The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, will ordain 16 women and men as deacons to serve in parishes across Sussex at a special service on Saturday, June 27.
James Isaacs is one of the 16 and will become a deacon at Hailsham Parish Church.
Deacons assist priests in parishes, usually for a year, before going on to be ordained as priest. They assist in leading worship, offering pastoral care and gain valuable experience of preaching.
In his biography, Mr Isaacs said: “I am married to Monica, who hails from Brazil, and we have a ten-month-old daughter, Rebecca. Monica worked for the charity Tear Fund before Rebecca interrupted proceedings and loves a good Brazilian barbeque. Although we have lived in London for nearly a decade, I grew up in East Grinstead, so this will be a joyous return to Sussex for me.
“After becoming a Christian while studying geography at university in Exeter, I worked as a sports agent in London for a couple of years.
“I then worked at All Souls Church, Langham Place, before being sent to study theology at Oak Hill College, where we have been for the past three years.
“It is a privilege to be set aside for full-time gospel work and I am looking forward to getting stuck into parish life, as I look to get to know people well and help them grow in their walk with Jesus.”
Dr Warner said of the 16 new deacons: “We are praying for each of them and I know that each of the communities in which they will serve will warmly welcome them and their families at the start of their public ministries.”
Elsewhere, Sandra Bale will serve at Forest Row and Ashurst Wood, while Sean Gilbert will be Curate at Christ Church, St. Leonards-on-sea.
Sara-Jane Stevens will serve in the community of St Matthew’s, Worthing, and Adam Ransom will be Curate at St Philip’s, Eastbourne.
Mr Ransom, who has recently ended a training placement in a women’s prison as part of his preparation for ministry, insists the current generation of ministers will need to embrace modern communication methods if the Church of England is going to be able to connect with young people.
He also talks about the importance of social media, which provides a forum for young people to talk with and to each other. To watch his interview, visit the Diocesan website at www.chichester.anglican.org.
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