Bristol to welcome three new Permanent Deacons

 The Bishop of Clifton, Right Reverend Declan Lang, will be ordaining three deacons in Clifton Cathedral, Bristol, on Saturday 5 July. The Ordination Mass begins at 11am. The new Permanent Deacons are David Brinn, Barry Taylor and Brendan Vaughan-Spruce. David Brinn is a parishioner at St Catharine's, Frome. He is a primary school teacher, and in September will take up the post of Deputy Head at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Swindon. David was born in 1972 in County Durham and has lived in Somerset for 10 years. He has been married to Samantha for 12 years and they have a 20 month old daughter Tabitha. Sam is actively involved in parish life herself, as an RCIA leader and leads the choir. David has been actively thinking about the Permanent Diaconate since the age of 19 and is pleased that he is to be one of the youngest permanent deacons in the world, being amongst the very few who are ordained at the minimum Canonical age of 35. David said: "I have, since a young age felt a calling by God to serve Him in some way. For many years I have waited for the chance to answer that call and be ordained as a deacon, and now I have the opportunity to do so and this will be the start of a new and exciting stage in my faith journey." He will carry on many of the roles that he already has in the parish, including being Vice-Chair of Frome Area Christians Together. David and Sam would like to thank the parish and especially their Parish Priest Father Joseph O'Brien for the prayers, support and encouragement during the years of formation. Barry Taylor is parishioner at St Joseph's in Tewkesbury and works as a senior manager at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham. He was born in Birmingham in 1957 and, after working overseas for 13 years as a member of the Diplomatic Service, joined GCHQ and moved to Gloucestershire in 1988. He and his wife Jo have been married for 28 years and have two children -Matthew who is a policeman and Claudia who is at Birmingham University. Barry said: "I remember a feeling of real apprehension when I first responded to God's call and started out on my four-year formation programme for the Permanent Diaconate. Unlike anything I have ever done before, I really wasn't clear what I was being called to do. That feeling has been replaced by enormous excitement at the prospect of being able to serve God's people through this ministry, and a huge feeling of humility that I am joining a growing, but still very small, group of Deacons who do some amazing work in Clifton Diocese. The support I have received throughout from my friends in St Joseph's parish has been tremendous, and having Jo by my side all the way has been absolutely critical to getting me to this point. What's next? I still don't know for sure, but I do know that it's going to be immensely rewarding as well as challenging!" Brendan Vaughan-Spruce is a parishioner at St Patrick's, Brockworth. He is a graphic designer and art worker for a printing company in Gloucester. Born in Cheltenham in 1959, Brendan married Sally at St Gregory's in Cheltenham in 1984. They have three daughters, Hannah, Jude and Teresa and a son, Alex. Brendan said: "My family have been very supportive since I first felt that God was calling me to the Permanent Diaconate, as has Father Chris Hickey, the Parish Priest at St Patrick's. "My decision to offer myself for formation as a Permanent Deacon came after much prayer and reflection. Sally and I had been involved in a charity called Across for many years, accompanying and organising pilgrimages to Lourdes for people with terminal illness or disability. I found the experience of being with people who were so ill or disabled very humbling. The things I had to complain about in life were nothing compared to what these people, with the help of their faith in God, were dealing with every single day. It was during this period that thoughts of the diaconate first began. It was in serving people in need that I discovered the real needs in myself and strengthened my faith in the compassion and love of God. This led to a desire to deepen that service in a stronger and more binding commitment by consideration of the ordained ministry of service in the Church, the diaconate." Deacon Tom Douglas and his wife Fiona are the directors of formation for Permanent Deacons in the Clifton Diocese. They said, "The Ordination of these three men to the Permanent Diaconate is an opportunity for great celebration in Clifton Diocese. Each of them will bring their own unique gifts to the ministry but in particular they will bring a serving-heart to their local communities and the diocese as a whole." Source: Clifton Diocese

Share this story