Meet Our New Revs 2022 - Part 1

First published on: 1st July 2022

Below you can find out more about the first six of our New Deacons. Look out for Part Two soon. 

Ordained Deacon on Sunday 26th June, 2022 at 3:00 pm, Liverpool Cathedral 

Julie Butcher  

Holy Trinity, Formby and St Michael and All Angels, Altcar 

I’m married with two grown-up children and I have been a primary school teacher for most of my life. I worked for many years in Anfield and later in Up Holland. Both schools were Liverpool Diocese Church Schools and I loved my time in both. Prior to teaching, I was a training officer for NACRO (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) and I even had a short spell working as a doctor's receptionist. 

I was about 9 when I first felt God’s hand in my life and later as a teenager a rather wonderful Deaconess took me under her wing and encouraged me to be involved in church life and attend bible study groups. I felt an excitement which led to me changing my university plans and coming to Liverpool to read theology. I loved the study and I wondered several times if God was calling me into ordained ministry, but I held back for many years, happy to serve God through my teaching and work with families. I read about the Directions course and I attended it and finally decided it was time to test that call. Encouraged by others to ‘step out of the boat’ and trust God I began the discernment process and here I am now.  

As a Headteacher in Up Holland, it was a great privilege to work with others to develop a Christian community where God was at the heart of everything we did. I enjoy encouraging and supporting others and I am looking forward to being part of a Church community where I can continue to do this in the good times and the challenging ones and to reach out to the wider community to share the good news. I am particularly interested in creation care and social justice issues and feel it is essential that as a Church we have something to say about these issues and are prepared to engage in practical ways. 


I will be serving in the United Benefice of Holy Trinity, Formby and St Michael and All Angels, Altcar. I’m looking forward to being part of a busy team working across the two churches. I love all aspects of worship and I’m especially looking forward to the variety of worship across the benefice and to developing my occasional offices ministry. I enjoy reading scripture and discerning alongside others what it has to say to us today and I am looking forward to engaging in this important discipleship activity with new people. 


As for my hopes I am trusting that God will continue to develop that which he has started in me and I am excited to see where that will lead as I serve the people he’s called me to be within Formby and Altcar. 


Rebecca Cottrell  

Christ Church Norris Green 

I’m originally from Scarborough but first came to Liverpool many years ago as a student and just never left… I’ve worked in youth and charity work and worked as a University Chaplain before I went off to train.

I’ve felt called into vocational ministry since my teenage years but it was seeing the work of the Church on a local level where I most felt God’s calling me to the priesthood. It took me a while and lots of discerning with those around me before tentatively stepping into training, but I have never felt more sure, nervous or excited about the calling God has on my life. 

I’m excited about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of parish ministry, being in the community, visiting parishioners, preaching, funerals, baptisms and just generally getting stuck in to the work of a curate. 


I’m going to be in Christ Church, Norris Green and looking forward to getting to know the community and the area. I’m looking forward to working with a diverse group of people who love Jesus, getting stuck in with youth and kids work, food pantry and community work. And I’m just generally excited to be back in Liverpool and getting to further explore this vocation! 


I hope this will be a good, rich and challenging time for me and my family. I’m excited to see how and where God will work and to see the Kingdom grow in Norris Green and across Liverpool. 


Jerome Daniels  

St James in the City 

I came to Liverpool to study as a student and Liverpool quickly became a home away from home. After finishing university, I stayed working at a café in Crosby.  

Growing up in a Christian home I was blessed to grow up in the love of God. When I was a teenager I began to take my faith more seriously for myself, getting involved in youth clubs and going to events. Two things that really drove me was Bible study with my friends, I always loved reading together, eating and discussing the Scriptures. The second was sung worship, as a musician I was stuck into the band at church, I think music is a very special gift to us. 


As I mentioned before, I am passionate about Bible study and sung worship. Alongside that I feel passionate about equipping people to get stuck into Scriptures and engage with their everyday issues. I also look forward to being involved in life events such as baptisms, weddings and funerals – I think these events are integral to communities and see it as an honour to be able to serve people in that way.  


