New vicars in the Cowfold, Horsham and Slaugham parishes were among 18 ordained at ceremonies across the Diocese of Chichester last week.
The Bishop of Lewes Rt Rev Richard Jackson attended St Mary’s Church in Horsham in one of three ordination services formally starting their public ministry in the Church of England.
Rev Martin Mills will serve in Bolney and Cowfold, Rev Jimmy Young starts as a curate at St Mary’s Horsham and Rev Chris Sutton will be at St Mary’s Slaugham and St Mark’s Staplefield.
Jimmy spent ten years as a full-time youth worker before training for ordained ministry. Sharing at last Wednesday’s ceremony he said the call to ordination was nothing less than ‘a call to exercise the passion that is in his heart to love people and God as fully as he can’.
Resident of Horsham for 50 years, Martin is passionate about the persecuted church, travel and photography. He said: “I am beginning to get the hang of Sussex life. I recently retired from an insurance career to act as carer for my elderly father, Geoff.
“In my teens I drifted away from the church but was brought back to faith in my thirties by the sudden death of a friend. Since then, God has been healing and steadily equipping me for service in the church, not least through the ministry of several dedicated clergy and a loving church family.”
Husband and father of three Chris said: “I am excited about this change but keenly aware that I have much still to learn. My own calling to ordained ministry came initially through encouragement from my vicar and then other mature Christians at All Saints Lindfield where our family has worshipped for nearly 20 years.”