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Record number of new clergy from all walks of life ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 12:09 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 01 July 2018

Bishop Martin Seeley with Cat Connolly,  aged 28, right, and Jay Price, aged 67, who were the youngstes and oldest ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Saturday Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

Bishop Martin Seeley with Cat Connolly, aged 28, right, and Jay Price, aged 67, who were the youngstes and oldest ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Saturday Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

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Church officials say the new priests and deacons will bring both youth and decades of experience to their new roles in many communities including Ipswich, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Saxmundham, Woolpit, Elmswell, Lavenham and Brandon.

New priests for parishes across Suffolk celebrate their ordination with Bishop Martin outside St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds Picture: KEITH MINDHAMNew priests for parishes across Suffolk celebrate their ordination with Bishop Martin outside St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

On Saturday, the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, ordained 34 deacons and priests to serve in the county’s communities, during two moving and packed services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The new deacons come from all sorts of backgrounds – business, teaching, farming, nursing, finance, media, or young enough not yet to have embarked on any particular career – with the youngest Cat Connolly, 28, and the oldest Jay Price, 67.

The ordinations of new priests and deacons is seen by the church’s many thousands of regular worshippers across Suffolk as one of the most important days of the year, when they celebrate those at the beginning of a deacon, or priest’s ministries.

Bishop Martin said: “I am thrilled to be ordaining so many men and women to serve as deacons and priests across Suffolk.

There were a record number of ordinations for parishes across Suffolk. The deacons who will take up their new posts with Bishop Martin after the special service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral Picture: KEITH MINDHAMThere were a record number of ordinations for parishes across Suffolk. The deacons who will take up their new posts with Bishop Martin after the special service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

“I believe this could be the highest number of people being ordained in Suffolk for many years and reflects a growing interest in people across the county seeking to serve in this demanding and rewarding ministry, making a difference to others’ lives.’’

The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, added: ‘‘This is a record beating year for ordinations with more men and women being ordained deacon or priest this Petertide than any previous year.”

The Rev Canon Tim Jones, Diocesan director of ordinands and new ministries, said: “We have increased numbers of young adults now in training, and increased numbers of more mature people offering for ministry, all from a wide range of backgrounds, an exciting mixture of energy and wisdom, insight and experience.”

The moving ordinations were attended by many Christians and well-wishers.

Deacons ordained:

Claire Kiddy, the Benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Andrew Buttress, Ipswich St Matthew with Triangle and All Saints; Benjamin Edwards, the Benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Sarah Jenkins, Nacton and Levington with Bucklesham and Foxhall with Kirton and Falkenham; Catherine Connolly, Ipswich St Thomas and Mark Cresswell, Framlingham with Saxtead; Adam Barclay, Stanton, Hopton, Market Weston, Barningham and Coney Weston; Cheryl Belding, Newmarket St Mary with Exning St Agnes; David Butcher, Mildenhall Team; Philip Cudmore, the Benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke; Mervyn Dye, the South West Ipswich Team Ministry; William Herbert, Woodbridge St John and Bredfield; Gary Jones, Kesgrave; Faith Marsden, Acton with Great Waldingfield; Kay Palmer, South West Ipswich Team Ministry; Janine Price, Pakenham, Norton, Tostock, with Great Ashfield, Hunston, Stowlangtoft; Rebecca Artiss, the Benefice of Four Rivers; Lawrence Carey, Ipswich St Matthew with Triangle and All Saints; Dennis Coburn, the Benefice of Brandon; Eric Falla, Whitton with Thurleston and Akenham; Catherine Held, Blyth Valley Team; Kathleen Martin, the Benefice of Mid Loes; David Mulrenan , the Benefice of Four Rivers and Christine Pinder, Martlesham with Brightwell.

Priests ordained:

Herbert Birt, Woolpit with Drinkstone; Elke Cattermole, Lavenham with Preston; Johanna Mabey, Alde Sandlings; Lynda Sebbage, the Benefice of the Stour Valley; Nicolas Stuchfield, Saxmundham with Kelsale-cum-Carlton; Donna Gibbs, the South West Ipswich Team Ministry; Matthew Selman, Lark Valley/North Bury Team Ministry; Christopher Tyler, Lavenham with Preston and Ifeanyichukwu Okeke, Elmswell.

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