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Meet the new deacons for 2016
08/06/16

On Sunday 3 July, five new deacons are to be ordained at Coventry Cathedral. The new deacons have undertaken a course of study and training, and following their ordination they will serve as curates (assistant ministers) while their training continues. As deacons they will lead worship and carry out pastoral and teaching work.

In the words of the ordination service:

"Deacons are called to work with the Bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ's kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God's purposes of love. They are to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the Church the needs and hopes of all the people. They are to work with their fellow members in searching out the poor and weak, the sick and lonely and those who are oppressed and powerless, reaching into the forgotten corners of the world, that the love of God may be made visible.

Deacons share in the pastoral ministry of the Church and in leading God's people in worship. They preach the word and bring the needs of the world before the Church in intercession. They accompany those searching for faith and bring them to baptism. They assist in administering the sacraments; they distribute communion and minister to the sick and housebound.

Deacons are to seek nourishment from the Scriptures; they are to study them with God's people, that the whole Church may be equipped to live out the gospel in the world. They are to be faithful in prayer, expectant and watchful for the signs of God's presence, as he reveals his kingdom among us."

Tim Fox
Tim Fox

Tim is to be deacon in the parish of St Anne’s and All Saints, Coventry. The chid of a Vicar, Tim moved around a fair amount before coming to Coventry to study for an Aerospace degree. However, he soon discovered that his heart was not in engineering, and proceeded to spend the next 10 years teaching people to play the guitar. During the latter part of his teaching career, he also worked part-time as an electrician. Part-time soon became full-time, and he hung up his plectrum in 2012. By this time he was taking seriously a call to ordination that had been discerned years before, and began his studies at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham in 2014. Tim has enjoyed a varied working life so far, but feels that nothing compares to the challenge and privilege of serving God in ministry. Tim is married to Helen and they have three children; Joseph (9), Toby (5) and Bethan (1). In his spare time, Tim writes poems, plays the guitar and rides his bike - but not at the same time!

James Holden
James Holden

James is to be deacon at Claverdon with Preston Bagot and Wootton Wawen. Born and brought up in Warwickshire, James went to university in Sheffield and worked in London before joining his family’s PR and advertising firm in 1983. He became Managing Director of a Warwickshire based communications firm in the early 1990’s and as a self-supporting deacon he will continue to work in the business. James trained on a part-time residential basis at St Stephen’s House, Oxford where as someone from an Open Evangelical background, he gained a respect and understanding for the Catholic tradition in the Church of England. James will have a somewhat unusual ministry in some respects as not only will he be serving as a deacon but he will also be working closely with Bishop Christopher in a new role reaching out to the world of business in the diocese. James is married to Laura and has three children, three step-children and three step-grandchildren. They also have a Springer Spaniel called Duncan. In his spare time, James enjoys competitive tennis, is an avid birder and has supported the Wasps since their arrival at the Ricoh.

Claire McArthur
Claire McArthur

Coventry-born Claire is to be deacon in the parish of St Mary’s Walsgrave in Coventry. She is married to Gavin and has three teenage children. Claire is passionate about anything digital and during her 20 years working in broadcasting at the BBC she led the development of the 45 BBC local websites across England. Other highlights from her digital career include working on A History of the World in 100 objects for Radio 4 and Blast Young Reporter Scheme – a scheme designed to give young people from diverse backgrounds a chance to experience what it is like to be a BBC reporter. In 2011 she moved to the third sector to lead digital at the Motor Neurone Disease Association and is proud of the 7 million raised on social media channels during the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014. More recently Claire moved to academia and has been leading digital at De Montfort University. Claire has been studying part-time at Queen’s Theological College in Birmingham after being called to ministry during an interregnum at St Thomas’ in Keresley. Claire is delighted to move into full-time ministry and looks forward to caring for the community of Walsgrave.

Gail Phillip
Gail Phillip

Gail is to be deacon at St John’s in Kenilworth. Born in Nuneaton, Gail studied Modern Languages at Durham University, before taking up her first teaching post in Leamington Spa. Pursuing a passion for cross-cultural ministry, Gail served as a CMS Mission Partner with the Anglican Church in Thailand for ten years. During this time she had fond connections with St John’s as one of her Link Churches. Being actively involved in mission and evangelism with Christ Church in Bangkok, Gail oversaw the management of three childcare centres in Thailand. Gail greatly appreciated the experience of deepening discipleship in and through missional community during her time in Thailand. She returned to the UK in 2010 and took up new work with vulnerable children, before embarking on training for ordination at St John’s College, Nottingham, where she has relished the opportunity to pursue an MA in Theology for Ministry. Gail is looking forward to joining the church family at St John’s and to exploring with them a deepening interest in missional community.

Rachel Saum
Rachel Saum

Rachel is to be deacon in the Mid Fosse Parishes (Chesterton, Moreton Morrell, Newbold Pacey with Ashorne, and Lighthorne with Lighthorne Heath), having trained at St Mellitus. Originally from Staffordshire, Rachel read Environmental Geoscience at Edinburgh University before spending ten years in youth ministry in the Roman Catholic Church in which she had been raised. During a year out to study for an MA in Youth Ministry and to reflect upon her vocation, Rachel ended up, through a remarkable series of conversions and events, being given a pioneering role at Holy Trinity, Stratford-Upon-Avon and was encouraged to explore a call to ordination in the Church of England. Alongside her curacy, Rachel will also be ministering in Hampton Lucy and Charlecote where she is forming a residential ‘new monastic’ community of 20-30s. She hopes that the community will be a place of prayer and hospitality, a blessing to the local churches, and ultimately that it will offer inspiration for re-imagining rural ministry. So far, Rachel’s journey of faith has been full of surprises; she is intrigued to discover what will happen during curacy!

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