Ten new members of the clergy ordained at Winchester Cathedral
New deacons will serve parishes across Hampshire and East Dorset
1 July 2019: Ten men and women joined the Diocese of Winchester’s team of clergy on 30 June as they were ordained deacons at Winchester Cathedral by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin.
Three women and seven men, ranging in age from 24 to 56, have come to serve God from a variety of backgrounds, bringing with them a breadth of unique experiences. Between them, they have worked in a wide range of sectors, including medicine and the music industry. They have now responded to God’s call to serve their local communities as Christian leaders.
The Bishop of Winchester ordained the new deacons following two or three years of training. As servant-leaders, deacons take on the responsibility of serving their communities and reaching out to those in need. Deacons will usually be ordained to the priesthood the following year.
Right Reverend Tim Dakin said: “It is a great privilege to ordain those whom god has called to serve the world and the Church.The gifts that these individuals bring from their experiences in many walks of life will enrich the ministry they offer in their communities and make known the Christian faith in practical ways.”
One of the ten ordained, Nathan Leigh (29) moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to study at the Musicians Institute where he felt he could make an impact in the music industry. Nathan soon became a professional piano session player and joined the band ‘We are Twin’, which was managed by Randy Jackson from American Idol. However, playing in various bands and touring across the United States, Nathan explained, was far from the glamour that the American music industry appeared to offer. On the contrary, he experienced first-hand the exhausting and relentless nature of an industry that turns human talent and passion into commodities.
Nathan said: “Through my experience in the music industry God showed me two very different communities: the music industry; which was all take, and the Church, which was all about giving. Through the experience I started to discern a call to ministry.”
Devoting his life to the Church offered a strength and stability that was not possible as a professional musician. Leaving LA and the music industry after nearly four years, Nathan returned to the UK and soon after met his now wife Holly. They now have a daughter, Savannah, with another baby on the way. Nathan found that being part of a community of God’s people was crucial in his journey as a follower of Jesus. He believes that this was all part of God’s plan and it has led him to this point.
Nathan says: “I am grateful to the Diocese of Winchester for all the hard work and effort they have done since I started exploring my vocation. It’s incredibly exciting to be ordained into a very forward-thinking and visionary diocese. My hope is that I can serve my parish well and have an impact for Christ in Southampton.”