Dressing as a turkey for the BBC at Christmas: welcome to our new deacons and priests


What have a former professional wrestler, a Leeds nightclub doorman, a drummer in a band, a record producer and dressing as a turkey for the BBC at Christmas all got in common?

These are just some of the paths our new deacons have walked on their way to faith and will bring to their own ministry in some of our 656 churches and 249 church schools.

Growing the church here in West Yorkshire and the Dales is one of the four cornerstones of our vision and this Petertide we welcome 17 new deacons and 21 new priests.

Among them is a head teacher at one of our church schools, a school chaplain and teacher at Holy Trinity Academy, Halifax, and a tenor in the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus who found himself on extended placement with the Lutheran Church in the Estonian capital, Tallinn when the Russians invaded Georgia.

We’ve got a former district nurse who made bath and soap bombs in her spare time, a Scottish dancer who also plays in a ceilidh band, a long distance lorry driver and a pioneer curate who helped bring to faith what's now become the thriving Saturday Gathering in Halifax.

Many of them describe their journey as an emotional rollercoaster with a wide range of experiences from the true privilege of conducting baptisms and sitting beside grieving relatives to getting locked in St George’s Crypt before a Light Party in November dressed as a six foot banana.

These are some of their words:

As my Training Incumbent said if you aren’t called to do this job you cannot do it and if you are called then you cannot not do it.  I have learned that being called to the ministry is something I cannot not do and that knowledge is a joy and an enormous privilege.  Deborah Horsfall, priest  in the Wakefield Area

I remember when God initially called me to explore ordained ministry, it all seemed too big, too frightening, too extraordinary for such an ordinary woman  My only response was to pray and fully surrender my whole life to God’s care.  Now at this moment of ordination it all again seems too big; too frightening and too extraordinary for such an ordinary woman.  Caroline Harrison, Wakefield Area  

This year has been particularly busy, with the launch of our 'Weaving Women's Wisdom' project, which involved bringing together groups of women from different faiths across Yorkshire and beyond to discuss the wise women that had influenced them in their lives and faith, and using these discussions to weave a rug, which we have made in to a 'Carpet of Wisdom', which we are now exhibiting in Bradford and then across the country Jenny Ramsden, Bradford Area

The highlights of my time so far have been numerous; appearing on BBC One on Christmas Day dressed as a turkey, baptising 16 adults along with seeing and hearing about people grow in their faith in Jesus Christ. The most memorable ‘low’ has been getting locked in St George’s Crypt before our Light Party in November dressed as a banana. The looks I got from some Crypt residents when a six foot banana knocked on the other side of a locked door were priceless. Mark Harlow, Leeds Area

Life is sometimes like being in the Vicar of Dibley, but I have found that a good sense of humour goes a long way; especially in difficult situations. I have recently felt the tension between being immersed in a public ministry whilst remaining authentically myself.

I’m really looking forward to what the future might hold for my ministry. I am passionate about council estate ministry and would like to return to this sometime, however every time I have tried to plan what I might do next, God seems to have had other ideas, so I’ve learned to leave things in his hands. Vivien Masters, Leeds

Please pray for them. The Deacons are all being ordained by Bishop Nick in Ripon Cathedral on Saturday July 4; Wakefield, Bradford and Leeds Episcopal Areas at 11am and Huddersfield and Ripon Areas at 3pm.

The Priests are being ordained in their respective Areas on Saturday June 27 at 3pm in Bradford Cathedral,  Huddersfield Parish Church, Leeds Minster, Ripon Cathedral.  Download a Prayer card.

Bishop Tony will ordain Miguel Sánchez Rodríguez on Saturday 27 June at 1:30pm at All Saints, Elland and Andreas Wenzel on Saturday 27 June at 5pm at St Peter & St Leonard, Horbury and Bishop Tom Butler will ordain Deborah Horsfall at South Ossett at 10am on 28 June.

Read some of their journeys here…

In the Wakefield Area:

Our new deacons:

Phil Maries

is looking forward to serving his curacy in the parish of All Saints Normanton. He has spent the last three years training on the Yorkshire Ministry Course (YMC) at Mirfield doing a BA in Theology. Before Phil started his training he was a Reader and Worship leader in his sending church, St Georges Lupset Wakefield.

Phil has a heart for Evangelism and was a Diocesan Evangelist in the old Wakefield Diocese. He has also been a team leader on many Through Faith Mission missions throughout the UK. Phil also enjoys ministry in two local prisons as a fellowship team leader and a volunteer prison chaplain.

Phil has just celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary as is still amazed that his wife Belinda has and still puts up with him after all that time. They have two grown up children Samantha and Matthew and were pleased to welcome Becky into the family last year when she married Matthew.

Most of Phil’s working life has been spent travelling the highways and byways of the UK and Europe as a HGV driver. A job that he has enjoyed but will not miss!

