On Saturday 29th June, we celebrate the ordination of six new Deacons and three Priests. This joyous occasion takes place at Llandaff Cathedral, and we ask that you keep them in your prayers as they begin the next chapter of their ministry.
Deacons will be ordained at 10.30am and Priests at 4.00pm. The preacher at ordination will be The Right Revd John Gladwin, the former Bishop of Chelmsford.
Stuart Ghezzi (Rectorial Benefice of Neath – Stipendiary)
“The most terrifying thing for me at the moment is getting from the back to the front of the Cathedral without tripping over.”
Ruth Coombs (Roath – Non-stipendiary)
“No matter what I got involved with, or took on I still felt God calling me.”
Ruth will begin her ministerial life as Deacon, serving the community of Roath, while also continuing in her day job as Head of Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales.
“I love my job and feel very blessed that my ministry and my “day job” complement each other so well. I have always come from a social justice perspective, so couldn’t ask for a better fit.
“For me, this brings a unique opportunity to serve both the community of Roath and those I meet in the course of my daily work, those with faith and those without.”
Ruth realised her calling, aged seven, while singing in her local church choir, and the feeling of being called never left her.
“I spent many years as a reader leading Matins and Evening Prayer, as well as facilitating Lent groups and Sunday School. When I got the news that I had been accepted for training for ordained ministry I felt calm and at peace for the first time for a long time.”
Ali Reeves (All Saints, Penarth – Stipendiary)
“I was expecting more laughter and incredulity from family and friends when I told them about being called, but without exception they have been supportive, even those who claim to have no faith.”
Ali Reeves, 57, moved from the New Forest area to Wales six years ago. She’s married to Terry and has two grown up stepchildren. Ali loves to cook and is a keen cyclist and runner, “I’m just about to start my training programme for Cardiff Half Marathon which takes place in October. I was perhaps thinking of having something like “The Running Rev” printed on my running vest, but undecided at the moment. (We think that’s a great idea, Ali – Ed)
Ali joined her local village church soon after moving to the area. But she couldn’t escape the feeling of being called to be or do something more. “Whilst I was still working in the NHS, the hospital chaplain, who I had come to know quite well, said to me one morning that he had dreamed about me the previous night and had seen me wearing a clerical collar – I laughed so much at the time because I thought it was a completely ridiculous dream – after all, even if I thought it was something I might consider, why on earth would the Church want someone like me?
Conversation with the local priest – and a meeting with Bishop June Osborne – led Ali to embrace her calling.
“I’m very excited about the Ordination service; it’s the next step in a journey that continues to surprise me and which I have enjoyed immensely. Because God is continually surprising me, I have learned not to make too many plans for my own life but just to be patient, to wait and listen to what God has in store for me. “
Emma Street (Rectorial Benefice of Neath – Stipendiary)
“I’m looking forward to every single minute of my curacy, I’ll be doing what God wants me to do, and it’s what I love to do more than anything else.”
Emma (49) was a social worker for 28 years before realising God was calling her to ministry. Emma is married to Anthony and has two children. She enjoys spending time with the family, and has also dabbled in amateur dramatics and women’s rugby!
Taking part in a local Alpha course renewed Emma’s faith and she became heavily involved in her local church. But the growing sense that God was calling her to do more led to a conversation with her priest, who was not in the slightest bit surprised, “My priest said, “I was wondering how long it was going to take you to realise!””
How did people take the news of her calling? “Some family and friends weren’t at all surprised when I told them of my vocation. Others were totally gobsmacked!
“My parents, who have both sadly passed away during my training, were incredibly supportive, and I’m praying that God will let them look down on the Cathedral for a bird’s eye view of the Ordination.”
Geoffrey Lunn (Newton Nottage, Porthcawl – Non-stipendiary)
“I agonised about whether God was calling me to Priesthood.”
At 69, most clergy are retired or think of retiring. But for Geoff, age is no barrier to serving God.
Geoff, an IT professional, took early retirement in 1999 to look after his mother. Geoff returned to church for the funeral and found himself exploring his calling. “When I went back to church in 2004 I was 54 and had not been inside a church since I was 15, except for family stuff such as weddings, baptism and funerals. I had always thought deeply about life and God.”
