The Bishops of Whitby, Hull and Selby will ordain new Priests in services across the Diocese of York from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October.

Each was ordained Deacon last year in York Minster by Dr John Sentamu, then Archbishop of York; as Priests they will be able to carry out the full sacramental ministry of the church, including presiding at Holy Communion.

In the Archdeaconry of Cleveland, Bishop of Whitby the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson will ordain the Revd Bridget Gillespie at All Saints, Kirkbymoorside, where she serves as Assistant Curate, at 2.00pm on Saturday 17th October; the Revd Mark Walley at St Barnabas, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, where he serves as Assistant Curate, at 2.00pm on Sunday 18th October; and the Revd Laura Wild at St Mary the Virgin, Nunthorpe, where she serves as Assistant Curate, at 6.00pm on Sunday 18th October.

Bishop Paul said, "It will be a great privilege to ordain Bridget, Laura and Mark as priests in the Church of God this weekend.

"The different settings for their respective ministries — urban, suburban and rural — symbolise the wonderful variety of the Diocese of York, and that for me underlines the importance of our mutual support and our shared mission and life of prayer.

"Our new priests each bring their own individual character and abilities, and the richness of their life experience, to their priestly ministry of word, sacrament, pastoral care and evangelism.

"Together with the ordinations in the other archdeaconries, and the enthronement of the Archbishop happening at the same time, this will be a great and exciting time for the Diocese of York."

As a self-supporting minister Bridget Gillespie continues her work of teaching and painting botanical illustrations in addition to part-time contribution to local dementia care.

Becoming a Churchwarden in 2008, she went on to train as a Recognised Parish Assistant which in turn inspired her to study the Old and New Testaments with York School of Ministry, and in time to explore ordination.

“My calling probably began around the age of 11 but all I knew about women in ministry back then was the nuns from ‘The Sound of Music’!”, says Bridget.

Mark Walley worked in inner London doing mission among teenagers for a Christian community centre; ten years and an unexpected career change later, Mark was working for a charity seeking to get the church engaged in fostering and adoption.

“I really loved the job but at the prompting of church and friends I felt the call to explore ordination.”

“I’m excited to put into practice what God has been teaching me.”

Laura Wild began to discern a call to ordained ministry whilst a Lay Chaplain in a Church of England School: “God was nudging me to consider the needs of the world beyond the school gates!”

Laura is married to English Teacher John, with two energetic and engaging boys, and hence they are surrounded at home by bookcases, although at weekends they might have a cycle about together or a scramble up a hillside.

In the Archdeaconry of the East Riding, Bishop of Hull the Rt Revd Alison White will ordain the Revd Maxine Waller at Bridlington Priory, where she serves as Assistant Curate, at 7.30pm on Friday 16th October; the Revd Jo Parker at Holy Nativity, Eastfield, Scarborough, where she serves as Assistant Curate, at 4.00pm on Saturday 17th October; the Revd Tim Kelly at Beverley Minster, where he serves as Assistant Curate, at 3.00pm on Sunday 18th October; and the Revd Mel Meesam at St Cuthbert, Hull, where she serves as Assistant Curate, at 6.30pm on Sunday 18th October.

Bishop Alison said, "It is a great gift to be called to ordination and Jo, Tim and Mel are immense gifts to us all – full of life, experience, joy and love. They will bring blessing to all they serve."

Maxine Waller has worked as an activities coordinator with the elderly alongside her work as a dance teacher, which has taken her from family roots in Bridlington, where her Great Grandfather was a Methodist Lay Preacher, to as far afield as the Persian Gulf and Crete.

“Having experienced a broad variety of traditions in the Church of England, my calling to ministry has grown with a gradual ‘warming of the heart’. I have worked to develop new opportunities for mission through the arts and dance, have a passion to support and care for those on the margins and hope to encourage those beyond the Church to find ways into faith and a fellowship with Jesus”.

Joanne Parker was brought up in a Christian home in the fishing town of Filey; a working-class fisherman’s daughter and proud of it. She first felt called to ministry at the age of seven but rebelled as a teen.

“This sense of call has never gone away and amazingly God has opened every door to enable me to train for ordination.”

Jo is married to Rob, an itinerant worship leader, and they have four children.

“My family have been such an incredible support and we do ministry together; we come as a package.”

“I’m just a working-class lass from Yorkshire; what you see is what you get!”

Tim Kelly, originally from Derby, moved to York in 1994 to start his research career, working with industry on safety-critical computer systems (computers controlling trains and driving cars!).

Married to Charlotte with three boys, Tim enjoyed his career as an academic and Professor at the University of York, but is now full-time curate at Beverley Minster (and associated churches) with the Revd Jonathan Baker.

Tim became a committed Christian aged nine, first heard a whisper of God's call to ordination as a teenager, and it was during his time in voluntary youth work that he felt God call him to serve as an ordained minister.

“I’m excited to be part of the next steps in growing and shaping the Church of England: ‘For the sake of the world, burn like a fire in me.’”

Mel Meesam realised as a teenager that God was leading her towards ordination, and she began her exploration in her twenties.

She studied theology at St Andrew's University and enjoyed training for ordination at St Hild College, including placements in a parish and at Archbishop Sentamu Academy in Hull.

"As somebody who lives with disability, I have been stretched and challenged by the research I have done into theology and disability as part of my training."

In the Archdeaconry of York, Bishop of Selby the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson will ordain the Revd Nigel Benson at St Mary's, Haxby, where he serves as Assistant Curate, at 10.00am on Saturday 17th October; and the Revd Katharine McBride at St Mary's, Strensall, where she serves as Assistant Curate, at 2.00pm on Saturday 17th October.

Bishop John said, "I thank God for the gift of those to be ordained priest this weekend.

"It is heartening to see followers of Jesus responding to his call to serve him in this way today."

Nigel Benson brings experiences as a soldier, a police officer, a civil servant, a father and grandfather, and serves as a chaplain with 110 (City of York) Squadron RAF Air Cadets and at York Hospital.

His journey towards ordination began in about 2002 soon after he became a member of the congregation at St Mary’s, with encouragement from former Vicar Martyn Green; Nigel studied Theology and Ministry at York St John and served as Churchwarden at St Mary’s for five years.

Katharine McBride became a Christian at the age of 11 after a holiday club, and was fortunate to be in a church which encouraged her in discipleship and in leading music and children’s work.

After University, she was a secondary school English teacher, working at Fulford School, and after 11 years realised that she was being called to Christian ministry.

“I want to see the church grow in faith, in numbers and across generations.”

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