce said: "Working and studying part time is not an easy option but, like many, we are proof that it can be done!"

He would be the first to admit that his journey to ordination wasn't entirely easy, but was definitely rewarding: "It has led me to many interesting places and through a great deal of varied and different experiences that I certainly wouldn’t have expected to ever go through.

"Reflecting upon these, both at the time and in retrospect, I can clearly see God’s hand guiding me throughout and, as a result, my vocation has developed. 

"As I continue on my vocational journey I am very much looking forward to this next challenging but very exciting new phase of ministry and life.

"I am enjoying meeting my new communities and having the opportunity to share God’s love and sacraments with everyone I meet."

Hearing God's call

Like many, Bruce can't put his finger on 'the moment' he felt the call to ordination, but rembers clearly two significant incidents that left him in no doubt it was the right way to go: "The first was my first week at university when, aged around 18, I began to see with increasing clarity that the gifts God had given me were able to help others around me grow in faith and knowledge. 

"The second was perhaps the most poignant; whilst working in Romania I had the opportunity to be involved in helping various communities grow both through physical action and also the support of the sacraments.  

"For me the centrality of the sacraments, whether it be the Mass/Holy Communion/Eucharist/Lords Supper/ Breaking of the Bread or the other sacred sacraments, is principle to my calling and therefore very important to my spiritual life. 

"Being able to partake in these, leading and walking with others is a central element in my life.

ordinations 2018 4824 1500 72dpi social"Time and time again it has been confirmed to me that I am following God’s pathway and I am really looking forward to getting to know more about Derbyshire, the diversity of the districts and the people who make this county their own. 

"I am sure I will soon get to know more of this vibrant county, the fabulous Christians who are active in their communities and the wonderful explorations and expressions of faith which I know are being constantly blessed here."

So would he recommend others to follow their calling? Of that he has no doubt: "God calls each of us to be ourselves firstly but to also allow those in the vocational exploration process to help and support us in determining what that call may be.

"It may take some time but if you feel called, trust in God and, with the help of the vocations team, allow yourself to explore what he is calling you to be."

Bruce is married to Sarah and has three grown-up children and one grandchild; some of whom live locally.

Bruce said: "Prior to moving house in June, we lived near Lancaster in a very rural setting. We now live in Ripley; a very different community setting - but everyone has made us feel extremely welcome."

See also: Explore your calling with us


Favourite hymns: 

‘Will your anchor hold?’ and ‘Longing for light, Christ be our light’, both having very specific lyrics which mean a lot for Bruce in his ministry today

Favourite Bible passage: 

Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 11 - ‘For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope’ 

Favourite prayers include: 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life. Amen

St. Francis of Assisi

Julie Lomas, 52, will be ordained Deacon at a special Petertide service at Derby Cathedral this weekend.

Julie who lives in Chesterfield is married to Steve and has three grown up children. She has previously worked in a variety of roles most recently as a Chaplain at the Hartington Unit at Chesterfield Hospital. She has also been licensed as a Reader since 2010.

Talking about her journey to ordination, Julie said: “This has been a long time coming. I was licensed as a Reader in 2010 and that was far enough for me at the time but I gradually felt the call to move into deeper waters in my faith journey and began the discernment process in 2012, it got put on hold and I started training in 2014.”

She added: “Becoming a deacon is a dream come true. I am very excited to be serving my local community in this role. I hope to share the good news that God is for us, He knows and loves us. The key decision I took on this journey was that I wanted to love and serve God. Working out how I was going to do that took some time!”

Along with the other candidates, Julie will be presented to the Bishop of Repton, The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane at a public service at Derby Cathedral on Sunday 2 July.

Ordinations will be taking place throughout the country over the weekend (1-2 July), as part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

Linda WebbLinda Webb, 56, from Stanton Lees is to be ordained as a Deacon at a special Petertide service at Derby Cathedral this weekend. She will take up the role of Assistant Curate in the benefice of Atlow, Bradley, Hognaston, Hulland and Kniveton.

Talking about her journey to ordination Linda said: “I had been drawn to the Anglican church for several years and recognised that God was calling me to become an Anglican. Whilst working in the prison I covered some of the Anglican duties whilst we were without an Anglican Chaplain and felt very much at home. As a Charismatic Pentecostal I have been drawn by the Anglican Church into a spiritual experience of quiet and meditative prayer within the beauty of our liturgy.”

