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Meet our 2023 ordinands

Sheffield Cathedral

The Petertide Ordinations are taking place between the 1-2 July at Sheffield Cathedral

The candidates who are to be ordained as Deacons in the Diocese of Sheffield have shared their testimonies and faith journeys.

On Sunday 2 July the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, will ordain (9) deacons at 10.30am. Then the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Revd Rob Munro, will ordain a presbyter and at 5.30pm the Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Revd Stephen Race, will ordain a deacon.

Diocesan Director of Vocations Dan Christian has helped to compile some short biographies of each ordinand as they prepare for ordination at Sheffield Cathedral.

Mr Thomas Brown, to serve as Assistant Curate of St Peter, Conisbrough (Stipendiary):

Tom Brown

‘Having been born in Kendal, I spent most of my childhood in a small town called Brighouse in West Yorkshire. After school, I had the privilege of studying physics at Oxford as an undergraduate. It was there, in the midst of a very demanding environment, that I began to be captivated by the unbelievable love and kindness of the Lord Jesus.

‘In him, I found an acceptance that wasn’t dependent on achievement and a promise that he would help change me to be like him, by his Spirit. It was also in Oxford that I met my wonderful wife, Holly. We’ve been married for 7 years, have two cats (Stanley and Olivia), and are expecting the arrival of a baby boy. In our free time, we love long walks and runs in the hills. We’re very excited to be moving so near to the Peaks!’  

Mr Peter Das, to serve as Assistant Curate of St John the Evangelist, Ranmoor (Stipendiary):

Peter Das

‘Religion and faith have been a pivotal part of my life since I was introduced to the chapter on Reformation during my school years. This was an awakening moment during which I discovered my curiosity for the theological and anthropological study of religion. This was accompanied by my interest in choral music, and I became a chorister at the school chapel. Singing choral music and reading books on theology drew me close on a journey which eventually led into my conversion to Christianity in my teens.

Ever since then I have been thinking profoundly about the Christian faith and my personal calling. These reflections have been life giving and transformative. The realisation that Christianity is about living, and the Church gives us that life drew me on my journey towards ordained ministry. Hidden within this experience of self-discovering is a story, my personal story of meeting the life-giving Christ. I am blessed that the Diocese of Sheffield has enabled me to share that story with whoever I meet as a deacon-a servant in Christ.’

Mr Peter Gaunt, to serve as Assistant Curate of St Gabriel, Greystones (Stipendiary):

Peter Gaunt

‘I’m married to my wife Katy and we have a beautiful daughter called Lily. I came to Sheffield to study 13 years ago and have stayed in this wonderful city ever since. During that time I have been a student pastor and a senior leader of a church here in Sheffield which is where I discerned my call to the Priesthood. During the last three years I have been studying full time at St Hild college and have been doing my contextual placement at Wadsley Church. I am excited to start my curacy in the parish of Greystones at St Gabriel’s church with Alistair Stevenson as my Training Incumbent. 

‘I am passionate about discipleship and helping people encounter the presence of God through the work of the Holy Spirt. I have a heart to invest in and raise up the next generation of the Church here is Sheffield and beyond. I love watching sport, playing golf and long walks in the Peak District.’

Mr William Gowers, to serve as Assistant Curate of Christ Church, Pitsmoor (Stipendiary):

William Gowers

‘I am married to Lucy who I met during our teenage years at All Saints Ecclesall. We have two wonderful daughters, Eloise is three and Phoebe is one. I first started to sense a calling to Ordained ministry when I undertook an internship at All Saints Ecclesall during my gap year. In a ‘maybe one day’ attitude I went to train at the Guildford School of Acting where I received a BA (Hons) Acting. Most of my professional acting work was with Riding Lights Theatre Company.

‘After getting married in 2017, I felt called into full time ministry and went to St Johns Owlerton as their Youth Minister. It was during my time at St Johns where I felt God calling me to formally explore Ordained ministry. After completing my Theology training at Trinity College Bristol I am very excited to be coming back up to Sheffield and serving my curacy at Christ Church Pitsmoor. I am also very much looking forward to not have to descale my kettle as much as Bristolian water requires me to…’

Mr Antony Heppel, to serve as Assistant Curate at The Resurrection Doncaster (SSM):

Antony Heppel

‘I have been married to Deb for forty two years. We met at school and we were married in 1981. We have two daughters Nyssa and Samantha, we also have four grandchildren. After leaving school  and finding employment in various jobs I worked as a truck drive from the age of twenty four, a career that I continued in until the age of fifty eight. I am currently employed as a support worker for adults with autism. My journey to Jesus took a long time. I didn’t come to faith until I was 50 years old. Even though at the age of 14 I had thoughts of becoming a priest. Through out my adult life I was aware of God but never knocked on his door. I’m glad to say that God let me in and changed my life forever and set me off on a journey to grow closer to him.’