Phil enjoys riding his motorbike and is a member of the West Yorkshire and the Dales diocesan motorbike group affectionately known as the “Revs”. Any other spare time Phil has is usually spent fishing and is pleased that Normanton area is noted for its prime fishing on the River Calder.

Caroline Harrison

I will serve my curacy in the parish of Royston and Felkirk.  I trained for ordination as a full time residential student at Ripon Theological College, Oxford.  Prior to attending theological college I was an active member at Trinity Church, Ossett.  The encouragement I have received from the people at Trinity has been amazing and I feel that I couldn’t have walked this journey without their support.  In secular life I was a district nurse and ran a cottage industry from my kitchen, crafting handmade soap and bath bombs.  I love camping or maybe its glamping because we rough it in a bell tent equipped with a chandelier and wood-burning stove.  I am looking forward to following God’s call in the next chapter of this roller coaster journey.    I remember when God initially called me to explore ordained ministry, it all seemed too big, too frightening, too extraordinary for such an ordinary woman.  My only response was to pray and fully surrender my whole life to God’s care.  Now at this moment of ordination it all again seems too big; too frightening and too extraordinary for such an ordinary woman.  I ask you to pray for me as I once again surrender my whole life to God’s service.


Craig Tomlinson

A former professional wrestler who won the North West Professional Wrestling Association Championship twice, Craig Tomlinson will serve his curacy in the parish of St. Mary the Virgin with St. Paul the Apostle in Barnsley. He trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield. Prior to college Craig was a Church Warden in the Ewecross Deanery of the Bradford Diocese. In his secular life Craig was a Telecommunications Engineer, first in the Army and then for British Telecom. He is married to Claire and has four children, Martyn aged 14, Matthew aged 10, Jacob aged 8 and Joshua aged 6.

Craig enjoys watching sport and athletics, attending Rock concerts and is looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that ministry in Barnsley will bring.










Our new priests:

Fr Andreas Wenzel serves Horbury with Horbury Bridge

It’s a joy to serve among the people of St Peter’s Horbury and St John’s Horbury-Bridge. As a family we are settling in nicely, we love gardening and are getting to know the local history – which is particularly interesting this year because Sabine Baring-Gould (Onward Christian Soldiers) was the curate in our parish exactly 150 years ago.

As a curate in the traditional catholic wing of the church, I have been asked to deacon patronal festivals, inductions and anniversaries in various interesting parishes of our big diocese. Worshipping and praying together is the best way of getting to know each other. I am grateful for a warm welcome to the Diocese of West-Yorkshire and the Dales and look forward to my priestly ministry within this context.


Deborah Horsfall serves South Ossett

My curacy has, so far, been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, though not without its significant challenges. 

The church where I am based with my family (husband and two young daughters) has welcomed us with open arms and given me plenty of opportunities to join in with things.  However folk are also very keen that I do not over stretch myself.  I have a really productive relationship with my TI and I am learning an enormous amount. As a team we also have a retired priest, an experienced reader and a reader in training and we all meet regularly and take opportunity to learn from each other. The philosophy of the church is one of collaborative ministry where the whole congregation is empowered to get stuck in and we all work shoulder to shoulder to build the Kingdom together. This provides me with a wealth of learning experiences. 

One of the great highs was the privilege of participating in the Easter Story where more than 500 primary school children walked through the events of the Holy Week at church in the final week of the Easter term. It was an amazing and humbling experience and brought the story to life in a whole new way.

Probably the greatest challenge is to try and ensure a life/work/home balance. Having moved from the rigid structures of the health service, the more fluid practices of the church have taken some getting used to.  I was also concerned that being involved with services all the time might make it difficult to worship for myself or to be resourced, however, that has not proved to be the case.

My curacy has affirmed and confirmed in me that this is exactly what I am supposed to do. As much as I loved my previous career this is on different scale. As my TI said if you aren’t called to do this job you cannot do it and if you are called then you cannot not do it.  I have learned that being called to the ministry is something I cannot not do and that knowledge is a joy and an enormous privilege.

In the Bradford Episcopal Area:

Our new deacons:

Sue Jennings

Sue loved being on placement as an ordinand at St Paul’s Church in the Parish of Manningham and is delighted that she is returning there to serve her curacy. She is looking forward to working in the inner city, having spent many years working as a paediatric physiotherapist in the inner city of Birmingham. A year ago Sue moved to Bradford from Worcester Diocese with her husband, Ian, and he is now incumbent of Holy Trinity, Low Moor and St Andrew’s, Oakenshaw. They have two children, David (16) and Ruth (14). Sue trained for ordination at St John’s College, Nottingham: Prior to this she was a Reader in Worcester Diocese. As a family the Jennings’ love the outdoors: taking the caravan to beautiful countryside and enjoying walking, cycling and kayaking. Sue loves to be in the garden and is looking forward to the prospect of getting the vicarage garden in order. She is also looking forward to replacing theological textbooks, for a season, with one or two detective novels.




