A churchgoer in Gosport was ordained a deacon on Saturday – more than two decades after he first sensed God’s call.
Chris Richardson, 42, is a father-of-two who was worshipping at St Jude’s Church in Southsea, but he has moved to Gosport ahead of starting work as curate of St Mary’s, St Faith’s and St Francis churches, in Alverstoke.
It will be a huge privilege to have the time to serve GodChris Richardson
He first sensed God’s call 20 years ago when working for a church in Manchester as part of a gap year.
He trained as a teacher and worked in primary schools in Portchester and Southsea but he kept feeling God’s call to the ordained ministry.
He said: ‘The year I spent in Manchester was formational, because I was doing visiting and listening to people’s stories all the time.
‘I discovered that most of the time people weren’t actually looking for help – they just wanted someone to be there for them.
‘It will be a huge privilege to have the time to serve God. I enjoy the pastoral side and sharing other people’s journeys, although I know that can be hard as well.
‘I love sharing God’s Word and seeing how it applies to people’s lives.’
Portsmouth Cathedral was the venue for a host of ordinations on Saturday, each with their own story to tell.
Chris was one of four ordained deacons, which means you are called ‘the Reverend’, can wear a collar, preach and lead services.
Another four people were ordained as priests, which means they’ll be able to lead Holy Communion and wedding services as well.
- Among those who were ordained deacon: Stephen Dent (to serve at St Faith’s, Lee-on-the-Solent), Kate Marlow (to serve at St Cuthbert’s Church, Copnor), Darcy Chesterfield-Terry (to serve at St Mary’s, Fratton) and Amy Webb (to serve at All Saints, Botley, St Peter’s, Curdridge, and Holy Cross, Durley).
- Among those who were ordained priest: the Rev Jane Isaac (already serving at All Saints & St Michael’s Churches, Ryde), the Rev Barbara O’Sullivan (already serving at St Mary’s, Fratton), the Rev Garry Roberts (already serving at Holy Trinity & St Columba, Fareham), and the Rev Mark Williams (already serving at St Mary’s, Portchester).
The Rev Luke O’Maoil Mheana (already serving at St Michael’s, Paulsgrove) was due to be ordained priest at St Michael’s Church last night.