Meet those who have answered the call

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Say hello to the newest members of the church on the Fylde coast.

They are among 18 deacons and priests to be ordained across Lancashire.

Scenes from the ordination

Scenes from the ordination

A teaching assistant, school chaplain, medical statistician, construction worker and policewoman are just some of the former jobs carried out by the new recruits being to be welcomed by the Church of England.

This year, the county saw its intake rise by 20 per cent as the church reports growing interest from people looking to join the clergy.

Diocesan bishop Rt Rev Julian Henderson, who ordained the 12 deacons in the group, said: “I am delighted to see the number of candidates locally has risen this year in common with the rest of The Church of England.

“The church has discerned this was God’s calling for these men and women and it was a great privilege to be able to ordain them.

“We now look forward to seeing God’s plan for their ministry being worked out at parish level to continue to make our Diocesan vision of ‘Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’ a reality.”

The six priests were ordained separately by the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Geoff Pearson, who has since retired.

Hannah Boyd, 36, who will serve at St Mark’s Layton and St Luke’s Staining, said: “I want the church to be a place where all are welcomed and accepted and where together people learn and discover what it means to follow Jesus.”

And Sam Cheesman, 32, who is joining the ranks at All Saints, Anchorsholme, is looking forward to working in his first parish.

He said: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone in the parishes across our Diocese could say that they know someone who has been changed by the transforming power of God?”

Who are the new recruits?

Deacons:

Samuel Cheesman, from Lancaster – All Saints, Anchorsholme; Aiden Edwards, from Norwich – St Annes Parish Church; Thomas Woolford, from Padiham – All Hallows , Bispham

Priests:

Hannah Boyd, from Middlesbrough – St Mark’s, Layton, and St Luke’s, Staining; Fiona Haines, from Freckleton – St Paul’s, Warton