Andrew Howorth

An ex Methodist Minister, Andrew will serve his curacy in the parish of St Peter’s Addingham.  Andrew trained for ordination at the Northern Federation for training in Ministry and latterly on the Yorkshire Ministry. Course.  Andrew works for the National Health Service as head of patient experience in mental health and learning disabilities, and works hard to combat the stigma and discrimination that people experience as a result of their conditions. He enjoys amateur theatre and has performed in or directed a wide range of productions both in the Church and in local theatres around Bradford where he grew up. He is a keen chef and enjoys cooking and offering hospitality. Andrew enjoys working with groups and is keen to help people use their creative gifts in a variety of ways to express their faith and enhance their worship. He has led a number of quiet days and has supported people to spend time in silent prayer and meditation as part of the experience. He is particularly looking forward to sharing some of these skills and ideas with people, and travelling together on the next step of the journey.


Tracey Raistrick

Tracey Raistrick will serve her curacy in the parish of St. Mark’s, Utley and Keighley shared Church which is joined with a Methodist Congregation.

She trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.  Her ordination comes almost exactly thirty-five years to the day since she first felt God calling her to ordained ministry (July, 1980).  Tracey says “when God first called me, ordination to the priesthood was not yet possible for women in the Church of England so I said ‘yes’ to the possibility and then moved forward into whatever God put in front of me: worship ministry; leading a cell-group; church planting; and most recently, ministry among the Deaf community.  While I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to serve in those ways while bringing up my family, I’m delighted to be moving into full-time ministry.  I’m really looking forward to serving, learning, and walking alongside the people.”  She also hopes to continue some involvement with the Deaf community locally and nationally. Tracey has three grown-up daughters and three grandsons.  Her Mum is in her 91st year and has been a great example of prayerfulness and generosity.  Tracey loves walking with her two spaniels on the moors and getting snuggled up with a good book




Our new priests:

John Butler is honorary assistant curate in Heaton

John and his wife Jackie have been married for almost 34 years. They have four adult children; three girls, including twins, and a son. They also have a grandson, who is himself fast-approaching adulthood.

Since his Ordination as Deacon, in June of last year, John and his wife have been blessed to be part of the community of Heaton, where John serves as Honorary Assistant Curate in the parish churches of St. Barnabas and St. Martin. John and Jackie have been, both astounded and humbled, by the way that they have been welcomed, not only into the heart of the congregations, but also into the heart of the community, by their largely Muslim neighbours.

John feels very privileged to have been able to minister to the parishioners of Heaton, in all sorts of ways and circumstances; far more than he could ever have imagined. He has experienced a wide variety of activities, and has enjoyed developing new skills. Taking responsibility for things, particularly in services has had its challenging moments, but has also been very rewarding. There have been ample opportunities to have some fun along the way. He looks forward to continuing developing his skills, and the fun in the future.

Steve Proudlove serves All Saints Church, Ilkley

I'm Steve Proudlove.  My wife, Elaine and my two young children, Samuel and Phoebe, moved to Ilkley in June 2014 to begin my curacy at All Saints' Church.  We have enjoyed our time so far overall.  The scenery and weather is quite different to the Cambridgeshire fens where we were before!

All Saints' has been a really welcoming, generous and caring community during our first year in Yorkshire and I have enjoyed getting to know them and being involved in an active church setting.  In particular, I have enjoyed being part of an exciting team where we seem to inspire each other in our various areas of ministry.  

The year hasn't been without its difficulties, but the church community have helped us during the harder times and we are looking forward to a simpler year ahead we hope.

Ilkley is a lovely place to live with its own challenges to Christianity.  I am looking forward to exploring new ways of engaging with people outside of church in this context.  

Aside from church, I enjoy climbing regularly with Harrogate Mountaineering Club and walking on the moors with my family.

Julie Bacon serves Shipley St Peter’s

This has been a year of many changes for me and my family. Following my ordination as deacon, I moved to my curacy parish of St Peter’s, Shipley with my husband Matt, children Jack and Kate and family dog Midge. In September, Jack left to start his undergraduate course at Kings College, London, reading history; and at the end of March Matt was made redundant from Orange, the mobile phone company. There have been other sadnesses this year, including a couple of deaths in the family, as well as that of our beloved pet.

But there has been much that is good too. We have been made extremely welcome at St Peter’s. I have loved getting to know the congregation (particularly at our parish weekend away), and developing my experience in leading services and preaching. I’ve also enjoyed meeting people outside the church, particularly through my involvement at Saltaire Canteen (a ‘pay as you feel’ café serving intercepted food which would otherwise go to landfill). Personally, I am delighted that Jack is loving his course; Matt has new work opportunities; and the family is enjoying the addition of our new puppy, Pippin. It feels as if new things are happening at St Peter’s, and I am looking forward to being part of them, as I learn more about what it is to serve God’s people as a priest. (Close to her ordination last year, Julie learned she got a First in Theology!   She trained with YMC)






Jenny Ramsden serves Morton and Riddlesden

It seems hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since this photo was taken - on the day of my ordination! Since then, I have been serving as a non-stipendiary curate in the parishes of Morton and Riddlesden. I feel blessed to have been placed in these parishes, due to the support and guidance of the Revd Mike Cansdale. I have also been overwhelmed by the warm welcome I have received from the congregations at both churches, and one of the real joys has been getting to know them and forming positive relationships with a great many of them. I enjoy both the more traditional 9.30 services, but have also particularly enjoyed leading the Family Services, and seeing the congregation grow, with several new families joining us in the past year. Another huge highlight for me has been baptising two babies - it felt an unbelievable privilege. 

