Ordinations 2019

Published: Tuesday June 11, 2019


Cassocks at the ready: on the weekend of the June 29/30, we will be celebrating our Ordinations: two days of inspiring, joyous celebrations at Gloucester Cathedral.

  • June 29, 3pm: Ordination of Priests

  • June 30, 10:15am: Ordination of Deacons

To be Priested:

Rosie AMESS Cheltenham, Holy Trinity and St Paul


Ashleworth, Corse, Hartpury, Hasfield, Maisemore, Staunton and Tirley, known as ‘West of Severn Benefice’
Sebastian HAMILTON


Tewkesbury with Walton Cardiff and Twyning
Joe KNIGHT Newnham with Awre and Blakeney
Rachel MURRAY The Winchcombe Team Ministry
Jane WOOD Dursley, Uley, Nympsfield and Owlpen, commonly known as The Ewelme Benefice

A little about our new Deacons:

Adrian Beere

Adrian is 49 years old, married to Rachel, they have eight children. He worked in the medical and pharmaceutical industry for 20 years before moving into ministry with the homeless and vulnerable. Rachel works as a chaplain for the University of Gloucestershire. Adrian grew up in Hertfordshire before embarking on his business career which saw him working overseas and living in London and the Cotswolds. His call to ordained ministry began whilst leading a ministry to the homeless and vulnerable which ministered to 250 people every week, and included food provisions, housing assistance, a food bank, clothes bank and street pastors. He decided to train at St Mellitus College in London and completed a BA (Hons) in Theology, Mission and Ministry, he was particularly inspired by the generous orthodoxy of their training and by their mixed mode model which saw him on placement in a church context throughout his time there. For ‘relaxation’ he enjoys wild camping and exploring mountains in wales and Scotland.


Tom Cook

I grew up in an industrial, working class area in Reading with my mother, older brother and late step-father. I didn’t attend church very often as a child but came to faith as a fourteen-year-old in an independent Pentecostal church. At the age of 22, I got married to my best friend Debbie and we now have two young children. Despite struggling at school with then undiagnosed dyslexia and dyspraxia I went on to complete a degree in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. During the final year of my degree I suffered from a life-threatening illness that put me into intensive care. Following my recovery and graduation, I worked for a youth charity called The Rock which helped young people at risk of exclusion from school and those attending the local Pupil Referral Unit. Whilst exploring the call to ordained ministry, I was employed as a Community and Pastoral Worker in Gloucester where I was able to be involved in some exciting forms of mission; from pioneering a young adults group called Relentless to helping organise Cathedral Skate in Gloucester Cathedral. Following selection to train, I went to Trinity College Bristol where I studied for my MA in Mission and Ministry. I am especially passionate about reaching out to those who have been marginalised by the church or society and look forward to beginning my ordained ministry in West Cheltenham.


Jim Edie

Jim will be moving from Bristol, where he has been studying at Trinity College, to take up his curacy in the Benefice of Lower Quinton with Admington, Welford-on-Avon, Weston-on-Avon and Marston Sicca, right in the north of the Diocese.  Joining him will be his wife Becca and their three children Elizabeth (7), Nelly (5) and Samuel (2). Becca was a Geography teacher at the Cotswold School in Bourton on the Water before moving to Bristol in August 2017. They are both looking forward to immersing themselves and living out the good news in their new community.  As a family they love getting outside for walks and bike rides along with eating Jim’s curries! Jim’s background is in the Christian charity sector and over the years has been involved in working in development overseas, fundraising, with young people, and more recently in community development in Cheltenham. He notes the privilege of being involved in God’s work both in the UK and abroad over the years, work that now continues in the form of ordained ministry.


Yvette Grundy

Yvette is 54 years old and married to Ian. Their two children are now in their twenties and, although regular visitors, have both moved out of the family home. Yvette grew up in Lancashire and studied for her teaching degree at Westhill College, Birmingham. Yvette works as a part-time teacher at Frank Wise School, Banbury, a special school for children with severe learning disabilities. For relaxation Yvette enjoys gardening, cake making and sewing. After over 10 years as a Lay Reader in her local benefice, Yvette has spent the last two years studying part-time for a Graduate Diploma at CGH (previously known as the West of England Ministerial Training College). Following her ordination in June, Yvette will remain in the South Warks Benefice as a curate where she will take up her new role as deacon.


