49 new clergy have joined churches across the Diocese of London after being ordained to the office of Deacon this week. This year’s intake of deacons has increased by a third compared to 2018, highlighting the strength of the Church in the Capital.
The new deacons represent diverse backgrounds including advertising, youth work and even the Australian national rugby sevens team.
The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, said:
“It is an honour and a privilege to welcome 49 new clergy to the Diocese of London family this year. Their impressive range of backgrounds, careers and ambitions is inspiring, and is testament to the fantastic diversity of the Church in London. Let us all celebrate their ordination, and work together to share Jesus’ love and further God’s mission in the Diocese.”
The office of Deacon is often a step on the path towards priesthood and follows two to three years of training. They will be working in churches across London, serving their local communities and undertaking public worship, teaching and pastoral work.
After a period of normally a year, a deacon is often ordained to the priesthood. This year, 38 previous deacons will be ordained as priest, having completed their year of service and training.
London’s new deacons in 2019 include:
Fr Thomas Couper, who will be based at St Michael’s, Bedford Park
“I am very much looking forward to beginning my role at St. Michael and All Angels Bedford Park. The church is a vital hub and spiritual haven for the local community. As well as the rich and distinctive daily rhythm of worship, St Michaels hosts a variety of concerts and cultural events including the Bedford Park Festival and the Chiswick Book Festival.”
Born in New Zealand, Thomas went on to spend five years teaching in Australia, where he played rugby sevens for the national team. He continued teaching after moving to London, and now has three children, including identical twins who were born last year.
Julia Jagannath, who will be based at Oak Tree Anglican Fellowship, said:
“I’m looking forward to joining Oak Tree and sharing Jesus’ love with the local community. I hope I can be a visible and approachable presence in the local area.”
Julia worked in local government for 30 years and is married with three children. She will be based at Oak Tree Anglican Fellowship, a non-traditional church in an old fire station building.
David Pilkington, who will be based at St Paul Old Ford, said:
“Training for Ordination has been a truly challenging and formational journey for me. I am so excited to focus fully on St Columba, the new Worshipping Community I am working on with St Paul Old Ford and St Mary of Eton and to use that experience to help others explore their spirituality.”
David has worked primarily in youth work and community development, mainly in Tower Hamlets. He also spent three years in South Africa running projects in a township. His curacy will begin in time to see the launch of St Columba Church, a purpose-built barge which will house a new worshipping community in East London.
Lizzie Osborne, who will be based at St Luke’s, Kentish Town, said:
“We are really excited to be joining St Luke’s Kentish Town, a thriving church with a desire to see north London transformed. Having trained as a Pioneer I am excited to help the church explore how to share Jesus’ love with families outside the church community. My husband and I have a 15-month year old and so I will be learning in my curacy how to balance the responsibilities of being both ordained and a mum.”
Lizzie is passionate about helping vulnerable young people, and has done so all over the world. She spent four months in Guatemala working with children’s charity Toybox and continued her work with the organisation upon returning to the UK. Closer to home, she’s also been a Church Youth and Children’s Worker in London.
Alexander Norris, who will be based at St Giles Cripplegate, said:
Having worked in the advertising industry for well over a decade, Alex is currently working for a software provider for churches, supporting them in their mission through the use of technology. He is a keen runner, and is about to complete an M.A in Theology, Ministry and Mission.
“It’s exciting to see so many people being ordained this Petertide in St Paul’s. I am really looking forward to serving my curacy in the City of London, where there is such a diverse community and so many opportunities for the Church to engage with the local community”.
The full list of ordinands can be found here.