She added: “Becoming a Deacon is to place myself where I can be used by God for the final years of my working life, wherever I can help and make a difference, using my experience from the past. I am looking forward to meeting and worshipping with people in the Benefice and to being a curate in this beautiful countryside. I hope to facilitate spiritual and community growth and connections wherever possible and find my place within the Vision of the Benefice.”

Along with the other candidates, Linda will be presented to the Bishop of Repton, The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane at a service at Derby Cathedral on Sunday 2 July.

Ordinations will be taking place throughout the country over the weekend (1-2 July), as part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

StellaRolls Royce Engineering Operations Controller, Stella Greenwood is to be ordained Deacon at a special service at Derby Cathedral on Sunday 2 July.

Stella Greenwood, 49, from Church Gresley, Swadlincote will become Assistant Curate to the parishes of Emmanuel Swadlincote and St Peter’s Hartshorne.

Married to Paul with two children, Stella also works with South Derbyshire Scouts as a Local Training Manager and has been licensed as a Reader since 2006.

As a self-supporting minister, Stella will continue in her other roles whilst taking on a new identity as a deacon serving in the Diocese of Derby following studying for ministry at All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry.

Stella said: “On completion of my Reader training I believed that my calling was to Reader ministry and in many ways, it was but God had further plans for me and over time and with much prayer and discussion it became clear to me that God was calling me to ordained ministry.  Through my training, my understanding of my future ministry has grown clearer as I have learnt a lot about myself and about the way that God wants to use me.  This step into ordained ministry is a challenging one but I know that it is me that God is calling to this ministry and he will support me as I move into this new phase of my journey with him.”

She added: “My hope is that I can make my own contribution to the life of these parishes and be an instrument of God's love to these people and these communities.  This will be an exciting challenge but one which with God's help I believe I can meet. The biggest thing I have learnt is that God calls and uses all sorts of people.  If he is calling you then he wants you as you are.”

Along with the other candidates, Stella will be presented to the Bishop of Repton, The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane at a public service at Derby Cathedral on Sunday 2 July.

Ordinations will be taking place throughout the country over the weekend (1-2 July), as part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

Edward Backhouse low res

Edward Backhouse will be joining the Diocese of Derby as Assistant Curate following his ordination on Sunday 9 July 2017. He will serve the communities of Aston on Trent, Weston on Trent, Elvaston, Shardlow, Swarkestone, Barrow upon Trent and Twyford.

Edward was encouraged to explore the possibility of ministry by a local minister after he felt the call aged 16. The youngest of this year’s ordinands at age 26, he has spent the past five years studying theology both at St John’s Theological College, Nottingham and Cranmer Hall, Durham.

Talking about his new role Edward said:

“I hope that I will see many blessings in my life when I start my new role as a deacon. I hope to see the churches flourish and equip the laity to do Gods work in our local area. I'm most looking forward to actually doing on the ground ministry, after the last five years have been spent in theological college forming myself for that role. To anyone considering the step into ministry, I would encourage you to step out and explore the possibility of vocation in the church."

Edward Backhouse will be ordained as Deacon at a special service on Sunday 9 July at All Saints Church, Aston on Trent led by The Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern.

The Diocese of Derby will welcome eight other new Deacons at the main ordination service on Sunday 2 July at Derby Cathedral, 10.45am.

The Church of England nationally will ordain many new ministers over the weekend (1-2 July), as part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

Sarah WatsonSarah Watson will be joining the Diocese of Derby as Assistant Curate in the Walbrook Epiphany Team Ministry following her ordination on Sunday 2 July 2017. 

Derby County fan Sarah originally trained as a secondary school teacher, becoming Head of Faculty and Lead for Christian Distinctiveness at Bluecoat Academy in Nottingham. During this time, she began to experience a call to ordained ministry.

“Through working for the Church of England in education & becoming increasingly involved in school chaplaincy, pastoral care and leading worship I began to feel a call into ordained ministry.  I prayed this through, tested it with others & had the calling affirmed by the church.” Said Sarah.

After leaving teaching in 2015 Sarah trained at the newly formed Barnabus Training Centre of St Hild College. This involved a mix of weekly lectures in Sheffield, home study and a placement at St Paul’s Church in Chester Green. She also took part in week long residential study period in Durham, providing a chance to return to where she studied for her undergraduate degree in Theology. 

