1,000 #NewRevs: The future of the CofE is here
A thousand men and women are being ordained to minister in the Church of England this summer.
The ordinands include Alasdair Kay, a former French Foreign Legion para-commando who found faith in the army, and Christian Mitchell, who was previously a racecourse manager before feeling called to the ministry.
Kay will be keeping his feet on solid ground in his new posting as a curate in the Walbrook Epiphany Team Ministry in Normanton, in Derby Diocese.
Mitchell, who will be ordained deacon in Chichester Diocese, worked at Aintree Racecourse assisting two Grand Nationals before moving on to Newmarket Racecourses where he spent nine years as operations manager.
"I first felt a call to ordained ministry at school but it wasn't until my late thirties when I started going more regularly to the parish church in Forest Row that a strong sense of calling returned," he says.
"It has been a very rapid journey for me from my initial inquiry to ordination so it has been a steep learning curve.
"We are very excited to be returning to East Sussex and I am really looking forward to serving my title post in Uckfield."
The total numbers of those preparing to be ordained is 962, made up of 488 deacons, who have just completed their ministerial training, and 474 priests.
The Church of England and new ordinands will be tweeting about the ordinations using the hashtag #NewRevs.
The Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft, Chair of the Church of England's Ministry Council, said: "The ordination of nearly a thousand new deacons and priests in this season is a remarkable gift to both the Church and our nation.
"These deacons and priests will between them make an extraordinary contribution to the lives of communities across the land, in service, in leading God's people in worship and through inviting others to follow Christ.
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"It is a huge encouragement to see so many women and men in every age group responding to God's call to ordained ministry."
The ordinands come from all walks of life. In the Diocese of Durham, new deacons include 49-year-old police officer the Reverend Kevin Kitson, who will be curate of Durham North Team Ministry, and 36-year-old Reverend Bryony Taylor, who will take up a curacy at Houghton-Le-Spring.
Taylor says she has always enjoyed helping people to meet with God and learn about him, and she is especially enthusiastic about the opportunities to do that through social media.
"My last job was working as a social media consultant, helping people to use Facebook and Twitter for business," she says.
"I realised that I could evangelise really well for the use of social media and felt a 'nudge' from God that actually, if I can be that enthusiastic about social media - which is here today and gone tomorrow - how much more could I be used by Him in the church?
"I feel most myself when I am leading worship or just helping someone get that bit closer to Jesus and now I'm completely thrilled to have realised this call in ordination."
Actuary and former banking executive Chris Sutton is being ordained in the Diocese of Chichester and will be starting a curacy in St Mary's Slaugham and St Mark's Staplefield.
Sutton and Taylor speak more about their new roles in this video: