Like Son, Like Father

Published: 15th July 2014

It's not unusual to find married couples who follow each other along the path to ordination, but this June was a joyful time for the Merry family.

Tommy Merry has been the curate in the Hanley Team in Stoke for a year and was ordained as a priest by the Bishop of Stafford at Stoke Minster in June.

Just a week later, and one hunderd and sixty miles away, his father followed in his son's footsteps as Philip Merry was ordained in St Edmundsbury Cathedral. He begins his curacy in the parishes of Great Bealings and Little Bealings with Playford and Culpho.

They both explored ordination at around the same time and have overlapped in their training. Due to his youth and intention to work full-time as a vicar, Tommy had to study full-time for three years: his father has also studied for three years, but part-time while continuing to work as caretaker at a school.

"It's been challenging and at times frustrating which has helped form us. Dad's had a harder time in many ways, studying part-time. I like to think I've added to his training in that I've had the opportunity to study full time - we've had some long phone calls about essays and arguments when I've gone home: I'm a bit further 'up the candle' than he is. We've both been challenged to really understand what it means to be a priest through our different situations: Its my life now - I'm always on call, but he is fully committed to being a minister while fittting into the changing shape of ministry in the church today."

Photo: Revd Tommy Merry, Rt Revd Dr David Thomson (Acting Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich) and Revd Philip Merry after Philip's ordination.
Page last updated: Tuesday 15th July 2014 10:33 AM
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