On this joyous occasion we gathered to worship together and to support those taking an important step in their Christian discipleship.
The bishop's prayer for those being confirmed:
Almighty and ever-living God,
you have given these your servants new birth
in baptism by water and the Spirit,
and have forgiven them all their sins.
Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them:
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding;
the Spirit of counsel and inward strength;
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness;
and let their delight be in the fear of the Lord.
New Dean of Licensed Ministry Training
Revd Dr Amy Roche is the new Dean of Licensed Ministry Training at the Winchester School of Mission, following the departure of Revd Dr Marcus Throup to St Mellitus College. She takes responsibility for the forty-two students currently training for licensed lay, ordained, and preaching ministry.
The training is one of four delivery centres of the South Central Theological Educational Institution, which recently passed its own exams with flying colours. The external examiner concluded his annual examination of the programmes offered saying, ‘You provide an excellent education for your students which is the equal of any other provider of theological education.’ The school offers ‘intellectual challenge with nurture and support.’
Amy is a practical theologian, drawing her own doctoral studies at the University of Durham from her experiences of nurturing a new congregation in France and serving the needs of women and refugees in Beirut. She currently volunteers as a minister in rural parishes in Whitchurch Deanery, and her passion is to see others flourish and be equipped in their Christian life and vocation.
Amy is married to Revd David Roche, our Priest in Charge, and they have 5 children (two grown-up).
Congratulations to Amy Roche and Nicky Smallwood, two of our parishioners, who on 4 October 2020 were ordained deacons at a service in Winchester Cathedral by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Dr Tim Dakin.
The ordination of new members of clergy usually takes place over the summer but was delayed this year due to coronavirus. The ordinands have continued to support their local communities during this period - one returned to his previous role as an NHS doctor to assist health workers dealing with the first wave of the pandemic.
The ordination service looked very different to previous years. In accordance with the current public health guidance numbers were restricted, face coverings were worn, and the new clergy and visitors were required to follow a one-way system within the Cathedral.
(Words and photos extracted from the Diocese website.
Amy had previously been working as a Mission Partner with the Church Mission Society for around 12 years, including seven years in France and four years in Beirut, Lebanon before moving to Whitchurch in 2018. Amy has felt her call to serve God since childhood and says that ordination has felt like a natural progression for her.
Amy said: “I feel very at home in Winchester because here, the whole vision of Church and Mission are integral to one another.”
Over the last eight years, Amy has completed her master’s degree in Mission and the Bible, and her Doctorate in Theology and Ministry.
Amy currently works for the Diocese of Winchester in the School of Mission as Coordinator for Licensed Ministry Training.
Amy will serve the Benefice of Overton and Laverstoke with Freefolk, and the Benefice of North Waltham and Steventon and Ashe and Deane.
Whitchurch resident Nicky previously worked as a vet. Her first job, whilst still a final year vet student, was working for M.A.F.F. during the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001. She later went on to work in a small animal practice before taking a career break for her young family.
A few years after returning to part-time veterinary work, Nicky started volunteering for The Waterfall – a Christian charity, based in Southampton, which supports women through recovery from addictions.
Nicky said: “Through my experiences, I found that God showed me the importance of coming alongside people during dark and difficult times. I worked with the most amazing and wonderful women and know that my time at Waterfall helped steer me towards ministry.”
Nicky currently works as a part-time Anna Chaplain, offering spiritual support to older people and looks forward to getting started with her part-time curacy with us in the parishes of Whitchurch with Tufton with Litchfield.