Four deacons for Clifton

The Bishop of Clifton, Right Reverend Declan Lang, will ordain four Deacons in Clifton Cathedral, Bristol, on Saturday 16 July. The four new Permanent Deacons will be Vincent Calder from Chipping Sodbury, Mark Forge from Winford in Somerset, together with Kingsley Fulbrook and Lawrence McCarthy both from Thornbury near Bristol. Vincent Calder is an industrial engineer and has been married to Angela since 1967. They have two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren. He ministers in the workplace and assists in parish celebrations at St Lawrence, Chipping Sodbury with St Paul's, Yate. Talking of his decision to train as Deacon, Vincent said: "Five years ago a homily on Philippians concerning Christ's humility, even to accepting death on a cross, commenced a deep spiritual search which culminated in my forthcoming ordination." Mark Forge was born in Scarborough, moving to Bristol to study politics at Bristol Polytechnic (now part of the University of the West of England). There he met Debbie and they married in 1985. They have four children, aged from six to fifteen. He is a civil servant and has worked for an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry in Bristol for 20 years. Mark was not from a church-going family, and was introduced to the Catholic Church by Debbie and her family. In 1987 he moved to Winford in the Parish of the Sacred Heart, Chew Valley finding a warm welcome from the parish priest and parishioners. After a long spiritual journey he was received into the Catholic Church in 1995, thereafter becoming increasingly active in the parish and deanery communities. Mark said: "Although I felt I had a growing sense of vocation it was really the support and encouragement of so many in the parish and deanery, clergy and lay people, which led me to offer myself for the formation programme. I hope and pray that I will now be able to serve them and support them in their faith and in their daily lives. "I am not sure the direction my future ministry will take me, but I hope to be able to continue working with adults and young people preparing for the Sacraments, to encourage more people to take an active role in life and ministry of the Church and to strengthen our ties with other Christian churches in the area, with whom we work so closely. "This summer marks a triple celebration for me. 10 years a Catholic, my forthcoming Ordination as a Permanent Deacon and my son's First Holy Communion." Kingsley Fulbrook is a conservation officer for Bristol City Council. He is married to Ruth, a Free Church minister. They have two grown-up daughters. Kingsley became a Christian at a Billy Graham crusade in 1966, and converted to the Catholic Church in 1969. He is a parishioner at Christ the King, Thornbury, and is a key part of the parish's ecumenical activities as part of Thornbury Churches Together. He has a degree in theology which he studied at Southampton University together with degrees in architecture and architectural conservation. He is also a chartered town planner. In his spare time he works for the Association of Preservation Trusts, and enjoys choral singing and sketching. Last year Ruth was ordained in the United Reformed Church. She ministers to five congregations in Wales. Kingsley said: "'I'm looking forward to working with the priests and pastoral team at Christ the King parish to develop new ways of serving the Church and reaching out to those on its fringes." Lawrence McCarthy hails from Warrington and moved to Thornbury in 1987. He married Nicola in 1984, and has three children. His love for his family and their love for him have been the key source of strength during the four years of the Diaconate Formation Programme, as has been the example given by his Mum and Dad since early childhood. His interests include gardening and football. He is a lifelong Liverpool supporter. For Lawrence, serving as a Deacon within the Clifton Diocese will be both an honour and a privilege. Lawrence said: "I see the Diaconate as a much needed bridge between the World and the Church, and hope to be an active member of the local community and every day life, complete with its joys and tribulations. I look forward to ordination and the blessings that will come from the Diaconate ministry." The Director of Formation for the Clifton Diocese, Reverend Tom Douglas, said: "The Ordination day will be one of great anticipation, joy and celebration. These men bring many varied and valued talents to the already diverse ministry of service of the diaconal family. As they go from the Cathedral back to their home communities, they will take with them the love and support of the whole Church in Clifton. We are thankful for these men and grateful to their families and communities for the gift that they have become through their years of dedicated formation and training". The Ordinations take place at Clifton Cathedral on Pembroke Road, Clifton, Bristol on Saturday 16 July at 11.30am. For more information about the diaconate and Clifton Diocese see:

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