I also work for twenty hours a week as an interfaith worker for the Methodist church, at Touchstone, in Bradford. This year has been particularly busy, with the launch of our 'Weaving Women's Wisdom' project, which involved bringing together groups of women from different faiths across Yorkshire and beyond to discuss the wise women that had influenced them in their lives and faith, and using these discussions to weave a rug, which we have made in to a 'Carpet of Wisdom', which we are now exhibiting in Bradford and then across the country. What has been amazing is how this project has developed in to a place where 'safe spaces' have been created, where women have been able to share views and experiences on important issues, such as women's rights, freedom of speech, and the Gaza conflict. The exhibition will be coming to Keighley in the near future, to give people in my parishes a chance to come and see it. I feel very blessed that Mike is so supportive of this role, and that my line manager at Touchstone is so supportive of my curacy.Over the next few years of my curacy, one of my main hopes and prayers is that the two roles become more seamless, and seen overall, together, as a holistic ministry. I am excited about the next few years, and what they will bring.

Cat Thatcher serves  Bradford Cathedral


In the Leeds Area:

Our new deacons:

Olasupo Ogunyinka   

Supo Ogunyinka will serve his curacy at St Mary's and St David's in the Parish of Beeston, Leeds. He trained for ordination at Yorkshire Ministry Course (YMC) in Mirfield. Prior to college/ ordination Supo was a Reader and Worship Leader in Meanwood Parish church.  In secular life Supo was a NHS Stroke Service Manager and a qualified Chartered Management Accountant.

 He is married to Barbara who is a Support Service Administrator and they have two sons William, 28 and Tony 22.  He enjoys cooking and entertaining friends, travelling, swimming, occasional visits to the Yorkshire Dales and reading. He is looking forward to worshipping and serving as a Curate in the parish of Beeston




Jack Parkes

Jack Parkes will serve his curacy in the Cleckheaton Benefice, made up of St. John the Evangelist, Whitechapel and St. Luke’s. He trained for ordination on the Yorkshire Ministry Course having previously served with the Lutheran Church in Great Britain through which he undertook an extended placement in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. I was there when the Russians invaded Georgia and it was therefore a time of huge uncertainty in all the independent former states of the old Soviet Union. A lot of my time there involved supporting Georgian refugees and ministering to Estonians who felt very threatened by the negative political turn of events. Interesting times!

Jack was for many years a teacher in Cleckheaton and was Head of Religious Studies and Citizenship at Whitcliffe Mount High School. He now works for Bradford College as a Link-Tutor, supporting student teachers on their teaching practices.

Jack is married to Rachel, a Careers Consultant at Leeds Becket University and they have two daughters, Anna, 23 and Claire, 21. Jack’s primary hobby is as a member of the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus where he sings in the Tenor Section.

As a teacher Jack is particularly looking forward to the opportunity of working in the local schools, taking assemblies and supporting the teaching of R.S.

My sense of call was bubbling under for many years and I ran out of excuses to avoid confronting it. I was originally trained for ministry with the Lutheran Church in Great Britain but for various reasons that turned out not to be a good fit for either party. Nevertheless I owe them a great debt of gratitude and they have continued to be incredibly supportive of my on-going sense of a call to ministry. It was during my time on an extended parish placement in Tallinn that my sense of calling was really confirmed: knowing almost no one in Estonia I was very much thrown onto the resources of the Holy Spirit and I see that time as very significant in both my sense of calling and my formation. I feel I've brought the richness of  another tradition to ministry in the C of E.


Nick Lattimer will serve Woodside

Nick will be serving his curacy at St James' Woodside in Leeds. He is originally from Kent but lived in Leeds for seven years before training at Trinity College Bristol. He is married to Emily who he met while training. Before working briefly for his church, for Yorkshire Water, then a social enterprise, Nick studied modern languages at Leeds University and enjoys travel and foreign cultures. He also likes to exercise and to play music, having played drums in several bands, and will be on the look out for one in Leeds! 




