This item is copied from our July 2021 magazine.
Introducing Philip Hopper
Rev’d Philip Hopper, Assistant curate writes…
On 1st July, in the chapel at the Bishop’s Palace, I will be licensed by Bishop Ruth as your Assistant curate. I will then serve as your curate for the next three years.
I come to you already ordained a deacon. I was ordained last year amid the disruption of the pandemic and am looking forward to a year spent serving beyond my study and not confined to a screen.
In a year’s time, following a second ordination, I will be able to serve you as a priest and amongst other things celebrate mass. But for the coming 12 months I serve you as a deacon.
Some of you may have seen me visiting the church during the spring. I received a very warm welcome and come with the easing of the pandemic, filled with hope for a productive curacy of service, work and learning.
I was delighted when Fr Guy offered me the chance to join him here, to continue my training during this time of change. I will work in the parish part-time as a Self-Supporting Minister. A former Primary teacher, I now work part-time as a gardener. My work has become an essential part of how I live out my faith each week and will continue alongside my three days in the parish.
It feels such a privilege to be called to work with you here, in this fascinating corner of Somerset. I moved to Shepton Mallet with my civil partner and our two dogs almost twelve years ago and we now consider it our home.
My training was based at Wells Cathedral, where I was drawn to worship and serve for almost a decade. It was during my time there that I came to hear my name called to ordained ministry. Recommended for training, I studied at Sarum College for two years and was ordained at Michaelmas last year.
The past year has been a year of great challenge and clearly what lies ahead will continue to bring challenge as we find our way in a world changed by the pandemic. To be joining you at this time is such a privilege and I look forward to meeting you, to listening to you and to serving you in the coming years.