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Meet the new priests for 2018
20/06/18

On Sunday 1 July, nine new priests are to be ordained at Coventry Cathedral. The new priests have already served as deacons for a year. On their ordination as priests they will remain in their present parishes while their on-going training continues. The service at Coventry Cathedral starts at 10.30am and is open to all. No tickets are needed, and everyone will receive a warm welcome at the main entrance of the Cathedral.

In the words of the ordination service:

"Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God's new creation. They are to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord; they are to teach and to admonish, to feed and provide for his family, to search for his children in the wilderness of this world's temptations, and to guide them through its confusions, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ's name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins."

Adam Tams
Adam Tams

Adam is curate at St Paul’s in Leamington Spa. He is married to Jess and they have an 18 month old called Jacob and a springer poodle cross called Sammy. They have all settled into the parish very well, made a number of friends and both agree that St Paul’s already feels like home. Highlights of the year have included the events he’s helped to organise outside of the church walls, and his work amongst the students. Adam has a deep passion for seeing people grow more in their relationship with Jesus, and he was delighted to put together some materials for a course called Living Free which he and Jonathan (his training incumbent) led together. A good portion of the church attended and a good number spoke about the significant impact it had on them. He is enjoying being a part of the team at St Paul’s and is learning a great deal, not least from Jonathan. Adam is looking forward to being ordained priest, and will preside at his first communion service the same day at the evening service where he has made a good number of friends. He’ll be marrying his first couple, who are both students at the church, less than a week later. 

Alex Williams
Alex Williams

Alex is curate in the Edgehill Benefice (Kineton, Combrook, Radway, Ratley, Shotteswell, and Warmington). She has found her first year a real mixture of experiences. Highlights have included involvement in the local primary school, community outreach activities, the creation of a beautiful prayer tent, eating six harvest suppers and battling through snowdrifts for morning services. 

Finding her way around the benefice has meant sometimes being a bit last minute (different from being late) but thankfully, so far, Alex has managed to turn up at the right place on the right day at the right time. Her eyes have been opened more widely to the particular challenges faced by rural churches and she has developed a passion for exploring how ministry can work best in that context.

When approaching her first year as curate Alex said that she was most looking forward to meeting lots of people and journeying with them. The year has certainly provided  many opportunities to do this and has been a great privilege. As she approaches priesthood Alex is feeling more settled and a part of each of the communities in the benefice. She is looking forward to further exploration of rural ministry and mission and in particular developing her sacramental and pastoral work as a priest. 

Alycia Timmis
Alycia Timmis

Alycia is curate at St Mary’s, Warwick. “Never a dull moment!” is how she happily describes her first year. As a local parish church with a strong civic ministry, Alycia feels St Mary’s has been a remarkable learning opportunity: “At St Mary’s, ministering to God’s people takes place on both micro and macro scales, often simultaneously.” It’s certainly not a place for the fainthearted! One highlight of her year was leading the early morning Ascension Day celebration held at the very top of St Mary’s iconic tower! Besides overcoming her fear of heights, Alycia's grateful for many profound experiences gained over the past year in funeral ministry, ecumenical ministry, liturgical practices and discipleship. Alycia, along with her husband, Mark, and son, Miles, feels truly welcomed and affirmed by St Mary’s. As a family unit, they have each enjoyed contributing to the vibrant and varied worship life at St Mary’s, including leading Family Services and engaging in Families/Children’s ministry. This side of Alycia’s ministry will develop further as she combines her role as Curate with being Chaplain to Warwick School from September. Alycia is looking forward to priesthood, something she has long imagined, hoped and prayed for. Celebrating her first Eucharist will literally be a dream come true!

Liz Harris
Liz Harris

Liz is curate in the Caludon Team, working part-time, and based mainly at Holy Cross Church in Wyken where she has been a member of the worshipping community for over 30 years. The congregation have been fantastically supportive during this first year of curacy, as they have throughout her training. Ordained ministry has brought new and exciting challenges - involvement with the church-run parent & toddler group is a highlight each week - as well as the familiar ongoing roles, such as developing her interest in prayer and spirituality. She was alarmed to find that people now expect her to be an ‘expert’ in all things theological! Liz has enjoyed ministering elsewhere in the Team, and especially at Stoke St Michael where there are opportunities for lively All Age worship and schools work. It has been a real privilege to be alongside people at times of sadness, through funeral ministry.  She will soon officiate at her first wedding, and heeded her Churchwarden’s advice as she set off to conduct her first Baptism – “Don’t drop the baby in the font!” So far so good!   

