PARISHES across the area are welcoming new clergy following ordinations at Salisbury and Winchester.
Salisbury Cathedral saw the ordination of 11 priests and 11 deacons from across Dorset and Wiltshire, while Winchester saw 11 people become deacons.
They are among 488 deacons and 474 priests being ordained across the Church of England this summer.
Among the new priests at Salisbury were a married couple from North Dorset, Richard and Ruth Wyld. They have just completed the first year of ordained ministry as deacons – Ricahrd in Sherborne and Ruth in the Queen Thorne Benefice, which covers six small villages outside the town.
Ruth said: “Curacy is exciting. I’ve learned more and been challenged more this year than the previous three decades.
“Life as a two-clergy couple isn’t as crazy as I thought it would be. We get to have lunch and dinner together most days.”
The ordination took place 20 years after Ruth’s mother, the Rev Sarah Chapman, became one of the first ordained women priests in the Church of England.
Other local people ordained as priests in the presence of the bishops of Salisbury, Ramsbury and Sherborne were: Ben Dyson of Wimborne St John; Belinda Marfitt of Wimborne Minster; Stephen Partridge of Canford Magna and Mark Phillips of Portland team ministry.
Those ordained as deacons were: Linda Carter of Broadstone; Tess Fuhri of Heatherlands St John in Poole; Chris Harwood of Poole St James with St Paul and Poole Missional Community; Mark Hay of Longfleet and Alison Whiting of Dorchester.
Winchester Cathedral’s service saw seven men and four women ordained as deacons by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Tim Dakin.
Those from the local area were: Lerys Campbell of Ringwood; Nicky Davies of Fordingbridge & Breamore & Hale with the Charfords; Jo Mulliner of Lymington and Rachel Noel of Fordingbridge & Breamore & Hale with the Charfords.
The Right Rev Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester, said: “Deacons take on a particular responsibility to serve the community and reach out to those in need and play an important part in proclaiming the Gospel to the community.”