Ben Randall serves as assistant curate at Pudsey Parish Church

Husband to Rebekah, father of Poppy; has been serving as the assistant Curate of St. Lawrence, Pudsey. Although no stranger to West Yorkshire, didn’t know this particular little corner. It was the Bishop’s suggestion that we take a look. We snuck in one Sunday, looked at each other and said: “Yup, this is it.” And it has been wonderful! Have especially enjoyed regularly preaching and teaching, and just generally exercising my official (and paid for!) license to talk incessantly about God, Jesus and the Bible. Please pray in particular for my gifts in this area to grow so they might match my enthusiasm, that I will become a more persuasive, effective communicator of the wonderful Good News that uniquely transforms and saves.'




Sharon Brown serves Abbeylands Team Ministry

My first ten months at St Margaret’s have flown by and I feel truly blessed by God to be there. In the early days, when I knew very few people, the congregation were gracious enough to tell me their names however many times I asked.  Today I often meet and chat with people I know in the streets of Horsforth, and feel part of that community.

One wonderful thing about being a curate is that people expect you to talk about God and, by God’s grace, I have had some amazing conversations with a wide range of people. Praying with those who are sick or dying, and with their families and friends, has been a huge privilege, and it has been a surprise to me how quickly relationships can be built with the relatives of people whose funeral I have conducted.

Baptisms have been joyous occasions, and spending time with parents who want their children baptised and discovering the plethora of reasons for this decision has been interesting - although I admit to feeling rather mean if the child cries when being baptised!

I am extremely grateful for the wonderful support I have received from the Revd Nigel Sinclair, clergy colleagues and all at St Margaret’s, and for the warm welcome they have given my family.  I am very thankful for the support of my children, who have had many adjustments to make, and of my parents who rearrange their lives when necessary, allowing me to be where I need to be.

I am enjoying my curacy immensely and am looking forward to the delights and surprises to come.

Mark Harlow serves Leeds St George’s Team Ministry

Last June, I moved to Leeds to serve a curacy at St George’s from Cambridge with my wife, Kathryn  and two children, Toby (4) and Isobel (3). We have enjoyed settling into Leeds and have had a very warm welcome. The highlights of my time so far have been numerous; appearing on BBC One on Christmas Day dressed as a turkey, baptising 16 adults along with seeing and hearing about people grow in their faith in Jesus Christ. The most memorable ‘low’ has been getting locked in St George’s Crypt before our Light Party in November dressed as a banana. The looks I got from some Crypt residents when a six foot banana knocked on the other side of a locked door were priceless.

Over the coming months and years, I look forward to continue serving God in my vocation at St George’s, gaining further experience of ministry, mission and leadership and exploring what God’s will is for our family in the future.


Vivien Masters serves Kippax and Allerton Bywater

I trained for ordination for three years at the Yorkshire Ministry Course in Mirfield.  It was a great experience, and it was a very rich time for me spiritually, and I enjoyed working alongside those of other traditions, although I found this challenging at times.

I was ordained in July 2014, It was a wonderful day, and the ordination itself felt absolutely right.  I am serving my curacy in the parish of Allerton Bywater,Kippax and Swillington. It’s a great parish to be in; the people are really friendly and welcoming.

I love preaching regularly and I lead an alternative worship service every few month’s that’s been really exciting. I have particularly valued the opportunities I have had to take funerals; it has been a privilege to be alongside those who are bereaved.

Family life has been tested during the past year as I have four grown up sons and six grandchildren. Finding time to visit them all can be a challenge.

Life is sometimes like being in the Vicar of Dibley, but I have found that a good sense of humour goes a long way; especially in difficult situations.

I have recently felt the tension between being immersed in a public ministry whilst remaining authentically myself.

I’m really looking forward to what the future might hold for my ministry. I am passionate about council estate ministry and would like to return to this sometime, however every time I have tried to plan what I might do next, God seems to have had other ideas, so I’ve learned to leave things in his hands.

In the Huddersfield Episcopal Area:

Our deacons:

Linda Maslen

Linda is married to Dave and together they have three grown up children Jenny, Ben and Becky and three grandchildren Delta, Alice and Tyson. Jenny and her family now live in Canada and Ben in New York, Becky and her family live in Halifax. Steve and Sue are Dave's children bringing another five grandchildren into the family. So much of their spare time is spent with family. They also have a Mac (little dog) and a Dougal (a tibetan terrier puppy) so enjoy taking them for walks.

Linda will serve her curacy at Christ Church Pellon and St Augustine's Halifax she will also be pioneer curate to Saturday Gathering and Family Gathering two fresh expressions of church in Halifax. Linda trained for ministry at Yorkshire Ministry College whilst working as a director at Capita PLC the culmination of 25 years in senior operations management and serving in her sending church All Saints' Halifax.

Linda is a trustee of Christians Together Calderdale and New Wine and is really looking forward to what the next phase of her ministry will be and is delighted to continue to serve God in Halifax and beyond. 

