New clergy welcomed at cathedral service

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, welcomes some of the new clergy who will train in Suffolk
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, welcomes some of the new clergy who will train in Suffolk

Record numbers of men and women are coming forward to serve as Church of England clergy in Suffolk.

On Saturday, the Right Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, ordained 14 new priests and deacons at St Edmundsbury Catheral.

According to the Church of England, the number of people stepping up to train in the county is up by 90 per cent over last two-years.

The new clergy come from backgrounds including the Stock Exchange, nursing, hospitality and the NHS.

The Bishop welcomed the new clergy and also led two services at theBury St Edmunds cathedral.

“I am thrilled by the upsurge in the number of candidates for ordination in Suffolk, particularly among younger people, but also across the whole age range,” said Bishop Martin.

“People offering for ordination is always a sign of the spiritual health of a church, and of individual congregations.

“The increase in those being accepted for ordination training in this diocese is due to a very active recruitment programme.”

The new priests include Karen Burton, 48, from Thetford who will serve in North Bury St Edmunds and the Lark Valley, and Simon White, 56, from Assington, who will serve in the Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley Benefice.

The new deacons include Mike Birt, 60, from Woolpit, who will serve Woolpit with Drinkstone, Elke Cattermole, 65, from Bures St Mary, who will serve Lavenham with Preston, Matthew Selman, 36, from Burys who will serve in the North Bury Team Ministry and Lark Valley, and Ernest Okeke, 49, from Nigeria, will serve in the Elmswell parish.