Exploring the Ordained Ministry of Distinctive Deacons

Our Distinctive Deacons add to the richness of ministry in the Diocese by their concern for those on the margins of Church and Society, and in reminding us of the one who came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  The Rt Revd Nick McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth

The Rev Phil Wales (on the left) at his ordination as a Distinctive Deacon by the Bishop of Exeter

The Rev Phil Wales (on the left) at his ordination as a Distinctive Deacon by the Bishop of Exeter

What is a Distinctive Deacon?
The Church of England recognises three orders of ordained ministry: bishop, priest and deacon. Those called to priesthood spend an initial period of time in ordained ministry as deacons before becoming priests. Others are called most strongly to remain as deacons. Distinctive Deacons in Exeter belong to the College of St Philip the Deacon. For an introduction to the College of St Philip the Deacon please click here.

In the video below Rev Karl Freeman and Rev Bev Cree from Emmanuel Church, Plymouth share what it means to be a Distinctive Deacon, and why the role is so important.

What does a Distinctive Deacon do? 

Distinctive Deacons have a strong call to an outward-looking and community-minded ministry. They prefer to be out and about, making contacts, building relationships, identifying and meeting needs, creating stepping-stones between God and the world. They often have a particular concern for issues of poverty and justice and many minister to those on the margins of church and society.

Does a Distinctive Deacon receive a salary?

A distinctive deacon is a self-supporting minister, and many deacons continue in secular employment.

Who do I contact to find out more about becoming a Distinctive Deacon?
If you would like to explore this vocation further, please email Rev Hannah Mears, Vocations Development Officer.  Deacons undertake the same selection process and training as those preparing for any type of ordained ministry. Please see Exploring Ordained Ministry page for more details.

Distinctive Deacons Toolkit

Please also see our Deacon Vocation leaflet and Tool Kit. The Tool Kit is a resource for distinctive deacons with contributions from deacon practitioners, focusing on practical aspects of diaconal ministry.  New tools are added from time to time.

Deacon’s Tool Kit

College of Deacons

Warden of Deacons:  Rev’d Phil Wales
Email Phil

Rev Deacon Beverley Cree
Assistant Curate in the Benefice of Plymouth Emmanuel, Saint Paul Efford, and Saint Augustine/Plymouth Emmanuel Mission Community

Rev Deacon David Rogers (PTO)
St Luke’s Church, Milber, Newton Abbot

Rev Deacon Gill Kimber
St Boniface and St John’s, Paignton

Rev Deacon Ildikó Varadi
St Paul’s Church, Barnstaple

Rev Deacon Julia Halpin
Two Rivers Mission Community

Rev Deacon Lynne Chitty (PTO) Member of Mill House Retreats Community
Mill House Retreats Devon, EX16 7ES Tel: 01884 829000

Rev Deacon Pat Brenton
Chaplain, Derriford Hospital, and benefice of Plympton St Mary with St Maurice

Rev Deacon Peter Burren
Haldon Mission Community with Shaldon Parish

Rev Deacon Rita Bullworthy
Sampford Courtenay, Whiddon Mission Community

Rev Deacon Sandra Collier
Assistant Curate in the Benefice of Crediton, Shobrooke and Sandford with Upton Hellions

If you would like an informal chat about being a deacon, email Phil Wales.

See also the Deacon blog.