Meet the Deacons
25th June 2019
On Sunday 30th June, 14 new deacons will be ordained at St Albans Cathedral. Below they tell us a little about their background, call to ministry and the move to their new parishes.
Joshua Brocklesby is being ordained to the Parish of St Mary, Watford:
“Before I started training, I was working for a creative advertising agency in London but while there started to sense a call for ordained ministry. It was then that I made the decision to quit my job and join the first year of the Community of St Anselm, where I lived with 15 other people from all over the world at Lambeth Palace. This was an amazing and challenging experience as moving from young professional London life to monastic life is quite a shift! But it was a time of real spiritual growth for me and one where I became excited about this call that, if I was honest, I really didn’t want to begin with.
After being put forward for training I went to Ridley Hall, Cambridge for three years where I studied theology at Cambridge University and was then very fortunate to go abroad and study at Yale University in the US in my final year. Both were amazing opportunities to go deep into certain aspects of theology and learn and converse with some brilliant theologians. I am truly grateful for the gift of having three years to learn and grow. I am now very excited about the next chapter of this journey and beginning at St Mary’s, Watford where I will serve as Curate. It will be great to be in just one place for the next few years, after having four years of life which felt very transitory. Community is very important to me and so being able to serve, learn and journey with a community which has God’s love at its centre is something I’m really looking forward to!”
Andy Burgess is being ordained to the Parish of Bushey:
“Hi, I’m Andy, I’m getting ready to begin curacy in Bushey Parish next month. Before training for ministry I was a Graphic Designer, where I enjoyed using creativity, colour, and typography to communicate with audiences. I’m married to the wonderful Joy, who is a Landscape Architect, and we have three young children. I have just finished my theological training at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and am looking forward to putting it all into practice over the coming years. I hope to get to know the congregation in Bushey well, discover how God is working in this place, and work out how best to join in!”
Kate Carter is being ordained to the Parish of Hoddesdon:
“I’m Kate Carter, and at the time of writing this, I am 6 days away from ordination as deacon and from starting my curacy post at St Catherine’s and St Paul’s church, Hoddesdon. For me there is the undeniable enjoyment of moving into something new, meeting new people, and discovering new places. So there is excitement, but there is a little trepidation as well: what will it be like to make the change from being a GP to ordained ministry? I have relished moving around the UK and, short term, to other countries. But moving a whole house full of stuff and two less-than-pleased cats is a different matter altogether. My husband, Chris, has been patient and long-suffering through this upheaval and will be getting used to a longer commute to work.
I became a Christian while I was at University, through the prayer and witness of two close friends. Even, growing up in a non-religious family, I had a sense through childhood that God was probably real, long before I was able to put this into words. I am most at home in evangelical and charismatic churches but benefited hugely (and I hope grew in my faith and understanding) through training at Ripon College, Cuddesdon alongside peers with very different churchmanship to my own. I look forward to getting to know my new neighbours and the congregation of St Catherine’s and St Paul’s church. They have already welcomed me with a real generosity and I wait with excitement to find out how I can join in with what God is doing in the church and in the community of Hoddesdon.”
Graham Clark is being ordained to the Parish of Stotfold with Radwell:
“My name is Graham Clark. I will be serving alongside Bill Britt as a self-supporting Assistant Curate in the benefice of Stotfold with Radwell. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and exploring our faith with the young people at the Churches Together holiday club in Stotfold in July. I was born in Welwyn Garden City, lived in Codicote and went to secondary school in Hitchin. After completing my degree in French and German at London University I trained as a secondary school teacher. After teaching in Seaford and then Malvern my wife, Sara and I moved to Letchworth in 1991 and we have lived and worshipped in the parish of Norton ever since. Chris Liley, who was the vicar when we arrived in the parish back in the early 90’s, suggested that I should consider ordination one day, but I didn’t begin properly exploring my vocation until around 6 years ago.
Since the summer of 2016 I have been studying part-time for a Diploma in Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission with the Eastern Region Ministry course. Both my wife and I have both been teachers for all our working lives but this summer I will be taking early retirement to allow more space for my curacy. We have three lovely children. Sophie who is a secondary school art teacher, David who has just finished studying for a master’s degree in geography and Mark who is just completing his first year of Sixth from at Hitchin Boys’ School. We also have a cat called Smudge.”
Selina Evans is being ordained to the Parish of Digswell:
“#NewRevs – it seems an extraordinary moment for someone who is really very ordinary and specialises in writing shopping lists! Yet, I can trace God’s presence through my life, from early days in Sheffield, to Lee Abbey in North Devon. Marriage to a farmer, raising five children together in semi rural Hertfordshire and during training through the wonderfully supportive and inspiring ERMC community.
Faith and ministry intertwined, has been about glimpsing God’s transforming presence and love in peoples lives and situations. Listening to the stories of communities, stories of individuals, stories of lives lived and how God meets with people in the moments of their lives. Faith is knowing and inadequately understanding the glory of God in our world and the hope He brings to all of life. It has been astonishing to sense God’s guiding towards ordination at a slightly later stage of life. I am looking forward enormously to serving the people in the parish of Digswell.”
Claire Harald is being ordained to the Parish of Norton:
“Having grown up in North London, then Norfolk and spending teen years in Chiswick, West London, I eventually settled in Surrey where I met my husband of 20 years, Toby. I hadn’t grown up in a Christian family, yet when the time came for Toby and I to get married, I walked into St Andrews church in Ham and felt like I had come home. We have five daughters between us (Toby is a little outnumbered!) with our three youngest still living at home. Life with three teenage girls can be ‘interesting’ and a lot of fun! We put our roots down in Letchworth Garden City 17 years ago and are feeling very blessed that through curacy we will remain in the town, although we have moved a whole mile across town to a new parish!
