St Augustine’s Church Skirlaugh

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Ordination of Rev Maureen Desborough

In 2015 Maureen Desborough was ordained Deacon and she became known as Rev. Maureen.  She offered to work as a Non Stipendiary Minister (NSM), ie unpaid, supporting Rev Andy throughout the Benefice.  Since then she has been a great help to him, working as his Curate and assisting in many services throughout the Benefice.  Having completed her year as a Deacon (a bit like an apprenticeship, with ongoing training) she was ordained as a Priest by the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, in York Minster on Trinity Sunday, 22nd May 2016.

In the days leading up to the service the Minster had been transformed in readiness for the York Mystery Plays, with an impressive amount of tiered seating for the congregation (providing everyone with a wonderful view) and a huge stage on several levels where the plays were to take part, affording plenty of space for everyone involved in the service.  On the front tier of the stage was the Archbishop and the 20 Ordinands (Maureen and 19 others who were to be ordained) plus the four Bishops of the Diocese, the Dean of York, three Archdeacons and other senior clergy.  On the middle tier was the Minster choir and on the top tier were the clergy, including Rev Andy, who were supporting their Curates.  In one sense it was a colourful spectacle and a truly magnificent service, but at its heart was the formal and legal confirmation by the Ordinands, recognising their call by God to serve in His priesthood, and the very spiritual moment when they were consecrated by the Archbishop.  It was a very moving service.

Maureen’s ordination at York Minster was in the morning and in the evening there was a special service at Skirlaugh for all in the Benefice at which Rev Mo presided at her first service of Holy Communion, followed by a buffet where everyone was able to offer their congratulations and enjoy each others company.  This had been a very special and memorable day in the life of our Benefice, for Maureen herself and for everyone else.

Although Maureen is still known as Rev Maureen, as a priest she is now able to take on a wider responsibility, including presiding at Holy Communion services as well as conducting Marriages and Baptisms.  We’re delighted that she will continue her work as NSM Curate to assist Rev Andy in all of our eight churches.

More photos can be seen on the slide show on the Home Page

A message of thanks from Rev Maureen Desborough

I would just like to say a big 'Thank You' to everyone who has supported me during my 'Deacon' year, especially Rev Andy Simpson and the congregations of all our eight churches in the Benefice.  I was Priested on Trinity Sunday, 22nd May 2016 at York Minster. I will still remain in the Benefice as Assistant Curate, but will now be able to preside at Holy Communion and also conduct Marriages and Baptisms.  Andy is still the boss and I'm the assistant!  

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who sent cards, gifts and provided food for my first Holy Communion Celebration, especially Judy Stott for the lovely cake and Nan Watling for the beautiful icing; to those who attended York Minster and St. Augustine's, Skirlaugh; and to all who offered prayers on this special occasion.  I would especially like to thank the Benefice for the beautiful chasuble they presented to me, which I shall wear with pride.  Thank you very much indeed, it will be a fond reminder of a very special day.

I look forward to continuing my curacy with you all.  


Rev Mo Desborough.