Heather de Gruyther

Heather is 39 years old, married to John with two children (Evie (15) and Samuel (9)) and used to run her own business designing and making silver jewellery. John works for Victim Support as a volunteer manager and is the local lead for their work with children and young people as well as occasional work as a freelance writer. Heather grew up in Stroud and studied History at the University of Gloucestershire. She has been actively involved in her local church since the birth of her daughter, leading Sunday School and more recently the Junior Choir as well as being part of the ministry team during her ordination training with Cuddesdon – Gloucester and Hereford. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking, gardening, music and drawing.


Andrew Hill

Andrew (48) is married to Louise, who is a Deputy Sister on a Children’s ward. They have a son, James (20), who is a mechanical engineering apprentice. Andrew has been a buyer for several engineering companies over the years and now works for Spirax-Sarco Ltd in Cheltenham where he will continue working full-time during curacy.

He is originally from Standish, near Wigan in Lancashire, where he sang in the church choir from the age of 7, the family moved to Lichfield when he was 11 and he continued singing in a church choir until the age 18. Confirmed at 14 and going to a Billy Graham event at Aston Villa in those years was formative, as was singing in church twice every Sunday. In a period away from church, but walking the hills every Sunday instead, Andrew met Louise in the mountaineering club at University in Pontypridd, South Wales. They moved to Caerphilly in 1996, where James was born two years later,  moving 10 years later to Cam in Gloucestershire in 2006 with Andrew’s work, which initiated a return to church, with James joining the church choir and Andrew following the year after.

In church, Andrew became part of a house group, the PCC and Deanery Synod, following a desire to serve. In 2010 he was called by the PCC to join the Local Ministry Team and it was later that year, at a vocations day in Tewkesbury, when he first felt called by God to Priesthood. Since then, he has grown in faith, discerning and affirming his vocation to ministry along the way. He started training for Reader Ministry in 2016 but quickly knew that the calling was to Ordination. He attended a Bishop’s Advisory Panel in 2017, and was recommended to be trained as a Self-Supporting Minister in his home benefice. He has trained part-time while continuing work, on a regional training pathway in Gloucester, affiliated to Cuddesdon Theological College in Oxford and verified by Durham University.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys walking Ollie the dog (almost 9), hill-walking, photography, creative writing and still sings the occasional note when he can. As part of formation, he joined a Clown school for three days in 2018, and is still discerning whether there may be a future in comedy…


Sonya NewtonSonya Newton

Sonya is 44 years old; she is married to Richard and mum to Alia 19, Jeshurun, 9, Josiah 7 and Jedidiah aged 6. She is also step mother to adult children Zoe and Joel. She was born in Manchester but most of her formative years were spent in Essex and East London. Her working history has been varied from curtain machinist when first leaving school to, Mental Health worker, Self-employed Gardener and several other jobs in between. She is a very creative person and loves all kinds of crafts and creative activities. She first felt the call to Ordained ministry at the age of 14. When talking to her Vicar, he told her ‘women don’t do that’. She responded, ‘fair enough I’ll be a Nun or Missionary then!’. After a time away from church in her late teens and early 20’s, she started attending the nearest church to the estate she was living on with her daughter. She discovered gifts for explaining faith to those around her and soon grew a women’s group on the estate and a Sunday school in the church. Again, feeling nudged to explore ordination she struggled with becoming a ‘Vicar’ and felt that she would be taken away from those people in the community that she was called to. Whilst looking at her gifts she studied contextual theology with the United Reformed Church and began to work as an Evangelist and mentored other Evangelists within the ministry. After meeting her husband and having her first son the nudging came back again. At this time the family were moving to Gloucester for Richard to attend Redcliffe college. The family started attending St Catharine’s Church and soon the younger children started attending the nursery and school in Kingsholm. Over the next few years Sonya built relationships and developed a fresh expression in Kingsholm. During the discernment process she discovered the Pioneer and the Priestly ministry that she is called to, finally the image of a clerical collar that she had at 14 years old made sense. Sonya studied in a contextual training route at Trinity college Bristol in placement at St Oswald’s Coney Hill where she will also serve her curacy.


