CAPTION: The Bishop of Crediton with five new priests and others outside St Michael's Church in Teignmouth

Devon’s Newest Priests Celebrate their Ordinations

Posted: 26th September, 2023

Fourteen new priests have been ordained at churches across Devon.

The Bishop of Crediton, the Rt. Rev’d Jackie Searle, ordained Rev’d Hazel Britton, Rev’d Elizabeth Burren, Rev’d Adrian Butland, Rev’d Daniel Miles and Rev’d Michelle Mounoury in a service at St Michael’s Church in Teignmouth. They all serve in Exeter Archdeaconry.

Bishop Jackie also ordained Rev’d Francesca Allison and Rev’d Robin Smith in a service at Holy Trinity in Ilfracombe. They both serve at parishes in Barnstaple Archdeaconry.

Rev’d Frances French and Rev’d Joanne Taylor were ordained as priests by the Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt. Rev’d James Grier, at St Mary and All Saints Church, Plymstock. They are based in Plymouth Archdeaconry, as are Rev’d Gill George, Rev’d Philip Parker. They were ordained by Bishop James at All Saints Church, Okehampton. Rev’d Pete Norris, from Bay Church in Paignton was also ordained there.

Robin Smith and Fran Allison were ordained as priests in North Devon

New Priests are “a gift” to the Church of England

Rev’d Ruth Beckett and Rev’d Clare Reynolds were ordained by Bishop James at St Paul’s Church in Paignton. Along with Pete Norris, they serve in Totnes Archdeaconry.

Bishop James said “What a fantastic weekend, with my first three ordination of priests services! The services each had similarities and difference and were a wonderful expression of the diversity of churches across the Diocese.

The best thing about the weekend was the 14 brilliant priests Bishop Jackie and I had the honour of ordaining. What a gift to the Church of England, each and every one!”

The new priests are already serving as curates in parishes across the county after they were ordained as deacons at Exeter Cathedral a year ago.

As priests they are now permitted to officiate at Communion services and to carry out baptisms and weddings.

Commenting afterwards, Rev’d Mounoury said “The church was packed and the service was an overwhelming, spirit-filled and calm experience.

Bishop James with some of the new priests in Okehampton

“It felt joyful, prayerful and full of love. I have a real sense that I was there with God’s help. I feel like I have stepped into the person God created me to be.”

Sarah said her first experience of officiating at a Communion service the day after her ordination was also very special.

Rev’d Hazel Britton said “Being ordained as Priest was a wonderful experience.

“I was very clear in my own mind that this was what I was meant to be doing and indeed what my whole Christian life was about, my identity, my calling and my purpose. It was a joyful occasion and I was delighted to be surrounded by friends, family and fellow clergy and to be recognised in this way.

“In particular, as a woman, it means the world, after approaching 50 years in Christian Ministry, to be affirmed as a Priest.

“I look forward with eager expectation for the things that God has ‘planned in advance for me to do’ for ‘such a time as this.’

You can find out about training for ordained ministry here.