I will be serving at St James in the City church in Liverpool. I am looking forward to finding ways to join in with the work that God is doing in that church and the surrounding area. I am particularly looking forward to meeting the people of Toxteth and seeking ways for the church to be a blessing to them.  


In the future, I hope to encourage and equip many people to engage with the Scriptures and to seek God in worship. Imagine if we all were diligent in studying the Scriptures and seeking God’s will for our lives, we could make such a positive difference to the places that we live and beyond.  


It is amazing how much God loves us, I hope we can all lead lives that remind people of that truth. 


Gill Fenton  

St Helen Town Centre Team 

I am mum to a now grown-up daughter, and 'grandma' to two cats and a dog. My background is in healthcare - I have been a nurse, midwife and counsellor in the NHS.  

Having trained as a Reader, I told God very firmly that I was done with training and was very happy to minister as Reader. However He had other plans. Over time I realised there are gaps in my ministry and my calling is to the priesthood. 

I am a pastor at heart and love being alongside people - listening, supporting, and encouraging people whether or not they believe in God.  

I will be a Fit for Mission curate in St Helens, and am looking forward to finding out what that may entail.  

Until then I'll be licensed to the St Helens Town Centre Team, based mostly in St Helens Parish Church. It's a busy church, reaching out to the local - mainly retail - community. I’m excited to be doing something very different from what I'm used to.  


I'm hoping to learn lots! I hope I will grow to be a faithful, Godly priest, meeting and ministering to many different people. And I hope I'll have a lot of fun along the way. 


Lizzy Ferguson  

St Paul Skelmersdale 

I previously worked in the events industry, having studied for my degree and worked as an Events Manager for the NEC and SCM. In 2015 I moved to Liverpool to spend time discerning God’s calling, after which I became a university chaplain, and then children’s worker for a local church.

Being a vicar’s daughter, and always involved with church I found the prospect of being a priest very daunting. But I’m really excited about the opportunity to ‘do life’ with people, supporting them in both their high and low moments. I’ve had to battle the fears of not feeling good enough, clever enough etc finding comfort that God called me despite knowing all my weaknesses. 


I think it will be a great privilege to support people in times of grief through funeral ministry, offering them comfort and support at a time when many questions are raised.


I’m excited to be serving in the parish of St Paul’s, Skelmersdale and I’m really looking forward to working with asylum seekers and refugees, supporting them as they find a new community.


Paul Givens

Upholland and Dalton 

I am 54 years old and have been married for the last 31 years to Denise and have two children Hannah and Megan and soon to have our first grandchild also. 

I have a very supportive family who has been there for the highs and lows of my faith journey. 

I am being ordained as a self-supporting minister and will be keeping my full-time job.  I am a sales manager for Drakes Pride Lawn and Crown Green bowls and have worked there for the last 23 years.  My job allows me to speak to so many people around the world and sometimes even strike up conversations about faith. 


My work in my local church with the youth group and our Praise parties that we held gave me an insight into how we as future ministers can reach those that are far from the church and our job is to reach those lost and lonely and on the margins of society and give them hope. 

I was on the first Directions course that the Diocese ran in 2012 and this was the springboard to first becoming a reader even at my Licensing I was sharing the peace with one particular Priest who informed me that this was not the end of me and 4 years later here I am. 


I see my workplace as a ministry in itself, to help those I work with go through difficulties in their lives and allow them the chance to talk about their problems with someone. 

Working in our churches with Fresh Expressions of faith in the communities also excites me to see where it takes us. 


I will be serving in my home parish of Up Holland and Dalton in West Lancashire and I am looking forward to bringing people closer to God and exploring what journeys of faith we can all go on. 


The answer [to hopes for the future] would be world peace and everyone to love each other but that might be for year 3 of my Curacy.  I would love to see the church becoming a key community space that allows people to feel safe and closer to God. 

I am excited about the future and about how I can help those outside of the church to become as excited about Jesus as I am. 


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