Monday, 6 October 2008

New Priests for Milton Keynes

On the evening of Sunday 5th October David Bell and Liz Baker were ordained priest at All Saints' High Wycombe. Bishop Alan led the service and his chaplain, Rosie Harper, preached, comparing ordination to the experience of opening a big pot of Marmite, only to be drenched in beetroot juice - a true story apparently.

Dave Bell: I originate from Liverpool but spent most of my earlier years in Cardiff. After a few years in Weston-Super-Mare I went to Bishop Otter College in Chichester where I trained as a PE teacher. I taught in various schools in the South East as Head of PE and Games and teacher of Geography. After selection I trained on the Oxford Ministry Course and enjoyed placements at Woodhill Prison and St Mary and St Giles in Stony Stratford.

I am now an NSM curate at St James Church, New Bradwell in Milton Keynes. I am married to Kath and have three children, Saskia (18), Lydia (16) and Tim (13). My full time job is that of a teacher at Chesham Prep School, who have been very supportive over my ministry during my three years of training and beyond.

I love sport and my son and I have season tickets for the MK Dons but I also like rugby, hockey and many other team games. I enjoy going to the gym and cycling.

St James is a great church to work in and I have been made very welcome there by the congregation and the local community. Chris Collinge is my incumbent and she has been a great source of energy and humour over this last year. I look forward to continuing my Curacy there and furthering my experience.

(Dave Bell was previously a member of St Mary's Shenley in the Watling Valley)

Liz Baker: I am serving my title in the Ecumenical Parish of Watling Valley where I work as a part time Assistant Curate. This is a parish with five churches with very different characters, expectations and congregations, and during the past year I have been working with all five, getting to know the people and the area. It has been a challenging and exciting year and I am looking forward to new responsibilities and challenges ahead.

I live at the Well Community where I work ad Director of the Well Project. 'The Well' (a work of the Society of the Sacred Mission (SSM) ) is and Ecumenical and Interfaith Community. Our name is taken from the story of Christ and the woman of Samaria and informs community life along with our five core values of Spirituality, Hospitality, Inclusivity, Peace and Justice and Sustainability. We offer retreats, an annual programme, a healing ministry, and we welcome guests and volunteers. We have a substantial Theological and Spiritual Library. Our focus 'creating community... making for encounter' emphasises bringing people together for hospitality, worship, support and to work for social justice. Life within the community, both stimulating and challenging, has enabled me to fulfil my calling to ministry.

I am married to Robin (who works part time as a Quaker Prison Chaplain at Woodhill) and we have 4 children, James 28, Iain 26, Catriona (Catie) 18 and Taran 17. We have lived in Milton Keynes since 1986 and have both been part of the Ecumenical movement and members of Milton Keynes Quaker Meeting for most of that time. We are both Associates of SSM.

My other interests include drama and movement, history and archaeology, writing and time permitting, long distance walking.

Please pray for Dave, Liz and all those ordained for ministry in our deanery, archdeaconry and diocese.

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