Meet our new Deacons - Norma Arnold & Phil Saltmarsh

This week we meet Norma Arnold and Phil Saltmarsh who join St Mary's Grassendale.

On July 3rd, Bishop Richard ordained 17 new Deacons, all of whom will serve in parishes across the Diocese of Liverpool.

They have each agreed to share the stories of their path to ordination with us. This week we meet Norma Arnold and Phil Saltmarsh who will serve at St Mary's Grassendale.

Norma Arnold and Phil Saltmarsh

Norma 63, was a Reader and took part in preaching and teaching at St Mary’s when she felt called to move into ordained ministry.

Phil, 40, works as a senior nurse in End of Life Care for the NHS and Marie Curie Cancer Care and has previously been a Macmillan Nurse in Hospital and Community in Liverpool. He will continue to work full time whilst serving his curacy at St Mary’s Grassendale, where he has worshipped for the past 30 years. Phil will follow the path of Ministry in Secular Employment (MSE), which involves bringing ministry into workplaces.

Phil, who is married with two children, said, “I felt called to ordained ministry for some time but only followed up that calling in recent years, serving my parish church previously through the ministries of Youth Work. I am keen to explore and better understand how Church exists through Network Models and can't wait to get going.

Phil said, “I have a particular passion for improving the spiritual care of patients and families at the end of life and also I'm keen to improve the palliative care knowledge and skills of ordained parish priests by offering my professional knowledge as a resource to anyone interested. I very much look forward to serving the community professionally and pastorally.”

Rev Paul Ellis, vicar at St Mary’s said, “I am thrilled that Phil and Norma are ordained and are both staying at St Marys. They both bring a real depth to ministry from their life, their work, and from being part of St Marys for a long time.

"They are both excellent preachers. Norma brings a freshness of understanding to liturgy and worship and working with the more senior members of our congregation. Phil brings buckets full of pastoral care, sensitivity and justice and a call to work with the community and particularly with men. It will be interesting to see how they both make the transition to be ordained in a congregation that has known them for years.”