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Archbishop of York to Ordain 11 New Priests


6:01am 26th May 2013

The Archbishop of York will ordain eleven people to the Priesthood on Sunday 26th May at 10am in York Minster.  Eight men and three women from across the Diocese of York will be ordained Priest including  Stuart Grant, who is a show jumping judge in his spare time, and Ned Lunn, who gave up a career in the theatre to become a priest.

Stuart Grant, from Driffield, said, “I can look back at my life to my school days and see glimpses of a calling to the priesthood coming through, but it was a calling which I resolutely managed to ignore until around 9 years ago. The way I can describe it is that God got sick of giving me gently nudges about my calling, and decided to give me a ‘kick up the backside’ to ensure that I listened to the calling He had on my life.

“I was appointed a National Show Jumping Judge about 25 years ago, and I became an International Show Jumping Judge in 2003.  The highlight of my career so far has been being appointed one of the National Technical Officials for Show Jumping at the London 2012 Olympics.  I’ve started wearing my dog collar when I’m officiating at shows, it takes the Church to places where it is not expected to be. I am the only ordained Show Jumping Judge in the UK, and I think I’m the only one in the world.”

Ned Lunn, from York, said, “I used to run my own theatre company which worked on developing younger audiences, with a particular vision for classic texts.  This meant I mentored young directors and producers as well as producing shows for young adults.  After seven years my company was beginning to struggle and I felt a strong sense that God was moving me on to something new. My journey of discovery took me into the process towards ordination and doors began opening and I regained some sense of direction and excitement. 

“Now that I am becoming a priest - a call I first felt as a teenager - my life in the theatre has not finished. I still love to work with theatre practitioners and to collaborate and create with them - I’m helping run the Acomb Dance, Arts and Music Festival this July. They are 'my people' and I have loads of opportunity to live life with them and to pray with and for them. That's where I have come from and it is to that I am called as a priest.”

Archbishop Sentamu said, “I have met with all the candidates and they are a fantastic group of people, each with special gifts to offer in their ministry. I have been deeply gladdened by their passion for Jesus Christ and their desire to be a force for good in our communities.  This is such a joyous occasion for all, the ordinands, their friends and families and the parishes and communities they serve.  The path to finding God and living for Him is different for each person. For some there is a natural growing to their vocation and for some it is really kick started by an unexpected set of events.  These ordinands come from all walks of life, but are united in their desire to make the love of God known and we pray for them as they begin this exciting new chapter in their ministry.”

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