FOUR people from Rhyl, St Asaph, Denbigh and Colwyn Bay are among nine new priests to be ordained by the Bishop of St Asaph .

The group will be ordained on Saturday, October 3 - at St Asaph Cathedral - after the service was postponed from the end of June due to Coronavirus and the closure of all places of worship.

Ahead of the closed service the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, said: “I am very glad that we are able to proceed with ordinations to the priesthood even if we find ourselves under similar restrictions as earlier this year. I had been hoping for a more usual ordination service.

“Our nine priest candidates offer a range of gifts for the life of the church and we are very blessed as a community to be sharing in their ministry.”

New priests include:

Carol Anne Thomas, a teacher from Betws yn Rhos; reverend Sally Harper, a former senior lecturer in music at Bangor University and chaplain at St Asaph Cathedral; reverend Susan Storey, a former nurse and midwife who is based in the communities of Colwyn Bay and Bryn y Maen and reverend Chris Spencer, based in St Ann’s Church and St Thomas’ Church in Rhyl in the Aber-Morfa Mission Area.

Ms Thomas, who is part of the Expressive Arts Service in Conwy, offering African Drumming, Samba and Creative Composition workshops largely to primary schools, said: "I feel called to rural ministry and to use my teaching and music skills in the churches around Denbigh and surrounding area.”

Ms Harper said: "The delay to our priesting and the difficult months of lockdown have taught me even more about the privilege of serving a community as a deacon, and I really hope that this model will continue to underpin my new ministry as a priest at the deepest level.

"The recent need to close our churches has also made me much more aware of the gift of being able to meet together as God’s people in person, especially to share the Eucharist.

"I really look forward to celebrating this for the first time with close family and friends within and beyond our congregations, and to share together even more deeply in God’s blessing.”

Ms Storey said: “Getting ordained is both the end and a new beginning of my vocation and faith journeys.

"The current situation with Coronavirus makes everything seen so unsure. I hope that God will reveal what he wants from my calling and that, in his strength, I will be capable and able to carry it out.”

Mr Spencer said: “For me, being ordained comes with excitement, anxiety and anticipation at this great milestone in my life, which will be an enormously significant and emotional moment.

"My family and I have gone through a process of great personal upheaval, moved from different contexts and taken very risky steps during the process of training to becoming the person I am today.

“We’ve living under difficult circumstances and the greatest message that I as a priest can give to someone is the message that they are loved, they are not alone and someone is standing with them.

"That person is Jesus Christ and my role is to signpost people to Him because he never leaves them, He always joins them in their pain and difficulties and in the highs and lows of our messy lives.”

Strict social distancing, face coverings and cleaning regimes will be in place during the service.

Each candidate will be permitted to bring three guests with them. Bishop Gregory and those being ordained will wear face visors for part of the service when maintaining a two-metre distance is not possible.

The service will follow a similar pattern to the ordination of nine deacons in St Asaph Cathedral in July; No congregation was permitted and the service was live streamed to family and friends.