Simon and family welcomed to Lowdham

The Rev’d Simon Jones was ordained Deacon on Sunday 7th October 2018 at St Mary’s Church Lowdham by the Right Reverend Tony Porter, Bishop of Sherwood. He will be serving his title in the United Benefice of Burton Joyce, Bulcote and Stoke Bardolph with Lowdham, Caythorpe and Gunthorpe.

For the last three years Simon has been training part-time for ordained ministry at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham whilst working for a small IT Consultancy. He previously spent nearly 30 years working in the technology sector for organisations such as HSBC, Cable & Wireless and Microsoft.

His wife Helen works as the Marketing and Communications Officer at The Friary, a Nottingham charity working locally to end homelessness, and they have three children Becca (24), Georgie (21) and Matt (18).

He said: “Training part-time for ordination while working full-time in a pressurised and challenging job is not an easy thing and when you add to that the demands of family life and a particularly challenging healthcare situation with a parent you really come to know the power of God’s grace. But I have to admit that when in the summer we had to make the decision to delay my ordination because Helen was so unwell with pneumonia, that knowledge and trust in God’s grace was challenged.

“But God carried us forward through the encouragement and support of those around us and when I turned to face the congregation during my ordination on Sunday and saw such a sea of smiling faces I felt so amazingly blessed! Earlier that morning I had read Psalm 124 and right there and then, as I looked out at everyone, it was so real to me “If the Lord himself had not been on our side, now may Israel say…Our help is in the name of the Lord who has made heaven and earth.”

Bishop Tony said: “It was such a thrill to ordain Simon in the parish church, but given such a challenging summer with ill health it was a joy to see Helen smiling at his side.”

Simon continued: “In the end I can’t actually imagine a better start to my ministry, I have experienced the power of God’s amazing love that keeps us going when things really feel like they are going to break us.

“Proverbs 3:5-6 has always been a special couple of verses for Helen and I and trusting God has been key during the past few years and that trust, I now know, will continue to take us forward. We are so excited for what God has planned for us here in Lowdham.”

Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmtKAbit

by Brian Pickering