Sarah said: “This way of training is increasing popular, especially for those with a family and partners in employment.  I trained alongside Baptists and independent church leaders as well people from different traditions within the Church of England, which was enriching. Going away to college has its benefits but contextual training has been a great preparation for life in ordained ministry. I loved the college, the course and the people I met, I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”

Talking about what she hoped to achieve in her new role in the Walbrook Epiphany Team Ministry, Sarah said: “It may sound simple but I want to serve the people I am called to work with, understand the context well, seeking where God is at work and joining in. As a natural activist, it is easy to jump in but I want to go there, listen and follow God’s lead. I also have a lot to learn along the way in parish ministry and would also like to explore aspects of chaplaincy. It will be an adjustment for myself and my family and I am sure that through it I will be changed as God continues to work in and through me”

She added: “To anyone else considering taking this step I would say - Pray, pay attention to the ‘still small voice,’ talk with people you trust and have a chat with your incumbent. Don’t compare yourself to others, the key question is, is God calling you? I have really enjoyed the journey and don’t be afraid to step out from what you are doing”

Sarah lives in Derby and is married with a son. 

Sarah Watson will be ordained as Deacon at a special service on Sunday 2 July at Derby Cathedral led by The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane. This year The Diocese of Derby will ordain nine new Deacons. 

Ordinations will be taking place throughout the country over the weekend (1-2 July), as part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

Kate BuckleyKate Buckley will be joining the Diocese of Derby as Assistant Curate following her ordination on Sunday 2 July 2017. She will serve the communities of South Derbyshire (The parishes of Walton-on-Trent with Croxall and Rosliston in the benefice of Walton on Trent with Croxall, Rosliston with Linton and Castle Gresley, of the benefice of Stapenhill Immanuel and of the parish of Coton in the Elms in the benefice of Seale and Lullington with Coton in the Elms, and of the parishes of Swadlincote and Hartshorne).

Now retired, Kate originally trained in hotels before moving into administration and secretarial work in a number of different industries – from concrete pipe manufacturers to chartered quantity surveyors. She lives in Burton on Trent with her dogs and has two sons and eight grandchildren.

Talking about her journey to ordination Kate said:

“I had originally expected a quiet retirement but God clearly has other plans and I have felt Him beside me every step of the way”

She added:

“If anyone were to ask I would suggest that, if they feel called to serve God as Priest then they should certainly try. The consultation process, the examination of vocation and the support I have received during my own journey, has been amazing and rewarding in ways I could never have imagined. It really has been a wonderful adventure.”

Kate Buckley will be ordained as Deacon at a special service on Sunday 2 July at Derby Cathedral led by The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane.  This year The Diocese of Derby will ordain nine new Deacons.

Ordinations will be taking place throughout the country over the weekend (1-2 July), as part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

Frank Startin portrait 2016 low resFrank Startin a Chartered Accountant from Burton will be joining the Diocese of Derby as Assistant Curate following his ordination on Sunday 2 July 2017. He will serve in the parishes of St Mark’s, Winshill and St Wystan’s, Bretby.

Frank initially trained as a Barrister before switching to Chartered Accountancy and joining a local accountancy firm in Burton. He went on to set up his own firm, The Chartwell Practice, allowing him to spend more time working for his local church in a variety of roles including drumming in the worship band. He has also spent time as a School Governor and as a parish and East Staffordshire Borough Councillor.

Frank trained for ordination at the Queens Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, studying part-time whilst continuing in his role as Senior Partner at The Chartwell practice.

Talking about his journey to ordination, Frank said:

“Sometimes we have to acknowledge that we are not in charge and simply step out in faith trusting in God’s grace and faithfulness. God always delivers…abundantly in love…in my experience but not always at the time and in the way in which we expect…but that is the joy and excitement in life which has kept and still keeps me going in low times, even when I have felt far off from God."

He added:

“I am excited (though with a little trepidation) to assume my new role and to step into a different path in my life, building on the experience I have, both at work and in the local community, in drawing alongside people, getting to grips with issues they are facing and doing my best to help them out. For me this is all about living out and sharing the Gospel.  

I am also looking forward to going back to my family’s roots since I was baptised in St Mark’s and went to secondary school in Winshill. My grandparents used to take me along to sing in the choir at St Wystan’s, Bretby from where I was confirmed at 13 in 1973. My parents were married at Bretby church and some of my ancestors are buried in the church yard there too!”

Born and bred in Burton, Frank is married to Christine with a son, Oliver, who is completing a Master’s degree in Theology at Oxford University.

Frank Startin will be ordained as Deacon at a special service on Sunday 2 July at Derby Cathedral led by The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane.

The Church of England nationally will ordain many of new ministers over the weekend.  As part of the celebrations, those being ordained, their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate with the tag #NewRevs

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