Discovering my faith 14 years ago, I found my home at St Paul’s in Letchworth through those who served in their toddler group, as well as through baptising our daughter Lottie in 2004. In 2012, I stepped into the role of Children and Families Worker and worked for St Paul’s for seven years where I sensed my call to ordination. It was not something I thought remotely possible for me! I carried on my role at St Paul’s whilst training for ordination at St Mellitus College in London. I am very excited to be serving my curacy in the parish of Norton, Letchworth and am excited at what the next three years will bring. ”
Maxine Howarth is being ordained to the Benefice of Langelei, Hemel Hempstead:
“Before I responded to the call to ordination I was a HR professional and, later, a youth worker. I worked primarily with young people outside of a church context, usually on the streets and outside shopping precincts. My passion for sharing the gospel was further fired during this time by some of the amazing relationships we built with these young people – we learnt so much from them, as well as sharing our faith and our lives with them. I have spent two years training at Westcott House in Cambridge, commuting there daily. I am really excited about starting my curacy in Hemel Hempstead, there is so much to learn, but I can’t wait. I am sure there will be many opportunities to continue to talk to people about my faith and why it motivates me to do what I do. I’m looking forward to the challenges, the fun and the work that God has called me to and know that He will equip me.”
Alex Huzzey is being ordained to the Parish of St Peter, St Albans:
“I’m Alex, the new curate at St Peters Church in St Albans. Originally from south Bristol, I studied languages at university and since then, have been living in London, working in advertising and design agencies.
I’ve been involved with church in lots of different ways, in recent years helping found and run Two:23, a London-based worshipping community. I’m joining the diocese as a pioneer, having divided my training between Ripon College Cuddesdon and CMS, and will be arriving at St Peters with my partner David. We are hugely looking forward to getting stuck into the life of the community inside and outside the church in St Albans.”
Sarah Marshall is being ordained to Tring Team Parish:
“Like many of my peers, the path to priesthood for me has been something completely different, having come from a 20 year career working in Human Resources. I felt the call from God around 5 years ago during a sermon about putting our talents to good use and living to our full God-given potential. At the time I was enjoying my day job and completing a MA in HR Management, however no amount of ambition seemed to be fulfilling this ‘void’ I was feeling. I tried to resist, but could not shake off the call to priesthood. So I began to make enquiries, which all of a sudden (sometimes it seems like!) has led me to where I am today.
I studied part time through the ERMC (an excellent course), whilst working full time and raising my young family. I should mention at this point the three most important people in my life, my two sons, Samuel (aged 9) and Noah (aged 6) and my wonderfully supportive husband Chris (aged……!). I also have a dog called Teddy, a Jack Russell who regularly tries my patience! I grew up in Watford, and was a member of a Baptist church, I then attended a Catholic secondary school and as an adult felt drawn into the Anglican Church. For most of our adult lives Chris and I have lived in London Colney, however have recently moved to Tring, where I will be serving out my curacy. We’ve had such a wonderful welcome already and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us!”
Jonny Stevens is being ordained to Soul Survivor Watford and St Albans Cathedral:
“I’m Jon Stevens, I’m married to Clare and we have three kids Toby (14) Jessica (12) and Roseanna (9). We live in Bushey Heath, where we will continue to live after I’m ordained. I will continue to serve as Executive Pastor at Soul Survivor Watford Church for my curacy, as well as spending a portion of my time as an Assistant Curate at St Albans Cathedral. I am excited about serving in both these places as we seek to share the love of Jesus to those who don’t know him. Prior to ordination I spent 15 years working in commercial roles with Starbucks and Heathrow Airport. I had always had a sense of calling to ministry throughout that time, however I never had the sense that ’now is the time’ until about 5 years ago when a close friend who was our associate pastor at Soul Survivor sadly passed away. Bob had always encouraged me and cheered me on from when I was in my early 20’s. He and our pastor Mike Pilavachi both could see there was a calling on my life to church leadership and ordination and continually encouraged me to explore.
But it was at Bob’s funeral that I had a sense that God was saying to me ‘What do you want your legacy to be? Your career, or do you want to serve My church?’ For most of us we are called to be missionaries in our daily lives, in our work or at the school gate, but I knew in that moment God was calling me out my career and into serving the church and ministry. Serving and supporting those who spend every day at work. Serving those who need to know the love of Jesus. Serving families and our local communities. So in 2014 I began the journey of exploring ordination, I joined the staff team of Soul Survivor Watford in 2015 and began ordination training with St Mellitus in 2016. It’s been quite an adventure for me and my family, but we have known God’s faithfulness to us over these past 5 years, and are so excited to see what God will do in this season as a new chapter unfolds.”
Phillip Young is being ordained to the Parish of Wootton:
“I am married to Louise. We have a son (Teddy) and are expecting another child in September. I grew up in Melbourne (Australia), but moved to the London in 2004. I came to trust in Jesus for the first time after a dark period in my life towards the end of my time at school. I have enjoyed belonging to His people since – being equipped to live fruitfully for the Lord and serving His people.
I spent over ten years working in the City. I had long sensed a call to ordained ministry and am thrilled, after two years training in Cambridge (Ridley Hall), to be able to do that in Wootton (St. Mary’s) over the next three years. We are looking forward to getting to know the people of Wootton better and to sharing the Gospel and our lives with them.”
Also being ordained on Sunday are:
- John Bell, to the Parish of Christchurch, Bedford
- Paul Foster, to the Parish of St Peter, Broadwater, Stevenage
- Kirsty Wainwright, to the Parish of St Stephen, St Albans