The Ordinands with Bishop Mark and DDO Richard
 The Ordinands with Bishop Mark and DDO Richard

The Ordinands with Bishop Mark and DDO Richard

People from diverse walks of life will be ordained as Priests and Deacons in the Diocese of Durham at ceremonies to be staged at Durham Cathedral on Saturday 29th June (Priests) and Sunday 30th June (Deacons).

Each one has been called to ordained ministry after amassing a wealth of experiences in a wide range of places and jobs and they include a former luxury car engineer, a man who led a campaign to free his town of abandoned shopping trolleys and those who overcome serious illness on their way to Ordination.


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Revd Tom Worsley – Felling, Gateshead

wpid-Tom-Worsley-14.jpgThe Revd Tom Worsley, 59, continues as Curate at Christ Church Felling. Born and brought up in Gateshead, he worked for more than twenty years for what became BT then had eight years with Federation Brewery. Eventually becoming an Accident & Emergency Coder at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, he became a Deacon in 2012.

He said: “It has been an ongoing journey that began when I met a man who introduced me to the living Jesus Christ. Up to that point I knew of and about Jesus but did not know him. I hadn’t had the personal relationship with him. From that point in time my relationship with Jesus grew. I was encouraged to take on responsibility and seek God’s will for my life. This resulted in me eventually becoming a Reader in 2000. I presumed that was my destination. However, people whose opinions I respected encouraged me to explore further. In due course, I began to explore the call to ordained ministry and here I am.”

Revd Dan Christian – Chester-le-Street

wpid-Dan-Christian-16.jpgThe Revd Dan Christian, 28, continues as Curate at St Mary’s and St Cuthbert’s, Chester-le-Street. He taught Religious Studies before training for ministry.

He said: “Growing up, I was oblivious to any sense of calling on my life and was aiming for a career in law so that I could argue with people. When people at church started suggesting a role in ministry, my natural response was reluctance. I saw the challenges and strains of being a minister in the church but I also started seeing the wonderful opportunities that it could bring as well. As my faith grew, both during trips abroad and throughout university, I started to see how God had been preparing me for a calling as a minister through my passions as well as my gifts. This inspired me to begin exploring this vocation and after a period of reflection to start training as a minister. “There are two areas within the church that I have been able to initiate projects in. Firstly, we have begun this year to look at engaging specifically with people in their twenties. We now meet up with a group of up to eight once a week. Secondly, we have targeted engaging with men in church.”

Revd Tom Brazier – Washington

wpid-Tom-Brazier-05.jpgRevd Tom Brazier, 40, Curate at Holy Trinity, Washington, enters his second year in the role. Born in Sussex, he grew up in South Africa and has lived back in England since 2001, in the North East for the past three years. He used to be a software engineer before being called to serve as a priest. He holds a private pilot’s licence and has learnt to scuba dive and drive a 200 ton dump-truck.

He said: “I am pleased to have started a campaign to rid Washington of the plague of abandoned shopping trolleys which blight the town. Most people feel that “someone” should do something about the problem. I have been campaigning to help people see that the only permanent solution will come when we, the residents of the town, undertake to deal with the problem by taking the trolleys back to the Galleries shopping centre ourselves. Most recently, I arranged a two-hour clear-up which netted at least 60 abandoned trolleys. This campaign has been supported by the Washington Star.”

 Revd Mark Miller – Stockton

wpid-Mark-Miller19.jpgThe Revd Mark Miller, 41, Stockton on Tees, St Thomas, previously spent 16 years working in Social Work, all of it with children and mostly in Child Protection. He then worked for himself for seven years as a photographer.He said: “God called me into this role when I was 17, but it took me 20 odd years to listen. I am passionate about connecting with people who consider the church out of touch, irrelevant, or only for those who like organ music and choirs. I especially want to see 13-40 year olds meeting Jesus through the local church.“As a church we place the needs of our children and young people first. We also have many people with limited English skills, so we are ‘liturgy light’ so they can better engage.”

 Revd Lesley Jones – North Wearside

wpid-Lesley-Jones-03.jpgThe Revd Lesley Jones, 46, North Wearside Team Ministry. The North Wearside Team Ministry was formed from five former parishes stretching from Nissan to the Stadium of Light on the north shore of the River Wear. It holds regular services at Holy Trinity (Southwick) and St. Cuthbert’s (Red House) and has a weekly community drop in called The Buzz at St. Bede’s Church Hall (Town End Farm).Born in Sunderland and attending local schools Benedict Biscop C of E Primary and Bede School, Lesley went onto work initially in an advertising agency, became a local councillor and spent time as an MP’s aide. Returning to Sunderland in 2004, she spent most of my time at the Venerable Bede C of E Academy, working with young people and community groups as well as being part of the worship life of the school.She said: “The biggest recent challenge was around training for ordination while still working in the day job but actually it was transformed into an absolute joy because as I was exploring issues of ministry, pastoral care and theology in the evening, I was able to process learning and apply techniques and ideas in school the next day.” She has also worked on a partnership among faith groups to provide emergency food parcels called “one for the basket”. It came to fruition last Autumn and as Bishop Justin became Archbishop elect he kindly launched the project for the group, in the full glare of local and national media.

 Revd Alison Hobbs – Brancepeth

wpid-Alison-Hobbs-15.jpgRevd Alison Hobbs, 55, continues as Assistant Curate at St Brandon, Brancepeth, having been made a Deacon last year. She said: “I manage Brancepeth Castle as my ‘day job’, which is home for our family and about 17 tenants to whom we let rooms. We have a few events held here. The biggest is the three-day craft fair held in July and November, which I jointly organise.”

