16 new members of the clergy are today (Sunday) beginning their roles at parishes across Devon after being ordained at Exeter Cathedral.
They include three members of the same family: Rev’d Julie Wheeler, her son, Rev’d Charles Wheeler and his wife, Rev’d Miriam Brandon-Wheeler.
It is unusual for three members of the same family to enter the priesthood at the same time.
Miriam said after the service: “'t’s been great to walk with people that I’m close with on a journey that has been important to me over the last few years, just to have their support and prayers. It’s been great.'
Miriam is also expecting a baby.
She added 'There is lots to be excited about at the moment.'
The theme of the service was Heralds of the Kingdom.
The preacher was the Rev Preb Samantha Stayte, who is the Dean of Women in Ministry.
In her sermon, she said 'Deacons are called to be the servant ministers of Jesus, the hands and feet of Christ, proclaiming the way to life.
'They are called to serve with joy.'
It is the first time in two decades that the ordination service in Devon has taken place in July rather than September.
Saturday’s service also marks the end of an era as it was the last time new clergy were ordained by the Bishop of Exeter, the Rt. Rev Robert Atwell, as he is due to retire in September.
He said 'Every ordination is special and this was no different. The 16 people who ordained are a terrific bunch of people. I’ve got every confidence they are going to serve the church in Devon well.
'It was very emotional for me as my last ordination as Bishop of Exeter, it was very special.'
The people ordained as Deacons at Exeter Cathedral and where in Devon they will be serving
- Miriam Joy Brandon-Wheeler: Benefice of Tiverton Saint George and Saint Paul
- Richard Philip Brooks: Benefice of Broadclyst, Clyst Honiton, Clyst Hydon, Clyst Saint Lawrence, Rockbeare, Sowton, Talaton and Whimple Christine Margaret Chandler: Benefice of Burrington, Chawleigh, Cheldon, Chulmleigh, Meshaw, Thelbridge, Wembworthy with Eggesford, Witheridge with Creacombe and Romansleigh, East Worlington, and West Worlington
- Sandra Marion Collier: Benefice of Crediton, Shobrooke, and Sandford with Upton Hellions
- Maciej Stanislaw Deptula: Benefice of Saint Matthew with Saint Sidwell, Exeter and the Benefice of Exwick
- Catherine Louise Duff: Benefice of Shebbear, Buckland Filleigh, Sheepwash, Langtree, Newton Saint Petrock, Petrockstowe, Petersmarland, Merton and Huish
- Elizabeth Jane Grier: St Mellitus College with parochial experience in the benefice of Ivybridge, Cornwood, Harford and Sparkwell
- Alison Grace Hope: Benefice of Newton Tracey, Horwood, Alverdiscott, Huntshaw, Yarnscombe, Tawstock, Atherington, High Bickington, Roborough, Saint Giles in the Wood, and Beaford
- Fiona Jane Law:
- Benefice of Winkleigh, Benefice of Ashreigney, Benefice of Broadwood Kelly and Benefice of Brushford
- Oliver Guy Long Benefice of Modbury, Bigbury, Ringmore, Kingston and Aveton Gifford
- Daniel James O’Hara: Benefice of Whipton Saint Boniface
- Samantha Christine Randall: Exeter Network Church
- Jenny Weigel: Benefice of Ashburton, Bickington, Buckland in the Moor, Holne, Leusdon, and Widecombe-in-the-Moor
- Charles Allan Crofts Wheeler: Benefice of Tiverton Saint George and Saint Paul
- Julie Anne Wheeler: Benefice of Saint Mark, Exeter
- Kenneth Nigel Wickens: Benefice of Saint Marychurch, Torquay