Meet our new deacons

Sarah O'Donoghue

Sarah is married and has two children. Here she tells us about her background and what called her to ordained ministry.

After gaining a Theology and English Literature degree at Chester College in the 90s I trained to be a Secondary Religious Education teacher at Liverpool Hope. I taught in a large Secondary Community Comprehensive in Allerton before moving to be Head of RE in a special needs school in Fazakerly. In 2004 I became the Education Officer at Liverpool Cathedral.  I worked with a large team of volunteers and welcomed over 10,000 school children each year for tours and workshops. One of the highlights of my time at the Cathedral was a family event based on the C.S Lewis book, Narnia. 3,500 people visited the event in one day.

I felt a calling at the age of 10 after being inspired by a devout Christian lady at school and again at the age of 14 by my RE teacher. Throughout my teenage years I was brought up in a Christian home and both my parents were involved in church leadership. After my degree, I felt called to teach Religious Education and so pursued this vocation for a number of years. However, in 2004 after seeing an advert in the Church Times for the job at the Cathedral I knew God was calling me to a different kind of vocation.  I consider my time at the cathedral to have played a major role in my decision to go forward for ordination. Working with diverse groups of people from different denominations and faiths as well as being encouraged to take risks for the Gospel was both challenging and inspiring. I believe my experience as a teacher, the ministry opportunities at the Cathedral and key people who have nurtured me as a Christian have helped me to discern God’s call on my life. 

Having just turned 40 it feels amazing to be starting this whole new chapter in my discipleship journey. I have always been passionate about sharing my faith with people, especially the marginalised and those on the fringe of Church. I enjoy developing new and exciting ways of engaging people with the Gospel. The main challenge when considering ordination had to be contemplating moving the family away from Liverpool in order to go to theological college. Thankfully being part of the first cohort at St Mellitus Northwest, prevented the upheaval for the family and has given me a rich and diverse training opportunity, studying one day a week in college and the rest of the time at St Mark’s Haydock.

I am interested in prayer ministry, in particular contemplative prayer and Ignatius Spirituality. This form of spirituality has been invaluable to me throughout the ordination process and has formed the basis of my MA dissertation in Christian Leadership. I am passionate about promoting spiritual direction as a way of people developing their inner spiritual life and deepening their relationship with God.

The parish I will be serving in is Christ Church Aughton. I am looking forward to working alongside Ross Moughtin who has a wealth of experience and to serving in a parish which has already made us feel very welcome as a family. I am excited about the opportunities that the ministry centre and Café Vista have to offer in engaging with local people. I am also looking forward to utilising some of my skills from my time at the Cathedral working with Christ Church CE Primary school and supporting families.

I hope to encourage people in their journey of faith and to inspire them to see their potential in Christ. I long to see people’s lives transformed by the love of Christ and to see communities working together, valuing one another and enjoying all that a life in Christ has to offer. I also hope to inspire other people to follow their calling and to experience the joy of serving God.