John Dracup will serve with St John the Baptist,  Coley

John will serve his curacy at St John the Baptist, Coley “The Church on the hill”. He has been training for ordination at Cranmer Hall in Durham. Before going to Durham John was a member of All Saints Church in Normanton for most of his life and served as a Church warden and a member of the PCC. When he left school he started working on a local farm and spent most of his working life in farming except a few years in his mid-twenties which were spent driving bulldozers and other ‘big  boys toys’. He is married to Fiona and they have two children, Isaac aged 5 and Rebekah aged 3. He enjoys family camping holidays in their trailer tent, walking (especially with his dog Chip), and real ales. Last summer he was able to spend two weeks on placement in Coley parish and the people he met at the Church are the main reason he is looking forward to serving there. He says “I found the people at Coley to be welcoming and very friendly, and have the feeling that they make a great Church that is genuinely looking to serve God and their community.”



Marcus Bull

Previously a Baptist Minister, Marcus Bull is now school chaplain at Trinity Academy Halifax, where he also teaches A Level and GCSE Religious Studies. 

 He is married to Claire: they have one child, Thomas, aged 16, and a young cocker-poo.  Marcus is a keen and accomplished musician (trombone and guitar), and a frustrated biker whose family won't let him have another motorcycle after the Men & Motors makeover show and the last crash. Having spent one year on the Yorkshire Ministry Course, Marcus will serve his curacy as SSM in the Erringden Benefice, Calder Valley, and will continue in his educational chaplaincy role.


Evelyne Barrow will serve with the Upper Home Valley Team

Evelyne Barrow is to serve her curacy as a NSM in the Upper Holme Valley Team Ministry. She trained for ordination at the Yorkshire Ministry Course having served in the Parish of St Michael’s Emley in a variety of roles. She is married to Ian and has two children. Katie is in her first year at Salford University and Sam is in year 10 at Shelley College. She is a Headteacher at St Aidan’s Church Aided First School in Skelmanthorpe. It is an amazing place and she considers it a privilege to serve with such an incredible groups of staff who all work together to serve their wonderful school community. Outside of school and training she enjoys singing usually very loudly and occasionally in tune. She enjoys reading, knitting, watching Strictly Come Dancing and baking. She avoids most types of exercise wherever possible apart from walking her wonderfully bonkers Cocker Spaniel Troy in the countryside around her home. She is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that ministry in the Upper Holme Valley will bring.





Our priests:

Kate Currie, serves the parishes of High Hoyland, Scissett and Clayton West

Kate is married to David.  We have two grown-up children, Susanna and James and we live in Netherton, Wakefield.  I am happily serving my curacy in the parishes of High Hoyland, Scissett and Clayton West which are about five miles from home.  On my first Sunday the bell rope broke, which hampered a service from The Book of Common Prayer which dictates that the Parson should say morning and evening prayer in church, first "tolling the Bell".  The congregation were very understanding. Sadly, towards the end of October the lead was stolen from the roof of St Augustine’s Church, Scissett.  Sunday morning worship now takes place in the Community Room of Scissett First School. The challenges of this situation are making for an interesting curacy, with grant applications, public meetings and implementation of questionnaires all being part of it.  The joys, however, of encountering the support of the nursery school in the parish, and the children and staff at the Church of England First School, has been uplifting and encouraging for the church and its future. They have already undertaken major fundraising initiatives.I feel hugely privileged, and a little overwhelmed at the prospect of becoming a priest, but I am looking forward to taking on these duties in prayerful obedience to God’s calling.

Stephen Rochell – serves the United Benefice of Hartshead, Hightown, Roberttown and Scholes.

I am married to Jean and we have two children, Kate who is working as a teacher in Abu Dhabi and Joanne who works as a freelance musician. Her most recent contract was as a pianist working on one of the most exclusive resorts in the Maldives.

Before training for ordination I was a schoolteacher and worked in middle schools and high schools in Leeds for 35 years.  I cannot believe that it is nearly a year since my ordination as the last year has passed so quickly. 

It has been a privilege and a joy getting to know the the four congregations and the communities that they serve and I have been humbled by the warmth, kindness and acceptance of those communities.

I am a great believer in the power invitation of asking someone to come along, of taking the risk and initiating a conversation.

I was lucky to spend some time in Mara as part of my training and I feel strongly that we have something to learn from our Tanzanian brothers and sisters. Put simply Christians ask the community what their priorities are and then they offer help over a sustained period. This then initiates conversation and is usually followed with a well developed Christian nurture course. 

This is the same challenge we face, to engage through actions and words with those whom we serve so that we can talk naturally, engagingly and honestly about God.



Simon Crook serves Huddersfield St Peter’s

I never thought I would be serving in a large civic church in the town centre. Having lived and worked around Huddersfield means that I'm constantly meeting people that I've known previously in a different guise. In a sense it is as if my ministry as a member of clergy is stretching backwards in time as well opening up ahead. A great joy in Huddersfield Parish Church is the wide spectrum of society that we deal with and hold together; one minute the mayor and MP, the next minute homeless folk and those seeking refuge, and everyone in between.  It has been quite a contrast to The College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, where in tight community, worshipping alongside the monks I travelled through an intensely formational time with my fellow ordinands. Here, at St Peter’s,  in harmony with my time at college, but very different to it, I am immersed in the joys (and frustrations) of the nitty-gritty of parish life. It is a wonder that the work I am called to as curate is also the environment in which my family and I worship and belong.


