Deacons (From the Left): Bishop Debbie, Bishop Tim, Bishop David, (Next row left) Lee Thompson, Amy Roche, Jonathan Rooke, Joe Sweetnam, Johannes Radvan, Nicola Smallwood, James Whymark, Eluned Phipps.
Deacons (From the Left): Bishop Debbie, Bishop Tim, Bishop David, Tom Hodkinson, Clare Carson, Faith Bailey, Samantha Chandler, Kay Pead, Peter Goodall, Sarah Archer, Jonny Goodchild , Georgia Condell
New deacons will serve parishes across Hampshire and East Dorset
Seventeen men and women joined the Diocese of Winchester’s team of clergy on 4th October as they were ordained deacons at a service in Winchester Cathedral by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Dr Tim Dakin.
Nine women and eight men, ranging in age from 28 to 64 and from a variety of backgrounds, have responded to God’s call to serve their local communities as Christian leaders. The new clergy bring with them a breadth of experience and include a former architect, a vet and a cardiac surgeon among their number.
The Bishop of Winchester ordained the new deacons following their two or three years of training. As servant-leaders, deacons take on the responsibility of serving their communities and reaching out to those in need. Deacons will be ordained to the priesthood the following year.
The ordination of new members of clergy usually takes place over the summer but was delayed this year due to coronavirus. The ordinands have continued to support their local communities during this period – one returned to his previous role as an NHS doctor to assist health workers dealing with the first wave of the pandemic.
The ordination service looked very different to previous years. In accordance with the current public health guidance numbers were restricted, face coverings were worn, and the new clergy and visitors were required to follow a one-way system within the Cathedral.
The Right Reverend Dr Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester said:
“This has been a challenging time for us all, but I am grateful and delighted to ordain those whom God has called to serve the mission of the Church. This year has shown us the importance of coming together to support one another and serve our communities. I have no doubt these gifted and committed individuals will continue to do so and will make known the good news of Jesus’ life-transforming power to people across the Winchester Diocese.”
Some of those ordained at the weekend include:
Nicola Smallwood (Whitchurch with Tufton with Litchfield) and Joe Sweetnam (Valley Park)
One of the 17 ordained, Nicky Smallwood (44) previously worked as a vet, with her final year of university coinciding with the Foot and Mouth epidemic. Nicky later went on to work in a small animal practice before taking a career break for her young family. A few years after returning to part-time veterinary work, Nicky started volunteering for The Waterfall – a Christian charity, based in Southampton, which supports women through recovery from addictions.
“Through my experiences, I found that God showed me the importance of coming alongside people during dark and difficult times.I worked with the most amazing and wonderful women and know that my time at Waterfall helped steer me towards ministry.”
Nicky currently works as a part-time Anna Chaplain, offering spiritual support to older people and looks forward to getting started with her part-time curacy in the parishes of Whitchurch with Tufton with Litchfield.
Nicky’s brother, Joe Sweetnam (42), is also being ordained this year. The siblings have spoken of how special it will be to embark on this journey together. Before being called to ordained ministry, Joe spent 15 years as an Architect, travelling across the country working on a variety of projects, including several churches in Wiltshire. Eventually it became clear to Joe that the most important element of his job was the people he worked with. Joe explained that his call to ministry came gradually over a period of 10 years, initially hearing it through prayer and then confirmed through conversation with people.
“Interaction with people is something I have always cherished. Through ministry I want to be able to guide people through their journey with God and encourage them to grow in their talents and relationship with Him.”
Joe will go on to serve his community in the Valley Park parish, commenting that he cannot wait to get started.
Amy Roche, (Benefice of Overton and Laverstoke with Freefolk with the Benefice of North Waltham, Steventon, Ashe & Deane)
Amy Roche (46) had previously been working as a Mission Partner with the Church Mission Society for around 12 years, including seven years in France and four years in Beirut, Lebanon before moving back to the UK in 2018. Amy has felt her call to serve God since childhood and says that ordination has felt like a natural progression for her.
