Normally in late June/ early July the new deacons and priests are ordained at Coventry Cathedral. However, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, this was postponed until the weekend of the 26th and 27th of September. Eight new deacons will be ordained by the Bishop of Warwick at Coventry Cathedral on Sunday 27th September. Four will be ordained at a service starting at 2pm and the other four will be ordained at a service starting at 4pm. Attendance at these services is capped at 30 people, so only those invited will be able to attend. However, both services will be live-streamed on Coventry Cathedral's Facebook page.
Sarah Ashelby will be a deacon at St Stephen’s, Canley and St John’s Westwood. Sarah is married to Mike and they have two children, Layla (9) and Reuben (7). She trained at St Mellitus in London. During her studies she had a particular interest in mission in a digital culture, so she is looking forward to applying her learning at the moment! Most of her time will be spent in Canley with a particular focus on how to develop missional leaders. She would appreciate prayers for creativity around this.
Daniel Bennett will be a deacon at St Michael’s, Stoke. Before training for ministry he lived in London and was primarily an academic, working in the area of social media, journalism and conflict. Having long been involved in lay Christian leadership, he felt called by God to pursue full-time ministry and began training for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon in 2017. Daniel is married to Victoria, who is currently on maternity leave from her post at NHS England. They have two young children, Felicity and Theo.
Andy Clasper will be a deacon at St Mark’s, Coventry. After working in training and consultancy for the Mayor of London, and for charities such as Christian Aid and the Bible Society, Andy is following a call to ordained ministry that has been growing and emerging for some 20 years. Andy trained for three years at Trinity College in Bristol. He is married to Lucy, a professional cellist and have a son called Gideon who is five. Andy and Lucy are passionate about the impact on our lives that an encounter with God’s love can have.
Martin Davies will be a deacon at St Michael’s, Budbrooke where he has worshipped for the last thirty plus years. He has lived and worked in the parish all his life. He retired after more than forty years full time farming two years ago. Martin has been a Reader based a St Michael’s for several years which has enabled him to engage in his passion for funeral, later life and rural ministry. With connections to farming and rural communities as well as working in the village, Martin is able to bring the gospel into the heart of the community. Martin trained part time at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham.
Heather Elson will be a deacon at St Mark’s Church in Leamington Spa. Having worked in family law, schools counselling and a women’s refuge, Heather trained at St Mellitus College in London whilst being based in Ipswich, spending three years as a School Chaplain and serving with St Margaret’s Church. Heather loves Jesus and people and is passionate about mental health, justice and people knowing that they are loved and valued. Prayers for forming good relationships at St Mark’s and in the community would be valued.
Hannah Gregory will be a deacon at Shipston-on-Stour, Honington and Idlicote. Hannah is married to Paul and they have two children called Mackai (aged 5) and Nevaeh (aged 3 1/2). She trained at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. Hannah likes to be creative—she likes to make cards and during lockdown she has found hat she loves doing diamond paintings. She is passionate about Jesus, social justice, caring for creation and helping others. She has a Franciscan spirituality at her roots and looks for God in people and creation.
Glenn Lowde will be a deacon at St Mark’s, Bilton. Glenn has lived and worked in Rugby all his life. He is married with two sons and three grandchildren. Since leaving school he worked in the aerospace industry specifically in quality and testing. Ten years ago he qualified as a counsellor and volunteers for a Christian counselling agency. He has been a Reader for the past 29 years. The journey to ordination God set upon him has been exciting, demanding and fulfilling and he asks for prayers for his continuing journey as he makes the transition to a new ministry.
Mike Stewart will be a deacon at St Andrew’s, Shottery. He has just moved to Stratford after spending the last two years at Ripon College Cuddesdon. He is originally from Nuneaton and worshipped at St Pauls Stockingford. He previously was the estate manager of Hampton Lucy House on the outskirts of Stratford so is familiar with the area. He asks for people to pray that he can be a good servant to the people of the parish.