Miguel Sanchez Rodriguez serves  Elland

Miguel was born in Spain and grew up on the seashore so has fond memories of salty tastes and old Cuban and Spanish sounds.

 After many years of living in different Spanish cities and a couple of countries, he arrived in England. Since last June he has lived with his family, wife and two boys aged 5 and 8 in Elland where he serves his curacy. He is still struggling with his English and is proof of the patience of both the communities of All Saints and St Mary’s. He enjoys the challenge of becoming relevant to the parishes he serves as well as the broader community and prays God to help him in that task.



Val Keating serves with Batley All Saints and St Thomas

Since ordination as a deacon last July,  I have served in Batley team parish comprising 4 churches and 2.5 clergy...I am the .5.I have loved every minute, the only low being that I sometimes feel I should be doing more. I get to do really cool stuff like walking alongside bereaved families, wedding couples and baptism families. There is a fair amount of pastoral work within and outside the church members and I find members of the public ask me questions that they don't want to ask anyone else. A definite high has been being involved in cemetery remembrance services for those who have fallen in WW1, something that happens on the 100th anniversary of their death....amazing privilege. Another high is working at the local drop-in with those who are struggling to cope with life and occasionally seeing them rise above this situation to work and security. Having people from all these places and situations hug me and say thank you is very humbling.

My background is nursing and nurse education and I remain passionate about health and welfare. I have been married to Phil for 30 years this September and we have two grown up children and now 6 grandchildren, the youngest born in February this year.

I have been on a study tour to Israel and plans are afoot to lead a pilgrimage in January 2017...the photo is paddling in the Sea of Galilee in January 2015.


Sarah Farrimond serves with Birchencliffe and Birkby

I grew up in Bolton and finally made it over the Pennines in 1997, via various places in Britain and several years doing church based youth work and lay training in Busoga, in eastern Uganda. I studied geography and later theology and have taught theology and religion in various contexts as well as working for some time as a librarian in a monastery.  I’ve been married to Ken since 1989 and we have 2 adult children.

I’m very much enjoying my curacy so far, working full time in two parishes in Huddersfield: St Philip’s Birchencliffe and St Cuthbert’s Birkby. It’s hugely varied, including helping with English language classes and chatting to parents at a toddler group; praying with parishioners in their homes and in a prayer group at church, as well as preaching and leading worship. A particular joy has been being involved with a group of young people as they prepared for their first communion. Often things can be both a joy and a challenge and sometimes a sorrow all at the same time: listening to people’s wonderful stories about their lives and their walk with God.


Charlene Smith serves Meltham Christ the King

It's been nine years since I first started down the path towards ordination, a journey that has taken me and my family across the dioceses from Pontefract to Meltham. As I look towards my ordination to the priesthood, words fail me when trying to describe how overwhelming it will be to have the honour and privilege of serving our Lord in this way.

God willing when I kneel in front of our Bishop to make my declarations I will answer him joyfully "by the help of God, I will". As I prepare in the coming months to commend myself to become a servant of God, please pray for me and all those preparing for ordination and our Church.






In the Ripon Episcopal Area

Our new deacons:

Claire Renshaw

Claire will serve her curacy in the team ministry of the Parish of Knaresborough. 

  She trained for ordination on the Yorkshire Ministry Course Contextual Pathway at Mirfield and previously did the reader training at York St John’s.   Prior to college / ordination Claire was a self -employed accountant and parish administrator, spent a short time teaching accountancy at Joseph Priestly College and was also involved in lay ministry at St James in Wetherby, particularly exploring aspects of pioneer ministry.  She grew up just down the road in Boston Spa and has lived in Yorkshire most of her life (moved from the Wirral aged six with her Dads job).  Her hobbies are getting away in the caravan and enjoying the countryside with her family and dog, socialising with friends, reading and watching films.  She is married to Steve who has his own business as a heating engineer and is a keen mountain biker.  They have two children, Thomas aged 11 and Sophie aged 9, also keen cyclists.  She enjoys music and the arts and is looking forward to meeting new people, exploring Knaresborough and discovering new opportunities to serve God.



Alison Stewart Smith   

Alison Stewart Smith will be serving her curacy in the parish of Swaledale with Arkengarthdale. She has trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall in Durham, thoroughly enjoying the challenge of full-time residential training, and having a few rough edges knocked off along the way. Prior to training, Alison has worked in education as a teacher of modern languages, a teaching assistant and administrator. She has also worked for the Iona Community as the Sacristan in Iona Abbey, and at Scargill House Christian holiday and retreat centre in Wharfedale where she met her husband Richard. They have been married since 2011.