 Revd Kate Boardman – Heworth

wpid-Kate-Boardman-18.jpgThe Revd Kate Boardman, 41, was an academic before becoming Curate, Heworth St Mary. She worked at the universities of Hull, Durham and Teesside and was also a learning and teaching consultant.She said: “ I’m glad to have been a part of bringing children back into our church family, and I’ve spent a fair few hours with a paintbrush in the church hall as part of a renovation team bringing it back into community use.”

 Revd Sarah Jay – Stranton

wpid-Sarah-Jay-11.jpgThe Revd Sarah Jay, 47, is Ordained a Priest continuing to serve in Stranton, All Saints.

 Revd Teresa Laybourne – Washington

wpid-Teresa-Laybourne-02.jpgThe Revd Teresa Laybourne, 51,is ordained a Priest continuing to serve in Washington Holy Trinity

Revd Dan Pierce – Stockton

wpid-Dan-Pierce-01.jpgThe Revd Dan Pierce, 34, is ordained a Priest continuing to serve in Stockton St James (Hardwick) with Stockton on Tees St John the Baptist.



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Revd Paul Child – Monkwearmouth

wpid-Paul-Child-04.jpgThe Revd Paul Child, 34, becomes Associate Curate with Monkwearmouth Team Ministry, Sunderland. He said: “I was born and raised in Norfolk, in a non-Christian family. My faith journey began in my late teens, when I was asked to play for the local Baptist Church’s newly-formed football team in the Norfolk Christian league. Playing alongside people who wanted to win yet carried themselves in a different way on the pitch led me to explore what motivated them to be different. I attended an Alpha course and felt moved to become a Christian.

“Less than a year later I had quit my job and was training with the Baptist Missionary Society to work in the favelas of North East Brazil, alongside children with malnutrition, and on other Church-based projects. While there I met my wife-to-be Miriam, and after the scheme had ended got a job in Sunderland so I could be near her as she studied at Durham University. Not long after we were married I spent many years battling a debilitating illness with various medications, eventually culminating in surgery. Having made a successful recovery I felt called to explore ordained ministry in the Church of England. “During my time overseas and on tour in the UK there were comments made by people I met about exploring some form of leadership role but during my subsequent illness this seemed to be an impossible idea. Having moved to the Church of England during this period, I found a home where I could begin to grow again in my faith, and a God who held me and stood by me in all the chaos that was going on. After recovery, the feeling I was being called to ministry began to grow again – I often describe it as being like a stone in my shoe, which I just couldn’t shake out.”

Revd Claire Gibbs – Evenwood, Cockfield and Lynesack

wpid-Clair-Gibbs-12.jpgThe Revd Claire Gibbs, 37, is ordained a Deacon to serve in Evenwood, Cockfield and Lynesack The Revd Claire Gibbs came to ministry after achieving a degree and Masters in Archaeology, followed by five years as head of a busy museum education department at Bede’s World, Jarrow. During her time at the museum, she spent her days dressing children up as monks, helping them explore the realities of life in the Anglo-Saxon period.

She said: “Having had two children in quick succession, once it became feasible to work again, I tried returning to museum education. This door seemed very definitely shut but I was surprised to feel happy about this, and that God was saying he has something better, something even more me, than this job I had wanted to do for many years. So in the meantime, I set out to make my hobby, of stained glass, into an income generator. My work – teaching, and working to commission – was always well received, but never made a profit. At the same time, I began on this journey. It all started with my vicar asking me if I’d ever considered ordination. I explored it further, prayed that God would shut the door if it was the wrong thing, but it swung wide open. It is exactly what I felt called to do.

Revd Glen Macknight – Penshaw & Shiney Row

wpid-Glen-Macknight-07.jpgThe Revd Glen Macknight, 50, moves from St Mary and St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street, where he has been part of the worship team, to be ordained as Curate to the Parish of Herrington (St Aidan), Penshaw (All Saints) & Shiney Row (St Oswald).  He grew up in Chester-le- Street and a significant proportion of his working life has been with Sunderland City Council, working with Adults with Learning Disabilities. For the past 13 years, he has managed a Social Work Team.

Revd Catherine Mitchell – Croxdale & Kirk Merrington

wpid-Catherine-Mitchell-09.jpgCatherine Mitchell, 51, has swapped the glamorous world of luxury cars for a life serving God.

Prior to becoming a Deacon, she worked as an engineer for 25 years for Jaguar Cars, latterly Jaguar Land Rover working for most of her career within engineering departments, primarily looking after power train systems. She worked at two of the production sites, Browns Lane and Castle Bromwich, and latterly at the engineering centre at Gaydon.

She has now been appointed as Curate at St Bartholomew’s, Croxdale, St David’s Tudhoe and St John’s Kirk Merrington. She was born and bred in Coventry, where she lived until she started training at Cranmer Hall, in Durham.

Revd Joan Robinson – Blaydon

wpid-Joan-Robinson-10.jpgJoan  Robinson, 50, is ordained as Deacon to serve in St Cuthbert’s, Blaydon Holy Trinity, Swalwell. Read The Full Story

 Revd Fiona Collin – Sunderland

 wpid-Fiona-Collin-08.jpgFiona Collin, 50, is ordained as Deacon to serve in Sunderland Minster. Read The Full Story

Revd George Lackenby – Harlow Green & Lamesley

wpid-George-Lackenby-17.jpgGeorge Lackenby, 64, is ordained as Deacon to serve in Harlow Green and Lamesley. Read The Full Story
Revd Caroline Ferguson – Darlington
wpid-Caroline-Ferguson-13.jpgCaroline Ferguson, 49, is ordained as a Deacon to serve in St Mark’s with St Paul, Darlington. Read The Full Story



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