TEN men and women joined the Diocese of Winchester’s team of clergy on Sunday as they were ordained deacons at the cathedral by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin.

Three women and seven men, ranging in age from 25 to 56, have come to serve God from a variety of backgrounds, bringing a breadth of unique experiences. Between them, they have worked in a wide range of sectors, including medicine and the music industry. They have now responded to God’s call to serve their local communities as Christian leaders.

The Bishop of Winchester ordained the new deacons following two or three years of training. As servant-leaders, deacons take on the responsibility of serving their communities and reaching out to those in need. Deacons will usually be ordained to the priesthood the following year.

Right Rev Tim Dakin said: “It is a great privilege to ordain those whom god has called to serve the world and the Church. The gifts that these individuals bring from their experiences in many walks of life will enrich the ministry they offer in their communities and make known the Christian faith in practical ways.”

One of the ten ordained, Nathan Leigh, 29, moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to study at the Musicians Institute where he felt he could make an impact in the music industry. Nathan soon became a professional piano session player and joined the band We are Twin, which was managed by Randy Jackson from American Idol. However, playing in various bands and touring across the United States, Nathan explained, was far from the glamour that the American music industry appeared to offer. On the contrary, he experienced first-hand the exhausting and relentless nature of an industry that turns human talent and passion into commodities.

Nathan said: “Through my experience in the music industry God showed me two very different communities: the music industry; which was all take, and the Church, which was all about giving. Through the experience I started to discern a call to ministry.”

The full list of deacons who have been ordained this year is below, together with the parishes they will now go on to serve:

Liz Stuart (St Matthew, Winchester, which includes St Paul, Fulflood)

Nathan Leigh (St Mary, Southampton)

Craig Philbrick (North Stoneham and Bassett)

Sera Rumble (St Denys, Southampton)

Matthew Renshaw (Thornhill)

Matt Bianchi (Hartley Wintney)

Tim Dennis (Winklebury and Worting)

Tom Etherton (Pastrow)

Jill Kells (Bursledon)

Sam Scott (St Mary, Andover)