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Meet the Diocese of Carlisle's Petertide ordinands!

Two teachers, a Paediatrician, an estate minister and charity worker, a former British Airways pension fund administrator and one of the youngest people to be made a curate this year.

Pictured from the left are Sue O’Loughlin, the Rev’d Helen Marshall, Aimee Lynch, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, the Rev’d Canon Peter Clement, Vocations Development Officer and Diocesan Director of Ordinands, Mark Houston, Peter Powell, Barrie Thomas and Sheila Clark.

Meet the six people who are set to be ordained Deacon at a Diocese of Carlisle service at Carlisle Cathedral on Saturday 30th June, 2018, at 2.30pm.

They are:

Sheila Clark – to serve as curate in the benefice of North Westmorland;

Mark Houston – to serve as curate in the East of Eden Mission Community;

Aimee Lynch – to serve as curate in the Barrow Mission Community;

Sue O’Loughlin – to serve as distinctive deacon in the Kirkby Lonsdale Team Ministry;

Dr Peter Powell – to serve as curate in the Workington Mission Community;

Barrie Thomas – to serve as curate in the benefice of Carlisle Holy Trinity and St Barnabas Team Ministry.

In a first, three of the curates are to serve in new mission communities - mutually supportive, ecumenical groupings of churches with mission at their heart. Up to 40 mission communities are being formed across the county to help enable the God for All vision, that:

By 2020 every person in Cumbria of all ages and backgrounds will have an opportunity to discover more of God and God's purpose for their lives, so that they will discover more of Jesus and the Good News and become followers of Jesus within a Christian community.

Another ground-breaking move will see Barrie Thomas ordained Priest a day after being ordained as Deacon, in recognition of the 20 years’ work he has undertaken on Carlisle’s Raffles estate as a Church of the Nazarene minister. He will still serve his curacy but will also be able to celebrate Holy Communion, absolve and pronounce the Trinitarian blessing.

The Rev’d Peter Clement, Vocations Development Officer and Diocesan Director of Ordinands, said: “We are blessed that these six people have listened so faithfully to God and heard God’s calling to ministry and mission with us here in Cumbria. Our prayers are with them and their families as they prepare to grow God’s Kingdom here.

“This year’s ordinations mark an exciting moment for us as a Diocese. It represents a point where we are exploring new and pioneering ways in order that people with a passion for God and mission will be able to help more and more people discover God and God’s purpose for their lives.”

Deacon is one of the orders of ministry, to which all clergy in the Church of England are admitted. Some remain deacons all their lives but most are ordained priest usually a year after being ordained a deacon. Deacons have a full ministry in the Church of England but unlike priests, cannot preside at the Eucharist, pronounce the absolution or pronounce the Trinitarian blessing. Deacons focus on a servant ministry, particularly to the poor and marginalised.

Church congregations will also be able to celebrate on Petertide Sunday 1st July, 2018, as services for the two people to be ordained Priest take place in their home churches.

They are:

The Rev'd Alison RileyThe Rev’d Alison Riley - St James’ Whitehaven at 10am

Barrie Thomas – St Barnabas, Carlisle, 3pm

Meanwhile there will be further celebrations later this year when Sheila Clark is ordained Priest on Michaelmas Sunday 30th September, 11am, at St Lawrence Morland.

The ordinands are currently on retreat led by the Rev’d Helen Marshall at Rydal Hall, the diocese’s Christian retreat and conference centre, near Ambleside.


Ordinands’ Summary Profiles

Sheila Clark
Sheila ClarkSheila, 69, was born in Cheshire, before moving to Cumbria when she was aged five. She is married to Donald and the couple have two children and three grandchildren. They live in Morland. Sheila is a retired teacher and is a trained Anglican reader and has completed a foundation degree in Practical Theology. Sheila says she was moved to explore ordination after a lot of ‘nagging’ from people.

The following verse has had particular resonance for Sheila, during her training for ordination: “Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." (Matt 4:19)


Mark Houston
Mark HoustonMark was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before moving across the Irish Sea more than 30 years ago. He is married to Ruth, a former head teacher at Kirkby Stephen Grammar. He trained as a primary school teacher and has lived in Cumbria for 18 years. They have lived in Kendal and have two children – William and Frances who are both at university. They worshipped as family at St Thomas’ Kendal until 2015 when Mark went on placement to Kendal Parish Church. Mark’s ministry over the last 20 years has also seen him take musicians into northern prisons, performing Christian songs. He is a trained reader.

Mark says Psalm 23 ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’ has had particular resonance for him during his time training for ordination, underlining his full trust in God as he walks a new path.


Aimee Lynch
Aimee LynchAimee, 24, is married to Matt and was born in Darlington. She moved to Cumbria aged 11, growing up in a Christian household; her mum is also a vicar in the diocese. Aimee studied theology at university with the initial aim of pursuing a career in international development. She came to realise that her vocation aligned with that of a priest. After university she completed a year as pastoral assistant at a church in Northampton before three years’ further study. She will principally serve St John’s Barrow Island and St Mary’s Walney Island.

Psalm 139 has held resonance for Aimee during training for ordination. It reminds her of how she is called, and loved, by the God who completely knows us.


Sue O’Loughlin
Sue O'LoughlinSue was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and is married to Terry, originally from Kendal. They have four children. The couple moved back to Cumbria in 2003 and live in Farleton. Sue has worshipped at St Mary’s Kirkby Lonsdale for five years. Sue held administrative posts including working for British Airways’ Pension Fund, before retiring. She trained as a Church of England reader before deciding to apply for ordination as a Distinctive Deacon, a ministry with a focus ‘on the borders’ and to people who are outside church.

The following verse has had particular resonance for Sue, during her training for ordination: “…in quietness and trust is your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15)


Dr Peter Powell
Dr Peter PowellPeter was born and brought up in Devon and is married to Frankie, who was Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Suffolk. With a career in Neonatology and Paediatrics, Peter has worked at hospitals in Bolton, East London and Bury St Edmunds as well as undertaking research at Cambridge University. He sees his new role as assistant curate as being a continuation of his vocation in healing ministry. The couple will be based in St Michael’s Rectory in Workington, while Peter serves his curacy in the Workington Mission Community.

The wisdom of the psalms have held a particular resonance for Peter during his training for ordination, which, he says, contains the whole of humanity from anguish to celebration and joy.


Barrie Thomas
Barrie ThomasBarrie was born in Carlisle and is married to Jane and has three children and four grandchildren. A former Finance Director of the Eddie Stobart Group, office manager for the British Deaf Association and accountant in the engineering sector, he was called to ministry 20 years ago, planting a church to serve the community of Carlisle’s Raffles estate. As a minister of the Church of the Nazarene, Barrie also set up the Living Well Trust, a social action charity to help benefit the residents of the estate. Four years ago he stepped back from church ministry to concentrate on his charitable work and drew alongside the benefice of Carlisle Holy Trinity and St Barnabas Team Ministry.

The following verse has had particular resonance for Barrie, during his training for ordination: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1Thess 2:8)



For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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