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Meet our 2024 ordinands

The 2024 Petertide Ordinations in the Diocese of Sheffield will take place at Sheffield Cathedral on the 29 and 30 June, with ordinands for the weekend sharing some short testimonies ahead of then.

On Saturday 29 June the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, will ordain (10) priests at 4pm. In addition, the Bishop of Beverley will ordain one priest in the parish church of St Leonard Scawsby on the same day at 7.30pm.

On Sunday 30 June the Bishop of Doncaster, the Rt Revd Sophie Jelley, will ordain (15) deacons at 10.30am.

Meet some of our ordinands below:

Catherine Hanna Chapman, to serve in the Benefice of Worsbrough, St Mary with Elsecar, Holy Trinity.

I grew up near Bath, studied Music at University then trained as a teacher. Church was a big part of my early life and I experienced a call to mission at the age of 9; eighteen years later I finally went to Zimbabwe as a missionary teacher. In the following years I took a Masters degree in International Development, married Steve, had three children and did various jobs with USPG and VSO, including a couple of years in Zambia.

Now and again both Steve and I felt called towards ordained ministry; Steve responded and was ordained in 2015. The call for me became ever louder, and when I heard about the Caleb pathway to ordination I knew this was for me. The journey has been extraordinary, and I’m delighted to be at this point, so grateful to those who have supported and encouraged me along the way, and very much looking forward to serving the communities in Elsecar and Worsbrough.

Rachel Louise Crossley, to serve in the Benefices of Norton Lees, St Paul and Woodseats, St Chad

I moved regularly as a child due to my mum’s job as a Methodist Minister but Sheffield has very much become home. I settled here with my husband, Simon after finishing my PGCE. We have two very adventurous children Malachi and Rowan.

At first my call to ordained ministry surprised me as I had spent my childhood very clearly telling everyone that I was never going to become a minister because it was a silly job. God has a big sense of humour!

I love finding new ways to connect with God, particularly outdoors. I am passionate about being creative in church to enable everyone’s faith to grow, especially those who are neurodivergent. I have been fortunate during training to have a placement that has encouraged me to use these skills! I look forward to getting to know the congregations at St Chad’s and St Paul’s and supporting their work.

Elizabeth Kay Gibson, to serve in the Benefice of West Bessacarr, St Francis

I live in Doncaster with my husband, Martin and youngest daughter Ruby, her older siblings having all reached adulthood and flown the nest. We have a rescue dog Toby and love caravanning, spending time in God’s wonderful creation. I have had the privilege of serving God as the Head of a Church of England School for many years and most recently overseeing the education of children in care in Barnsley. Alongside this I have served as a Reader for 10 years in my local church.

 I retired in 2022, as I thought … but God had other ideas and called me to the adventure of ordination in this new season of my life. I am excited to follow this call, to share the good news of Jesus’ redeeming love, and to work with others in God’s harvest field   seeking to make a real difference to those in need.

James Ashley Gould, to serve in the Benefices of Bramley, St Francis and Thrybergh, St Leonard

After spending most of my childhood in Rugby, in Coventry Diocese, I moved to Sheffield for University. During those three years in Sheffield, I completed a degree in Biblical Studies, met the woman who would become my wife, and found the city had become home. To say I loved my time at University would be an understatement, it was an incredible time of learning and growing.

Following my degree my wife and I lived in Leicester for 11 years, where I trained and worked as a primary school teacher, before the opportunity to return to Sheffield arose. During ordination training, I have been on placement at St John’s Owlerton, and completed an MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission with St Hild College.

Our family have lived in Stocksbridge for four years and are excited to see what God has in store for us as we move to Rotherham. We have two Children, aged 3 and 7. I love sports, reading, questions, and the outdoors.

Elizabeth Mary Ilsley, to serve in the Benefices of Rotherham, All Saints (Minster) and Masbrough, St Paul

I grew up in Herefordshire and Jon, my husband, is from near Margate in Kent. We met at university in London in the 1990s. I’ve worked as a community Speech and Language Therapist in and around Rotherham since we moved to Sheffield eighteen years ago, and I am looking forward to continuing to serve in Rotherham for my curacy. We have two teenage children, William and Rose.  We love getting out into the Peak district, spending time in the West of Ireland, and listening to live music. I’m happiest reading a good book, pottering in the garden, and bringing people together with food.

David Victor Johnson, to serve as Assistant Curate of the Benefice of Thurcroft, St Simon and St Jude; and Assistant Curate of the Benefice of Dinnington, St Leonard

Hello, my name is Dave, I am married to Kate and God has blessed us with two fabulous teenagers Thomas and Hannah. We have lived in Rotherham for 17 years, so I guess we now call it home. We worship at St Leonards, Dinnington and St Simon and St Jude’s Thurcroft and I feel blessed that I will serve as an assistant curate in these communities. We started to attend St Leonard’s 24 years ago. We intended that this would be our church just for Advent, until we found something more suitable, the warmth of the welcome has kept us there ever since.  I am a registered social worker and currently work as an academic at the University of Lincoln where I have a leadership role within the College of Health and Science. Life is wonderfully busy, but we have an allotment that offers peace and tranquillity and I’ve discovered a real talent for growing thistles and dandelions.

Katharine Anne Lonsborough, to serve in the Benefice of Sheffield, Wordsworth Avenue, St Paul

I was brought up in Doncaster in a Christian household and confirmed at 11. I still remember at confirmation classes being told that being a Christian was not just about words but about action. I am now serving at St Paul’s in Parson Cross where I manage the foodbank. I am privileged to walk alongside those who are struggling and show them that Jesus loves them. I first heard the call to ordination in 2007. It was not the right time, and I enjoyed a career as an Insurance Underwriter and the to call to be salt and light in my workplace. God’s timing is now, following my retirement in 2023, I have been studying at St Hild and discerning ordination on the Caleb stream. This was not what I planned, but I am excited to discover God’s plan for me following ordination. I am married to Peter and enjoy reading, running and martial arts.

John Samuel Raj, to serve in the Benefice of Wadsley

John is a husband, father, and a disciple of Christ, captivated by Jesus’s love for him. His career spans over two decades with modest beginnings in sales and customer service to operations/finance management. His favourite leadership style is the servant-leadership model, thereby leading by serving, and demonstrating service to others with compassion and excellence.

John has an interest in many things, but recently he has been enthusiastic about planted-tanks and dabbles with gardening. He loves photography and videography, passions that allow him to explore the beauty of God’s common grace and share it with others. Loves physics and aviation. He also enjoys experimenting with different curry recipes and has been learning and fine-tuning the skill and art of making a decent curry.

John is grateful for his own experience of the redemptive Love of Christ, and his passion is to share that love with anyone God brings across his path.

Peter Benjamin Sewards, to serve in the Benefice of Chapeltown, St John the Baptist

I grew up in a Christian family in the midlands and moved to Sheffield for university. Some months into my studies some friends invited me along to church, where I experienced afresh the love of Christ through the welcome and care of his people. As I heard God’s word preached faithfully week after week, he was at work in my heart and I began to take following Jesus seriously. After graduating, I have worked in a warehouse and two tech companies, met my wife Iona and have been blessed with two lovely girls – Phoebe and Josie. I have recently completed three years training at Oak Hill College in London. I’m excited to be back up north, and look forward to all the many things the Lord has to teach me as I seek to serve the people of Chapeltown and High Green during my curacy.