Sue Pestell

Sue is sixty-three, married to Rob, a Chaplain at the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice and they have three children, Jonathan married to Zoë, Andrew married to Vikki, and James; and three grandchildren. Sue grew up in London and trained as a Primary School teacher in Hull. She began her teaching career in London for nine years before a spell at home with the children. She then resumed her teaching career, until she became involved in local community projects, collaborating with local people to build community and confidence. She has also been a school governor. Sue trained on the Cuddesdon: Gloucester and Hereford regional course. She feels strongly that the church can be involved in bringing about a better understanding between rich and poor, or indeed where there is any kind of divide. She also loves opening scripture with young people and children and learning from their refreshing outlook! Sue enjoys people, cooking for company, reading, and sudoku, and her grandchildren.


David Rees

Born in Mossley (Lancashire at the time but now part of Tameside in Greater Manchester), a small former cotton mill town nestling in the Pennines. Attended All Saints primary school and attended All Saints Church, Micklehurst. Went to Ashton –under-Lyne Grammar School and then studied for Membership of the Royal Society Chemistry via a sandwich course at North East London Polytechnic. On successfully completing this course worked in the Connaught Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone with VSO for two years. Returned to Study for an MSc in Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde. Joined the Forensic Science Service in 1974 and began working in the Bristol Laboratory. Transferred to the Cardiff Laboratory in 1976 when Christine (also a Forensic Scientist) and I decided to marry. We moved to St Briavels in 1979 when the Home Office opened a new laboratory in Chepstow.  I was married to Christine for 38 very happy years. Sadly, Christine died from cancer in 2014. I have two daughters Jennifer and Charlotte. Jennifer is married and has two daughters of her own. They live in Sheffield. Charlotte lives in Coventry.  All through my working life I have tried to be a faithful witness to the Gospel of Christ. I have worshipped in a variety of churches, always attending the church nearest to where I lived at the time. Since moving to St Briavels in 1979 I have worshipped regularly at the church there. I have played a part in the community of St Briavels as churchwarden, as a school Governor and as a Parish Councillor. I believe that by becoming an Ordained Local Minister I have finally responded to God’s calling and will, with His help, be able to play an important part in the spiritual and daily lives of the communities of St Briavels, Hewelsfield and Brockweir.


Please hold all these people in your prayers as they approach this special occasion.

Laying on of hands gloucester cathedral Helkias
Pictured: Ordination of Priests in 2018

What exactly is ordination?

  • Ordination is a church service that marks the beginning of a lifetime of service as a member of the clergy. Vicars are probably the most well-known type of clergy.
  • Those training to be ordained, are known as ordinands.
  • During an ordination service, ordinands make lifelong vows, which include promises to share the gospel and serve their communities.
  • A bishop will pray that the ordinands have the gifts to lead the Church in worship, pastoral care, and mission.

When do ordinations happen? 

  • Traditionally, most ordination services take place at the end of June, during Petertide.
  • Petertide is a feast day marking the martyrdom of Saint Peter, the fisherman, who as a disciple of Jesus was an instrumental figure in the early church.
  • Ordination services usually take place in cathedrals.

How does one become an ordinand?

  • Those being ordained would have felt called by God to serve as a deacon or priest. For some, this will have involved many years of praying before making the commitment to come forward.
  • Almost everyone being ordained as a deacon this summer, will have completed a training course at one of the theological education institutes (TEIs) based around the country.
  • Before entering a TEI, ordinands would have gone through a selection process, where candidates are tested on a range of topics, such as their understanding of the Church, their faith, their sense of vocation, leadership, and collaboration.
  • Training courses typically take two to three years. After the course, ordinands will normally receive either a bachelor’s degree or a diploma of higher education.
  • Tuition fees for ordinands are covered by the Church; the Church also pays a contribution towards ordinands’ living expenses.

What happens to the ordinands after ordination?

  • Newly ordained clergy begin their ministerial life as deacons. The first jobs they do are called curacies (they are known as curates).
  • After a year, most deacons are ordained again as a priest. Although some choose to remain as deacons throughout their ministry.

See also:

Photos from our 2018 events →

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