In one of the most diverse groups in many years, candidates from IT specialists to a concert pianist, have been ordained for ministry in the Diocese of Sydney.
36 candidates were presented at St Andrew's Cathedral on Saturday, 4th February, to be ordained as deacons by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen.
From a range of ethnic and employment backgrounds, the 32 men and 4 women will go to positions in parishes, church plants and school and hospital chaplaincies.
Among the ordinands was Sri Lankan born Rev Priya Atputharaj, who ministers in a University and in the congregation of St John's Cathedral, Parramatta, of which a significant number come from the subcontinent. "It's been a special occasion" she said "and it's great to have family and friends here but in some ways it's a continuation of what we have already begun".
(Above: Rev Priya Atputharaj reads the Bible at the service)
Other ordinands included Rev Armen Nalbandian, who will minister at the Multicultural Bible Ministry at Rooty Hill, Rev Thayyil John at Figtree and Rev Joshua Guo at Cabramatta.
Archbishop Jensen says he's pleased that the ordination groups are starting to reflect 'New Sydney'. Dr Jensen told the Sun Herald after the service "To be Australian, we must have people from all sorts of backgrounds and we're beginning to get them and I was delighted to see people from those different backgrounds here today."
The candidates also came from different work backgrounds, including one area not seen before. Rev Bruce Pass trained as a concert pianist.
After the Conservatorium in Sydney, Mr Pass studied in Weimar, Germany but it was there that he first considered swapping the keyboard for the lectern. "Certainly my experience in Germany was instrumental in my decision (to go into ministry full-time). We saw immense needs in that country, which was surprising because you don't usually think of European countries as needy for the gospel, yet we also saw many conversions."
Mr Pass is heading up a church plant at Warrawee, a joint initiative of St Phillip's and St James', Turramurra.
He believes all the ordinands have made a significant commitment.
"We mustn't lose sight of the value of being an under-shepherd and we mustn't lose sight of the value of confessional, denominational ministry" he said.
(Above: Rev Bruce Pass being ordained by Archbishop Jensen)
Photo coverage: Ramon Williams, Worldwide Photos
The full list of those ordained is -
Benjamin Anthony Adamo - Blacktown
Stuart Ian Adamson - Anglicare Chap, Prince of Wales Hosp
Priyanthi Esther Atputharaj - Parramatta
Chun Pong Au Yeung - Crossway
Daniel Christopher Bidwell - Miranda
Claire Joanna Boyd - St Catherine's
James Robert Brooks - Emu Plains
Sarah Jing Yin Cheng - St Andrew's Cathedral
Andrew Michael Clemens - Lane Cove and Mowbray
Matthew Philip Davies - Avalon with Palm Beach
Nathan Luke Dean - Smithfield Road
Garry John Dibley - Panania
Mark Edward Earngey - Toongabbie
Andrew Ross Errington - Newtown with Erskineville
Adrian Graham Foxcroft - Naremburn/Cammeray
Stephen Michael Gardner - West Pymble
Joshua Sihua Guo - Cabramatta
Katrina Rae Haggar - Neutral Bay
Christopher Michael Holding - Rouse Hill
Thayyil John - Figtree
Daniel Nathan Lee - Rooty Hill
Samuel David Low - Chatswood
Anton Eduardo Marquez - St Ives
Craig Matthew McCorkindale - Glenhaven
David Norman Miers - Narrabeen
Armen Nalbandian - Rooty Hill
Christopher Stanley Nicholls - Beecroft
Gavin Robert Oram - South Creek
Christopher Joseph Overhall - Cranebrook with Castlereagh
Bruce Robertson Pass - Turramurra
Wayne Stephen Pickford - Evangelism & New Churches (Berkeley)
Nicholas David Russell - St Clement's Mosman
Samuel James Russell - CrossWay
Scott Gordon Taylor - Ryde
Elliot Michael Temple - South Carlton
Hung Kai Wong - West Pennant Hills