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The Parish of Three Saints

Our Parish Curate

Our Parish Curate

Neil Biddiscombe

Curate

Benefice of the Three Saints

Wednesday is my usual day in the Parish

Contact Telephone Number : 07862 045215

Email: curate.tpots@gmail.com

Greetings from Revd Neil 

I was delighted to become curate at the Parish of Three Saints and am looking forward to getting to know the congregations and the community over the next few years.  A curate is a guest in a parish and I hope I won't out stay my welcome! 

My curacy will be different to many as I am 'self-supporting'.  This means that I do not receive any income from the church (called a stipend). I am carrying on with my full-time job in social housing and so will mainly be in the parish on a Wednesday and Sunday.  

I have lived in Burnham-on-sea with my wife Jayne for over 20 years and attended St John's Church in Highbridge before joining you in the Parish of Three Saints.  

My journey to this point is quite different to Revd Kevin's, I don't have a family history of church involvement.  I had been happily sat in the pews for 15 years, when God, very surprisingly, pointed a finger at me and called me to ordained ministry.  After two years of testing this calling with the diocese, I undertook my 'formation' (the first stage of training) at Sarum College in Salisbury starting in 2018 and finishing in June 2021.

I was ordained as a deacon at the end of September and, God willing, will be ordained as a priest at the end of June 2022.  I will be with you for around three years as your curate and will then see where God is calling me. 

Within the Church of England there are three types of ordained person: deacon, priest and bishop. These reflect the way that the early church was organised. A deacon would usually become a priest after a year, but some choose to remain as 'distinctive deacons'. Revd Kevin, having been ordained as both deacon and priest, remains both a deacon and a priest. Similarly Bishop Ruth is a deacon and a priest as well as being a bishop.

Deacons, in our ordination, receive the fundamental commissioning of Christ to be ministers of the gospel. St Ignatius of Antioch calls us ‘deacons of the mysteries of Jesus Christ’ (cf. 1 Corinthians 4.1). We are sent by Christ, through the Church, as bearers of the Good News to the world and in this role we have a special compassionate care for the needs of the sick, the lonely and the oppressed. Together with all Christians and all ministers, ours is a life of compassionate service in obedience to Christ’s command and example. 

I thought a brief explanation of some of the words used might be helpful as I didn't understand exactly what they meant before I was called. Deacon, priest, bishop are what we become when we are ordained. These describe what we are. 

Words like curate, vicar, rector, chaplain, are terms that are perhaps more like what we would understand job titles to be. So I am a deacon and a curate. Kevin is a deacon and a priest, and the Rector of the Parish of Three Saints. Hospitals may have an ordained person as a chaplain, for example Revd Karen Murphy is the Chaplain for Weston Hospice - she is a chaplain, not a vicar.   

As mentioned above, Wednesday is my usual day for the parish. If you contact me at other times there may unfortunately be a delay in responding.

Tel:      07862 045215         e-mail: curate.tpots@gmail.com

May God's blessings be with you.

Revd Neil