Alison plays an eclectic mix of instruments, some with more enthusiasm than expertise, and frequently plays in a ceilidh band. She also enjoys singing and Scottish country dancing, as well as DIY, woodwork and knitting. Having always loved the Yorkshire Dales, she feels truly privileged to be serving her title post in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and is excited to discover all that God has in store for the next few years.


Jonathan Cain

On completion of his training on the Yorkshire Ministry Course, Jonathan will serve his curacy in the parish of St Mary and St Cuthbert, Bolton. Jonathan is married to Rebecca and they have four sons - Arthur (17), Nicholas (15), Bill (11) and Charlie (8).

Jonathan is a civil engineer.  After graduating from Nottingham University he started his engineering career at Yorkshire Water; prior to training for ordination he was the engineering director of JN Bentley Ltd, Skipton.  The call to ordained ministry left Jonathan wondering how his engineering background might be used and so his recent involvement in the Water For Life Committee of the West Yorkshire and the Dales - Tanzania link, which included a recent trip to the Mara, is a prayer answered.  He is excited about continuing his involvement in this link.  Jonathan also holds a Masters’ in Business Administration.

Jonathan tries to keep reasonably fit by running, walking and cycling and he is looking forward to exploring all corners of the Bolton Abbey Parish.  He is excited by the historic self-identity of Bolton Abbey as a missional community and its ongoing vision as a missional presence on the edge of the major conurbation of West Yorkshire.








Nick Morgan

is 45, married to Kate and father of Imogen and Susie. Formerly a record producer, then early years teacher, Nick's recent ministry focus has been in developing Ripon Cathedral's online ministries and is responsible for taking them into the 21st century…!(their website, Facebook and Twitter presence) as well as help renew the Cathedral's work with schools.Nick will be serving his curacy  at Masham and Healey-Well with Snape and West Tanfield & North Stanley.

Our priests:

Richard Nolan serves with St Peter’s Harrogate

Richard lives in Wetherby and works full time in Harrogate as a partner at Hempsons, a national firm of leading health and social care solicitors specialising in all aspects of healthcare law.  Richard is a self-supporting minister and sees the workplace as an important part of his ministry.  He has been with St Peter’s, Harrogate since 2008.  He trained on the Yorkshire Ministry Course for 3 years part-time before taking up the role of Curate at St Peter’s.  He grew up in Rugby and true to his upbringing he was a keen rugby union player having played semi-professionally at clubs including Blackheath, London Scottish, Otley and Harrogate, and still enjoys an occasional run out at the odd sevens tournament.  He is married to Pam and father to Annabelle.  Richard enjoys nothing more than attending a good honest gym for a heavy weights session.  He also enjoys sport, walking, listening to music particularly of the indie genre, theatre, reading and singing.  He has been involved with several charities including serving as a trustee with St George’s Crypt in Leeds, a director and trustee of Yorkshire Dance, and a volunteer media officer with Tearfund, for several years. 

Linda Robinson serves Bedale, Leeming and Thornton Watlass

It was when I graduated more years ago than I would care to admit, that it was mooted that I would one day be ordained in the Church of England. It still seems to be somewhat of a surprise that I find myself coming to the end of my diaconate year and thinking how amazing it is to becoming more of whom I am in this complex identity, which integrates years of professional practice as Anglican secondary head and educational consultant, and the joy and slog of discipleship that had its roots in the Brethren.

Serving alongside husband Ian, in what is his first incumbency, in the Bedale benefice is enabling us to serve together, a long held vision of our joint journey of faith. We are different personalities but we have complementary roles. A less expected joy of the last year has been discovering the rewards of occasional offices and the privilege of being welcomed into the lives of others at vulnerable times of their lives. Another joy has been rediscovering speaking in public, leading intercessionary prayer, and the intimacy of developing small disparate groups where talk of God is both comfortable and challenging.

Perhaps the biggest challenge has been managing the boundaries between self-employment, doctoral study and curacy, whilst rejoicing in what each brings to the other in the power of the Spirit. I now have the privilege of bringing the thesis which concerned a theology of learning, alive in our episcopal area.

Yes it was crackers for a twice retired person with Parkinson’s disease to contemplate ordination, but I am grateful to God and significant others for opportunity to grow and serve the Kingdom.



Chris Lawton serves Leyburn with Bellerby

Before training at Cranmer Hall I worked as a rural mission and youth worker for a benefice of six churches in the Salisbury Diocese and before that a city missioner in Gloucester.  I am married to Siân who has just completed her degree in Theology, Ministry and Mission and we arrived in Wensleydale with four boys and a very bouncy Springer Spaniel.  It is a joy to be back in the countryside.  Since teenage years I have been inspired by the call in Mathew 25 to stand with those in need and for the last few years have been working out what it might mean to live according to Micah 6:8 – ‘act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God’.  I'm looking forward to serving those parishes of St. Mathew's, Leyburn with St. John the Evangelist, Bellerby.






























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