Geoff began his vocation as a lay reader before feeling drawn to ministry. Reflecting on recent years, Geoff says, “I truly believe God wanted me to begin as Reader before Priesting. I have always, somehow, defaulted to the position of pioneer in a small way, and here I am at 69 being made Deacon!
“I see ordination to Deacon as awesome, but Priest is… well no superlatives work really. This has been as steady and strange pilgrimage. Going back to church was the first step. Being surrounded by people who love God and each other was the second. Many steps followed, there are many to come and Deacon is just the next milestone.”
Lorna Hanney (City Parish of St John the Baptist – Stipendiary)
“I am most in my element when I am with people who are hurting, and who have never been to church but are spiritually hungry for life.”
Lorna Hanney, 54, originally from Neath, studied History of Art and History of Music in London… and stayed for 30 years. She then spent three years training for the priesthood at Cambridge.
Lorna studied History of Art and History of Music in London, and stayed for 30 years. She then spent three years in Cambridge studying for the priesthood
Before completing her theological training, Lorna managed a project in London which supported young homeless people to return work and education. She also spent time in Cyprus supporting child prostitutes in leaving the streets.
“I love anything to do with social justice. I’m most in my element when I’m with people who are hurting, and who have never been to church but are spiritually hungry for life,” says Lorna.
“I am very excited about my upcoming curacy at St John the Baptist Cardiff. I love the diversity and challenges of the city, and engaging with those who need us the most.
“The congregation are warm and welcoming and we are blest with a great vicar. “I’m looking forward to embracing new opportunities and challenges and hoping that I have some skills that will be of use to them as we grow together.”
Dave Jones (Glan Ely – Stipendiary)
Angela Cooper (Rectorial Benefice of the East Vale – Non-stipendiary)
“I have really enjoyed that feeling of being where God wants me to be at this moment.”
“I am just coming to the end of my year as a Deacon, my year has been full of joy, happiness, hard work and challenges. I have really appreciated the importance of being alongside people in all aspects of their lives, whether that be in baptism, in schools, pastoral visits or funerals. I have found all these aspects very awarding but also at times when I have been challenged the most.
I have been around church all my life, my mother was an elder in the URC church and I attended a Church of England secondary school. I am from Bolton in Lancashire but have lived in Sunderland, Swansea, Derbyshire and South Wales.
Having done my PhD at Nottingham University in Cancer Research studies I came to Cardiff as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cell Biology at the Heath Hospital IVF unit. After 6 years at the Heath Hospital I left to be at home with my husband and three children. Whilst at home I began to get more involved in my local church and local school.
It was through this that I felt God was calling me to ordained ministry. It was a gradual process, and was only when I plucked up the courage to speak to my parish priest that everything seemed clear – I was being led to discern my call to ordained ministry. Once the time was right everything seemed to go so quickly! It has been an honour and a privilege that words cannot describe.”
Nick Gill (Rectorial Benefice of Whitchurch – Stipendiary)
Nicolas, 33, lives in Whitchurch, Cardiff, with his wife Georgina and their three daughters; Aimie (13), Phillipa (7) and Hollie (5).
“I was raised in a Christian family and have always been a part of the Church,” says Nick, who became aware of his vocation to sacramental ministry in his early twenties while living in Cardiff. “I’ve always had this growing awareness of a calling from God, although it took a couple of years for me to consider it seriously.” he adds.
Nick read Theology at Lampeter University before training for ministry at St Padarn’s. When telling his friends and family of his plans to training for ministry, Nick says, “I don’t remember there being much of a reaction beyond a kind of ‘oh ok if that’s what you want to do.’”
“I’m most looking forward to saying Mass and settling into a new identity and ministry within the Church.”
Ordination marks the beginning of a lifetime of service as a member of the clergy. Newly ordained clergy begin their ministerial life as deacons. After a year, deacons can be ordained as a priest. Although some choose to remain as deacons throughout their ministry.
What’s your calling?
Is God calling you to serve through discipleship? Visit our Ministry pages to explore your calling.