16 prepare to be presbyters
As 16 deacons in the Sydney Diocese prepare to be ordained as presbyters before the end of the month, two of the men "” including the curate-in-residence at St Paul's Riverstone, Simon Elliott "” already head up the parishes they will officially take charge of after November 28.
"The difference between me and some of my mates who are being ordained is that they're thinking about work they will be doing, or wondering where they will go, and I'm thinking about how I will continue onwards where I already am," Mr Elliott says.
"For me, this is really an affirming of the work I'm doing, and I guess it sets up the future: that this is where I'm going to stay for an indeterminate period; that this is where we want to be "” and where we think God wants us to be."
Another deacon already working as de facto minister of his church is Stephen Swanepoel who, once he is made presbyter, will become rector of the parish at Glenquarie.
Mark Charleston, from the diocese's Ministry Training & Development office, says the candidates are mostly "preparing for ministries as rectors of Sydney parishes in the foreseeable future". All 16, he adds, have been "carefully trained and assessed to ensure they have the godly character, biblical conviction and competencies required for such important leadership amongst the people of God".
Three of the men being ordained are heading to ministry work outside the diocese: Daniel Evers and Alex McCoy will work with John Menear at St Andrew's Kowloon, while Geoff Robson is going to Christchurch in New Zealand.
The full list of candidates is: Andrew Bruce, Jaime Dickson, Shane Dirks, Simon Elliott, Daniel Evers, James Lewis, Paul Lucas, Alex McCoy, Nigel Parker, Andrew Price, Dean Reilly, Geoff Robson, Baden Stace, Peter Stedman, Stephen Swanepoel and Antony Wright.
The ordination services will be held on November 28 at St John's, Parramatta, St Alban's, Lindfield and St Michael's, Wollongong.