A PRIMARY school teacher, a bank manager, a doctor, a policewoman and a dental hygienist.
These are just some of the former jobs of the latest cohort of new priests and deacons to be ordained by The Church of England in Lancashire.
A group of 13 new deacons and priests were ordained at the weekend during services in Blackburn Cathedral.
A total of 15 will be introduced in the 2016 cohort: eight women and seven men.
The youngest and oldest candidates were both deacons: Eddie Carr, of St Paul’s Adlington, who is just 24 and Fiona Haines, of St Paul, Warton and Holy Trinity, Freckleton, who is 60.
There were six candidates aged under 40.
Eddie Carr said he was looking forward to working in his first parish in Adlington and said: “I hope I can hit the ground running and get stuck into parish life.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the people of Adlington – and trying to remember all the names – and hope that I can learn how to be a faithful minister of the Gospel.”
Meanwhile Lorraine Moffatt, 59, originally from Lancaster and serving a church in Morecambe is looking forward to the future saying: “A few years ago I did not even believe in God. I spent a long time believing only in self-reliance and determination. I never expected to become a Christian let alone be ordained as priest.
“I hope to enable people who already come to church to grow deeper in faith and love of God and have confidence to share that faith and love with others.
“I also aim to support and encourage people to use their gifts so they will grow in confidence to become leaders.”
At the weekend the Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, ordained the priests while the Bishop of Burnley and Acting Dean of Blackburn, Rt Rev Philip North, ordained the deacons.
They were joined at the services by Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Geoff Pearson; the Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland and the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt, as well as people from parishes across Lancashire and family and friends of the ordination candidates.
Following the Cathedral services on Saturday, Bishop Philip ordained the final priest in a service at Padiham St Leonard on Sunday while Bishop Geoff will ordain the final Deacon in a service later this year, on December 11, 2016, at Lancaster Priory.
Bishop Julian, the Bishop of Blackburn, said: “The church has discerned this was God’s calling for these men and women and it was a huge privilege to be able to ordain them.
“I now look forward to seeing the fruits of their labours in the coming years as they work at parish level to make our Diocesan vision of ‘Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’ a reality.”
Others in the 2016 intake include Gary Kenneth Bullock, 51, of Heapey St Barnabas & Withnell St Paul; Fiona Elizabeth Haines, 60, Warton St Paul & Freckleton Holy Trinity: Rebecca Barbara Aechtner, 33, – Lancaster St Mary (The Priory); Carolyn Audrey Leitch, 51, Poulton, Carleton & Singleton; Philip Maudsley, 42, Fulwood Christ Church; Andrew Scott Meeson, 30, Whittle-le-Woods St John the Evangelist; and Cherie (Rie) Pauline Walker, 58, Broughton St John Baptist