Poet and pioneer

08 July 2016

Ben Allison was ordained deacon in Derby Cathedral on Sunday 26 June and has become the Pioneer Curate in the North Wingfield Team Ministry in Chesterfield.

Ben, 29, is a Leeds-born, award-winning performance poet, and the third generation of family to be ordained. His father and grandfather are both still serving in the Leeds diocese.

He has won the Hebden Bridge Festival Slam, Greenbelt Festival Slam, and Ted Hughes Festival Slam. He has also used his personal experience of autism and dyspraxia to produce a church resource book on disability.

He and his wife, Clare, have three children: Amos, five, Alethea, three, and Edna, seven months. He trained at Cranmer Hall, Durham. He said: “Becoming a deacon means laying aside my lay identity in order to serve the communities to which I am called in a new and exciting way. I hope to find new ways of doing church which don’t just seek to draw those on the edge of my community into existing services and congregations, but rather build church around them. I’m most looking forward to finally be able to do what I love full-time: serving my community, and proclaiming the gospel.

“To others considering taking the same step I say: Do not be afraid of your weaknesses. Do not be afraid of being vulnerable. The God who has called you will not abandon you.”

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