EIGHT men and women joined the Diocese of Winchester’s team of clergy on Sunday July 1 as they were ordained deacons at Winchester Cathedral.

Five women and three men, aged from 37 to 55, bring a huge breadth of background and experience to their new roles. Between them, they have worked in a wide range of sectors, including teaching and the law, before responding to God’s call.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Tim Dakin, ordained the new deacons following two to three years of training.

Deacons have a special role within the Church, often understood as the role of a servant as they take on a particular responsibility to serve the community and reach out to those in need. Deacons will normally go on to be ordained as priests a year later.

The ordinands include Tasha Anderson has become the new curate for Arle Valley, based around Alresford.

Before responding to God’s call, she was the director of children’s and family ministry, Christ Church Winchester.

Tasha will be working in Arle Valley, leading public worship and serving the local area, in schools, hospitals and prisons and working in partnership with community groups to bring about social renewal and transformation. Working with her fellow new curates Tasha will take responsibility for contributing towards the mission of the Church in the Diocese of Winchester.

Bishop Tim said: “I am delighted to have ordained Tasha this weekend. Deacons lead by example, expressing Jesus’ love for the world through their prophetic service. I look forward to working closely with Tasha over the coming years.”