Mr Christopher Hutchinson, to serve as Assistant Curate of the parish of Great Snaith (Stipendiary):

Chris Hutchinson

‘I am originally from Maltby, near Rotherham. After 20 years working in industry, building production lines among other things, I changed tack and went to study Philosophy at Durham University. While at Durham, I became a Christian. After graduating, I worked with children and young adults with Complex Needs at a school in Rotherham – a job I really loved.

‘While working at the school, I became a member of the congregation at Rotherham Minster. During my time at the Minster, I became more involved in church life and eventually felt a call to ministry. After a period of exploring that sense of calling, I went back to Durham University to train as an ordinand at Cranmer Hall theological college. I am looking forward to training under Eleanor as Assistant Curate in Snaith.’

Dr Louise McInnes, to serve as Assistant Curate of St Leonard, Dinnington and St Simon & St Jude, Thurcroft (Stipendiary):

Dr Louise McInnes

‘Originally from Scotland, I have lived in Penistone, Yorkshire, for 23 years – now half my life! I am married to Andrew, and we have three grown up children, and four grandchildren, who keep us very busy.

‘Before entering ministry, my background was in music, beginning as an instrumental teacher, and later, on completing my PhD in historical musicology, lecturing in Higher Education. Although I felt the pull to ministry earlier in my life, it was in my early 40s that God placed a calling on me – one that was so clear and wonderful I just couldn’t ignore it. I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at St Hild College for the last two years and feel blessed to be taking up my curacy now in Dinnington and Thurcroft. I am looking forward to getting to know these communities, and to finding out what God has in store for me next!’

Miss Brittany Webb, to serve as Assistant Curate at St Leonard’s Community Church (BMO) in the parish of Heeley with Arbourthorne and Norfolk Park (Stipendiary):

Britt Webb

‘Britt (the non-Brit!) grew up in Sydney, Australia. After leaving school she studied Psychology, alongside working with young people at her church and in cafés. She moved to the UK in 2015 to do Soul Survivor Watford’s gap year, Soul61. Feeling like her adventure in the UK wasn’t over yet, she joined the team at Oak Church in Stevenage, where she was an Outreach Youthworker and Operations Co-ordinator.

Having felt the call to train for ordination, Britt moved to Bristol to train at Trinity College. She will be serving her curacy at St Leonard’s, Arbourthorne and Norfolk Park. She is excited to move to the North and to get to know the people at St Leonard’s and join in with what is God doing amongst them.

Mr Christopher Wroot, to serve as Assistant Curate of St Peter, Warmsworth (SSM):

Chris Wroot

‘I was brought up in a traditional Church of England family, went to Sunday School from the age of 6 and attended the local Church of England primary and junior school. I met Sennette, my wife, at Church where we married a few years later and have been blessed with 2 boys, Josh, and Jacob. 8 months ago Josh and his wife Sophie had our grandson, Teddy Noah, and he soon became the centre of our universe.

‘Our faith journey has taking us to a number of different traditions within the Church of England, but we have found our home in the Anglo – Catholic style with its emphasis on sacramental worship.

‘Seven years ago I felt God’s call on my life which led me to train as a Reader at the Sheffield school of Ministry. When I took up the role of Reader, I still felt a strong call from God and through prayer and conversation I realised God was calling me to ordination. My journey to ordination began in 2020 and with the support and guidance of some amazing people I have trained for 2 years at St Hild.  

‘I worked for Doncaster Council for 38 years before I retired earlier this year. I enjoy cycling and watching rugby and spending time with family and friends.’  

Mr Ben Grist, to serve as Assistant Curate of St John’s, Goole (Stipendiary):

‘Ben Grist is going to be ordained as the curate of St John’s Goole. He is married to his wife Hannah who he met during his ministerial training at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. Prior to his training he studied for a degree in Mathematics and spent some time teaching in secondary schools. Ben and Hannah enjoy hiking, gardening, and playing board games together and are both excited to start ministry together as a newly married couple.’

Mr Raymond Parkin, to serve as Assistant Curate of St Leonard & St Jude, Doncaster with St Luke Scawthorpe (SSM):

Ray Parkin

‘I have been very blessed to have been married for 47 years to my wonderful wife Mandy. We Have three grown up Children and seven grandchildren all of whom we love very much. I am a fanatic dog lover and have had the companionship of many wonderful dogs over the years, my current one being a GSD called Meika, we love our walks together. I came to faith when I met Mandy and was Baptised and Confirmed at the Church where we were married and still worshipping at today. I am grounded in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.

‘I’m really looking forward to starting my Curacy, and feel a particular calling to later life ministry. Born in Doncaster and whilst initially trained as a Chef, and still enjoy cooking, I re-trained when I married and have spent most of my working life as an Electrical engineer.’  

You can find the full list of people to be ordained as Deacons and Priests here.