Funeral arranger ordained a deacon by Newham’s Bishop

Deacon Marion Williams with Bishop Stephen Cottrell at Chelmsford Cathedral

Deacon Marion Williams with Bishop Stephen Cottrell at Chelmsford Cathedral - Credit: Archant

A funeral arranger from east London has been ­ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Chelmsford, as part of a mass ordination of 1,000 deacons.

The Right Rev Stephen Cottrell, whose diocese ­includes Newham, ordained Marion Williams at his ­cathedral church in Chelmsford.

Marion worked as a ­funeral arranger at Gilderson & Sons of Seven Kings, Ilford, while she trained part-time at St Mellitus Theological College, where she gained a foundation degree in contextual theology and is studying for her BA.

She hopes to go on to be ordained as a priest next year.

Marion says she had a spiritual experience in Chelmsford Cathedral seven years ago which led her to pursue her current career.


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“Being a priest was not something I’d ever thought about until I had a calling to go forth with this vocation,” she said.

“There are many doors to go through to become a priest and somehow I just kept falling through the right doors.”

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As a deacon, Marion is able to officiate at funerals and baptisms, and was present at her first marriage in July, although she is not yet allowed to marry couples herself.

As a self-supporting minister, she will continue to work at her branch and serve as a curate at the Benefice of St Andrew with St Agnes in Romford on weekends and evenings.

Marion added: “The Church of England encourages their ministers to continue to work in order for them to be in touch with the real world. It will be a challenge juggling the two jobs but I am sure I will love it.”

n For more information about the Diocese of Chelmsford visit chelmsford.anglican.org.

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