A TRIO of new Black Country priests were ordained by the Bishop of Worcester at a special service last weekend.

Alex French, serving at St Mary, in Oldswinford, Chris Enwerem, from St John the Evangelist, in Dudley Wood and Cradley Heath, and Sue Hale, who was curate at St Mark’s, Pensnett, have all completed their first year of curacy training.

The trio, who were ordained alongside four other candidates at Worcester Cathedral on Sunday, will now be able to preside at Holy Communions.

Bishop of Worcester, John Inge, said: “Ordination services are a great celebration of God’s call to serve.

“It is always a joy to ordain those who have responded to God's call to dedicate their life to the service of God and other people in ministry.”

Alex said: “This last year has passed faster than any year I have never known. I have been taken aback in many different ways.

“Most profoundly by the sense of personal completeness that ordained ministry has brought, the warmth of the welcome and the continual out pouring of love and support which the parish have shown me and the recognition and connection by people in both the local and wider community to the ‘dog collar’.

“I can’t wait to be ‘priested’ to be able to serve all the people in the parish in a broader and deeper sacramental way.”

Chris said: “I can’t believe it is nearly 12 months since I was ordained deacon and started my curacy in Dudley Wood and Cradley Heath.

“My curacy church welcomed me greatly and I have been part of people’s lives in various ways - in times of joy such as christenings and weddings and at times of sorrow and difficulties such as in bereavement.

“Our church outreach initiative on Cradley Heath High Street – Community Link - provides me with a lot opportunities.

“I am looking forward to my priestly ordination and the challenges and blessings ahead, continuing with hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

While Sue, who is set to retire from her role as a teacher in August, added: “It’s amazing to think that I’ve been a deacon at St Mark’s Pensnett for a year now.

“The congregation has welcomed me with friendship, hospitality and a special Pensnett blend of humour and directness.

“It has been a joy to begin to get to know them well and an immense privilege to share in their highs and lows, as well as in the ordinary everyday experience of parish life.

“There have been some special moments whilst taking communion to parishioners at home and in hospital, so I look forward to the daunting yet fulfilling role of presiding at the Eucharist.”