Amy said: “I feel very at home in Winchester because here, the whole vision of Church and Mission are integral to one another.”
While in Beirut Amy worked with Syrian refugees and in particular with refugee women. During her time at the international Anglican church, she noted how enriching it was to have a variety of nationalities come together, and how building community is related to leading people towards a deeper relationship with God. This expanded her vision of what it means to serve God in ministry and gave her new insight into how the message of Jesus Christ could reach beyond the walls of church.
Over the last eight years, Amy has completed her master’s degree in Mission and the Bible, and her Doctorate in Theology and Ministry. Since moving back to the UK Amy has been working for the Diocese of Winchester in the School of Mission as Coordinator for Licensed Ministry Training. Amy believes her study and her experience of working around the world has helped her to understand how different people perceive the Bible and what that means to have discipleship in communities.
“In my ministry, I hope to contribute to Winchester’s vision of Church and Mission and enable all of God’s people to develop in their relationship with Him.”
As Amy goes on to serve the Benefice of Overton and Laverstoke with Freefolk, and the Benefice of North Waltham and Steventon and Ashe and Deane, she looks forward to enabling the diversity of people in those communities to contribute to the Church.
Dr Johannes Radvan (St Clement’s, Bournemouth)
Johannes Radvan (58), worked as a Consultant Cardiologist for 20 years before he felt called into ministry. Commenting on his time as a Heart Specialist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, he said it was a privilege to be part of someone’s journey to healing. Johannes reflected that with so much pain in the world, he found the message that only the good news of Jesus Christ can provide true and complete healing of our hearts resonated with him.
Johannes said: “Being called to tell the story of God’s love, together with his people, is such an exciting journey. It’s a together journey of discovering God and how brilliant He is, sharing in God’s life and His story for the world. Working out where God is already at work and joining in is so exciting, especially when we see so many lives changed and transformed by God.”
Although Johannes stopped working full time in the NHS three years ago, he made the decision to go back to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to support them through the first wave of the pandemic. Commenting on his experience, he said it was a privilege to be able to play a small role working with the excellent Stroke team. Johannes has also been working as Lay Leader at St Swithun’s, Bournemouth. He described his passion for working in community with people who have been marginalised by society:
“I love the vocation and ministry of the Church of England, and I’m passionate about a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic emphasis on God’s church locally. I love church where our differences are celebrated and welcomed, it makes church complete.”
Johannes hopes to bring forward the message of God’s life, light, hope, joy and peace to the Bournemouth, St Clement’s parish.
Photos from the service on 4th October in Winchester Cathedral are free to download here:
The full list of deacons who have been ordained this year is below, together with the parishes they will serve.
- Sarah Jane Archer (North Stoneham and Bassett)
- Faith Margaret Bailey (Yateley)
- Clare Ruth Carson (Christ Church Winchester)
- Samantha Jane Chandler (Hartley Wintney with Elvetham and Winchfield and Dogmersfield)
- Georgia Annette Condell (Shirley)
- Peter Norman Goodall (Bitterne Park)
- Kathryn Mary Pead (Ringwood with Ellingham and Harbridge and St Leonards and St Ives)
- Eluned Clare Phipps (Winchester St Bartholomew & St Lawrence with St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate)
- Dr Johannes Radvan (Bournemouth St Clement’s)
- Amy Roche (Overton and Laverstoke with Freefolk and North Waltham and Steventon and Ashe and Deane)
- Jonathan Victor Rooke (Four Marks)
- Nicola Smallwood (Whitchurch with Tufton with Litchfield)
- Joe Sweetnam (Valley Park)
- Lee Arun Thompson (Romsey)
- Jonathan Goodchild (St Mary’s, Southampton)
- Thomas Martyn Hodkinson (Bournemouth St Clement’s)
- James Whymark (Christ Church Winchester)