Lizzy Holland
Lizzy Holland

Lizzy is curate at St John Baptist, Berkswell. Since her ordination last year Lizzy has loved the variety of parish life, and seeing the amazing things Jesus has been doing in the life of the community. Over the last year Lizzy has been using her passion for schools ministry to see the relationship with the local Church of England school flourish with the beginning of a 'Big Questions' lunchtime club and the first school Eucharist service to happen where 3 children were baptised and 54 received Holy Communion for the first time. Another highlight was putting together a special renewal of baptism vows service in January where those who have had their children baptised in the last few years were invited back to celebrate their baptism in an all age setting with the use of supersoakers! Lizzy is excited for her ordination as priest and can't wait to be able to preside at the Eucharist for the community she loves. Her hope for the next year is that she continues to hear God's call, to follow faithfully and to inspire others to live out their discipleship vibrantly. 

Noel Phillips
Noel Phillips

Noel is curate in the Caludon team. The whirlwind that is a diaconate year cannot be overestimated from learning names, getting to grips with local custom and engaging with the community are all areas which need to be addressed. It has been about coming to an understanding of what it means to be in representative ministry in the Caludon team and working out how that identity has a positive impact on God’s mission in that place. Noel has found it challenging at times, including taking the funeral of a friend and being a presence in the community during a particularly difficult period. Then there have been the joys of exploring creative worship both in the environment and in the newly re-ordered church and understanding how different people connect with God at different times and in different ways. Noel's deacon year has been varied, busy and hugely enriching and now he is looking forward to understanding and inhabiting the calling to the priesthood. 

Phil Richardson
Phil Richardson

Phil is curate at St Andrew's, Eastern Green. Phil has enjoyed working with people from both St Andy's and St Andrews over the last 12 months. He has enjoyed getting to know some of the folk at the Wednesday Communion service and getting to grips at leading using Common Worship then and on Sundays. 

There have been challenges this year, with St Andy's being moved out of it's venue due to Woodlands School closing down. However God has used this to foster community and to remind us that we are the Church, the building is only secondary!

It has taken Phil rather by surprise that he has been enjoying (for want of a better word) taking funerals, particularly being able to come alongside those who are grieving. Phil has also enjoyed taking the time to raise up new leaders by giving opportunities to them to be stretched and challenged in the gifts God has given them. Other highlights included being at St Andrews for Christmas day, the Passover Meal, and the 10th Anniversary of StAPH (now St Andy’s) which we celebrated on Bannerbrook Park with Bishop Chris in September 2017.

Rupert Allen
Rupert Allen

Since being ordained as a Self-Supporting Deacon in 2017, Rupert has been developing his parish ministry in the parishes of Chilvers Coton and Astley. This has meant involved leading worship, preaching, getting involved in running baptism and wedding preparation sessions as well beginning to officiate at baptisms. Last winter, he co-ordinated the Chilvers Coton contribution to the Nuneaton Winter Night Shelter. He is beginning to take over the responsibility for initially responding to enquiries about baptism. Alongside this, he retains his full-time role as DAC Secretary & Database Manager for the Diocese of Leicester. In this role he helps PCCs to manage repairs to or adaptations of their buildings. He has also had to get to grips with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for of the two PCCs and the Diocese of Leicester – where he has leading role in this area advising both staff and PCCs. Balancing the demands of his call from God to both the parish and his secular employment has sometimes been challenging but very rewarding. Following his priesting, Rupert is looking forward to getting more experience of officiating at baptisms as well as beginning to officiate at weddings and presiding at the Eucharist.

Tom Eagles
Tom Eagles

Tom is curate at St Mark’s Swanswell, a brand new church plant in the heart of Coventry City. His first year of ordained ministry has been dominated by all the jobs associated with starting something new; helping to see a closed and dilapidated building reopen, getting to know the city, raising up teams of volunteers and helping to grow a community of people who long to see the city of Coventry transformed! Doing everything for the first time has been an adventure, but also great fun! Tom’s main highlights from the past 12 months include running three Alpha courses, through which many have come to know Jesus for the first time, and camping in the pouring rain during the St Mark’s holiday at the Wildfires Festival. Tom has loved the challenges associated with starting something new, and he can’t wait to see what will happen as St Mark’s continues to grow, and as he begins life as a priest within the Church of England.

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