‘No escape’ from God’s request

- Advertisement -

The Right Rev Michael Scott-Joynt has also ordained the Rev Stuart Huntley as a priest in the Town Church.

The word ‘deacon’ means something slightly different according to one’s denomination.

Miss Le Couteur, who has been working as a lay minister in St Clement’s Parish, said: ‘All Church of England clergy are deacons. It is a calling from God, and a calling to serve Christ and to serve others through Christ. But before being ordained as a priest, deacons cannot preside at Communion, take marriages or baptisms.’

Mr Dryden, who works in the finance industry and is employed by Mourants as a non-executive director, added that in the Church of England becoming a deacon was usually (though not invariably) a year’s appointment at the start of a ministry.

He continued: ‘Every priest is still a deacon – even the Bishop of Winchester is still a deacon, and priests carry that part of their calling on with them as they go forward to the next stage.’

Both Miss Le Couteur and Mr Dryden are currently readers in their home parish of St Clement, and as deacons they will continue to be working there, assisting the Rector, the Rev David Shaw. They will both retain their jobs, Miss Le Couteur working in the church parish office and Mr Dryden in finance.

Mr Huntley, who was ordained a deacon in June last year, worked as a curate in St Lawrence when he and his family first arrived in the Island, and is now working as a curate in St Helier.

He grew up in Kent, and took a degree at Southampton University in electro-mechanical engineering. For the following 13 years he lived near Oxford, working both in England and abroad on electrical engineering projects, including designing robotic systems for the JET nuclear fusion reactor.

What made him change from being a design engineer to being a clergyman? ‘It was a very definite road to Damascus moment,’ he said. ‘I only had a nominal faith as a child, but when I first met my wife, Louise, I went to church with her, out of curiosity more than anything else. But the first time I did so, there was a sermon on the Holy Spirit. It just touched a nerve – and I realised that this was what I had been longing for and searching for, ten to 15 years earlier when I was still in my teens and looking for something – I knew not what.’

He continued to go the church, his new faith deepened and broadened, and then at one service the vicar’s wife was inspired to announce that ‘in the church there is a young man with a calling to the ministry’.

‘Among the 500 people in the church, I suddenly knew that was me,’ he said. ‘It hit home instantly, and from that point on I knew for a certainty that I was being called into ministry.’

He went through the Church of England training process, studied at Trinity Theological College in Bristol, ordained Deacon at Winchester Cathedral, and was ‘posted’ to Jersey.

He had never been to the Island before, but now loves living here. As an ordained priest, he expects to continue serving in the town parish for another three years.

‘I didn’t know I was going to Jersey to work,’ he said, ‘so heaven knows where I will be next!’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.