Four women and three men will be ordained priest by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, at a service in York Minster at 10.00am on Sunday 27th May 2018.

All were ordained Deacon a year ago, and have served for a year as Assistant Curates (continuing their training in service) in parishes within the Diocese of York, from the Tees to the Humber and from the A1 to the Yorkshire Coast.

As Deacons they have shared in leading worship, preaching and pastoral duties. As priests they will preside at Holy Communion and conduct weddings and baptisms.

  • The Revd Simon Biddlestone (Tadcaster, Church Fenton, Kirkby Wharfe and Newton Kyme). Simon is 40 and married to Kate with five children; he is a former primary headteacher who trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Durham.
  • The Revd Jenni Foreman (St Nicholas, Hull). Jenni is 28 and married to Jamie; she is a former social worker who trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Durham.
  • The Revd Toby Gibbons (St Chad’s, York). Toby is 29 and married to Ruthi; he has worked as a sous chef and a librarian and trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Durham.
  • The Revd Carmel Gittens (Alne & Brafferton with Pilmoor, Myton on Swale and Thormanby). Carmel is 60 and married to Billy with three children, four stepchildren and eight grandchildren; she lectured in Psychology before working for a mental health charity and worked full-time in the church as a Reader for four years before her ordination.
  • The Revd Ben Gunter (Norton on Derwent). Ben is 52 and married with two daughters; he is a former teacher and trained for ordination in Durham.
  • The Revd Fiona Robinson (Sutton Park St Andrew and Wawne St Peter, Hull). Fiona is 49 and married to Graham with four children; she had already worked as a lay Prison Chaplain for six years before ordination and is continuing this alongside her parish ministry.
  • The Revd Claire Todd (Marton in Cleveland). Claire is 51 and has two grown-up children and a grandson; she is a former Senior Children and Families Counsellor working with the Education Psychology service of local government, and trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

The Archbishop of York said, “Ordination is a joyful occasion – and marks a new chapter in the lives of those following their call to serve others in ministry as priests. We are each called by God to serve Him wherever we find ourselves. Please join me in my prayers as we continue to support Simon, Jenni, Toby, Carmel, Ben, Fiona and Claire. May God be with them on their journeys.”