Two days of ordinations at Norwich Cathedral
Twelve people were ordained Deacons and six ordained as Priests over three socially-distanced services in Norwich Anglican Cathedral on June 26 and 27.
Many more people joined the services online as they were live streamed on the Norwich Cathedral YouTube channel, where they can still be viewed.
Those ordained priest by Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher on Saturday June 26 were: James Cook, serving at Eaton, St Andrew; Michael Hayden, serving at Norwich, St Andrew; Jon Price, serving at King’s Lynn, St John the Evangelist; Coryn Stanforth, serving in the Tas Valley Team Ministry; Cate Turner, serving in the Bramerton Group (Thurton); and Taylor Wilton-Morgan, serving in the United Benefice of St Benedict
Those ordained deacon by Bishop Graham on Sunday June 27 were:
Becki Bensusan – Pakefield Benefice, who is married with four children and trained for ministry at St Mellitus College in London. “We are really looking forward to being part of the community in Pakefield. I am excited to learn and serve in my role as curate there,” said Becki.
Blessing Chishanu – Sprowston Benefice, is originally from Zimbabwe and studied Theology at a seminary in Windhoek, Namibia, where he met his wife Anthea. They moved to the UK in 2016 after a call to serve as a youth worker in Lowestoft. “It was during our time in Lowestoft that I discerned God’s specific call to pastoral vocation in England and a strong sense that this would be through serving in the Church of England,” said Blessing. “Together with my family, I look forward to serving in the Sprowston area, getting to know clergy and lay members as well as being involved in the local community.”
Ian Fifield – Norwich, St Stephen, is a qualified Chartered Public Finance Accountant, with over 30 years’ experience in local government finance and funding who run his own training business, delivering finance training to local government elected members and staff. “I was brought up in the Baptist tradition, but a house move brought me into the Church of England and I and my family worshipped at St Luke’s, Cranham in Essex until moving to Norwich in 2015. I am looking forward to serving my curacy at St Stephen’s in the heart of the city centre."
Joanna Haywood – Trunch Group, grew up in South London, and has had a variety of careers in nursing, office administration, and a stint studying architecture, before completing a degree and training as a primary school teacher. “I took early retirement in 2016 and moved to Norfolk in 2017 for a quiet life and a fresh start in North Walsham. I’d been here six months when God tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘I’ve not finished with you yet!”
Val Hooker – Taverham and Ringland, had a career in nursing, including two years in a refugee camp in Thailand. “Having given up work I expected to be sorting out my garden and spending time having tea and cake with friends, but God has other ideas! For me, this is an exciting time to be in ministry as we discern God’s leading for the church as we move forward out of Covid-19,” said Val.
Adam Poole – Fountain of Life, was a teacher and youth group leader with wife Martha in her home country of Malta, before moving to Oxford in 2019 to begin ordination training at Wycliffe Hall. “I am passionate about reading and delving deeper into areas of theology that can help people grow in what it means to follow Jesus today,” said Adam.
Benjamin Rogers – Cromer Benefice, grew up in Norwich. “Before I trained for ordination I was a secondary school teacher, I taught French in West London, my wife also teaches at a local primary school. I’m really looking forward to being back in Norwich and serving my curacy in Cromer,” he said.
Julie Swinton – The Church in the Woottons in King’s Lynn, is a teaching assistant, and married with three grown-up children, and live in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. “I enjoy mission and seeing God at work in everyday situations,” said Julie. “Being a Deacon will enable me to act as Christ’s ambassador, serving the congregation and my local community in new and exciting ways.”
Richard Turk – Reepham and Wensum Valley Team Ministry, grew up in Brighton, studied history at the UEA, met his wife, took up bellringing at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich, and came to faith. “I thought this was where God was calling me, but it turns out the call was different and I ended up training for ordination with ERMC. A few years ago, I stopped working to be the main childcare provider, which also gave me the chance to explore my vocation,” said Richard.
Tori Venmore-Rowland – Swaffham and Sporle Benefice, is returning to Norfolk at the end of training in Oxfordshire. With her are husband, Luke, and three children. “Before I embarked on this journey I spent a decade in the Royal Air Force as a weapons technician. In my free time, when I get any, I enjoy reading, sewing and motorbikes.”
Richard Washington – Attleborough with Besthorpe Benefice, said: “I am very grateful for the blessing of being called to serve in Attleborough with Besthorpe. God’s call came to me in Warsaw, Poland, where I had been living for a number of years, working at a postgraduate institute of European studies. However, I always felt called to serve back home in England in parish ministry.
“I am really excited by the many possibilities that lie ahead for the benefice as we work together to establish our pre-Covid rhythms and activities and to build on what we have learned and gained in this time of trouble.”
Edwin Wilton-Morgan – Norwich Cathedral and the Julian Campus, grew up in Shropshire and read Modern Languages at University of St Andrews University, where he met partner, Taylor who was ordained as a deacon in Norwich last summer. “It was whilst at university that I began to discern a vocation to ordained ministry, which led me to spend some time working as a parish assistant at a church in Westminster and then onto Westcott House in Cambridge. We have really enjoyed getting to know Norfolk — as far as the restrictions have permitted and I’m greatly looking forward to serving at Norwich Cathedral, with the Julian Shrine.”
Pictured top are the six new priests with Bishop Graham Usher outside Norwich Anglican cathedral and, above six of the new deacons.