THE Anglican diocese of Cyprus & the Gulf has ordained its first “home-grown” priests and deacon.
The Bishop in Cyprus & the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, ordained Christine Goldsmith, Geoff Graham, and Kent Middleton as priests, and Harry Ching as deacon, in St Paul’s Cathedral, Nicosia, Cyprus, on 25 June.
Ms Goldsmith, Mr Graham, and Mr Middleton were all trained following a selection conference in Dubai in January 2013. Mr Graham’s wife, Deborah, from the Cyprus archdeaconry, said: “It is the first time that the diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf has ‘home grown’ its priests” in its 40-year history, after its establishment in 1976.
Mr and Mrs Graham moved to Cyprus in 2010. “It’s been interesting to be pioneers,” Mr Graham said. “The diocese really had to decide how they wanted us to be trained as priests in this diocese. . . They collected together different types of training from the UK and locally.”
Ms Goldsmith, who was the first woman to be ordained in St Paul’s Cathedral, said that when she first felt called to “some sort of vocation”, women “were not ordained in this diocese, and there was no internal training. . . I put that one in God’s hands; if he wanted me to go forward, then things would.”
Mr Middleton, who served his diaconal year in Cardiff, will serve at St Paul’s Cathedral. Mr Ching, who was born in Hong Kong, came to serve at St Mark’s, Famagusta, as the lay chaplain, in September 2014, and will carry on there as deacon.