Steve’s ordination story: Choosing a path of service

Published: Tuesday June 14, 2022

Stephen SavilleA Stroud teacher is one of the people who will be ordained deacon in a special service at Gloucester Cathedral on Sunday.

Steve Saville plans to continue teaching Religious Studies and Sociology part-time, alongside his new clergy role.

He grew up being taken to church and says that although he felt very comfortable in the familiar church setting, his faith didn’t run deep. When Steve was 24, an experience in Bolivia was a defining moment in his faith journey.

“When I left university, I got stuck into working with the homeless in London and wanted to try to make a difference in the world, but I was conscious that as a newly graduated student I didn’t have much to offer. I signed up for a mission trip to a Mennonite-run orphanage in Bolivia.

“Being presented with such a black and white view of religion, brought me to a crisis point in my faith. I think I had been approaching that point already, but this sped the process up. After that point, I didn’t go to church for about 15 years.”

Then Steve rediscovered the Taizé community in France. The Taizé Community is a monastic community of people from different faith traditions and countries.

He continued, “I’d first been to Taizé when I was 16 and went back a few times, including a week spent in silence there. At the age of 30, I realised we could still go as a family and found a new way of exploring faith, and enjoying a relationship with God in a new way. Every other year for 35 years now I have been back there. I love the conversation with people of different backgrounds, different ways of seeing faith and different communities and it’s what has kept me going. I continue to enjoy the style of worship, with the silence, the theology of welcome and reconciliation it prompts.”

Steve has been running Taizé services at his local church before ordination and doing a huge amount as a lay person to serve his worshipping community. We asked him how his call to ordination developed from his lay (non-ordained) ministry.

“I thought I would make more effort to following a Christian path. I wanted to commit to praying and worshipping within a community of faith. My journey to ordination felt quite deliberate in some ways – once I was back within a church environment, I felt I could perhaps serve the community and church congregations in a different way. It was about paths being opened, asking the community how they felt about my calling and being encouraged and supported by them.”

Listen to Steve speaking on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on Sunday 12 June  (listen from 1 hour 50 into the show).

Steve will be ordained deacon on Sunday 19 June at 10.15 am in Gloucester Cathedral. He will serve in the Stroud Team Ministry.

On Saturday 18 June 2022 at 3 pm the following people will be ordained priests by the Bishop of Gloucester at Gloucester Cathedral.

Rachel BEERE Charlton Kings, Holy Apostles
Luke FALVEY Gloucester, St Catharine
Coral FRANCIS Minchinhampton with Box and Amberley
Gareth GRIFFITH South Cotswolds Team Ministry


Gloucester, Saint James and All Saints and Christ Church

On Sunday 19 June at 10.15 am the following people will be ordained deacons by the Bishop of Gloucester at Gloucester Cathedral.

Hannah ALLEN Bourton-on-the-Water with Clapton and the Rissingtons
Stephen BULLOCK Tetbury, Beverston, Long Newnton and Shipton Moyne
Catherine COOMBER Cam with Stinchcombe
Stefan DAVIES Cheltenham, St Mary with St Matthew and St Luke
Simon FELLOWS Cheltenham, Holy Trinity
Stephen SAVILLE The Stroud Team Ministry
Gillian TRAVERSE Newnham with Awre and Blakeney
Kim TRINDER Bisley, Chalford, France Lynch and Oakridge and Bussage with Eastcombe

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