AVON Valley Churches has welcomed a new addition to its team.

Curate, Reverend Tom Burden, says he is keen to help minister to the congregations and communities surrounding the seven churches in the parish.

Hailing from the Isle of Wight, Tom was a teacher and headmaster, most recently at The Pilgrims’ in Winchester, the choir school of our Cathedral, before following his calling to Ordination.

He said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve everyone in the parish of the Avon Valley Churches. My hope is to help people engage with God’s love, grace and mission, and to learn from everyone here. It has been a great blessing already to meet so many kind and generous people.”

There was a socially distanced full house on July 4 at St Mary’s Church in Fordingbridge for the Ordination of two new Deacons, including the Revd Tom Burden of Avon Valley Churches as well as Revd Nived Lobo of Highfield Church Portswood in Southampton, by The Right Reverend Geoff Annas, Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Winchester.

Director of Ministry, the Reverend Canon Dr Mark Collinson, presented each Ordinand to the Bishop, and Vice Principal and Dean of Licensed Ministry Training, the Reverend Marcus Throup, responded to the Bishop’s questions on their behalf.

Priest-in-Charge of Highfield, Reverend Mike Archer, gave a sermon on humility and Chris Sinclair, Mary Melbourne LLW and Ruth Crosland LLM gave the readings and led the Litany.

A six-strong choir led by Hazel Ricketts, with Tim Ruffer playing the organ, accompanied the service.

The congregation processed outside at the end of the service so that the final hymn could be sung by everyone.

Those who missed the service can watch it online at https://fb.watch/v/acKoJ21hm/

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