A FORMER stage manager is raising the curtain on a new era in three Vale of Glamorgan parishes.

The Revd Jon Ormrod is to be licensed as priest in charge of the parishes of Sully and Wenvoe with St Lythans on Tuesday, June 10, by the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne. All are welcome to the licensing service at St John the Baptist, Sully, at 7.30pm.

Jon, who is moving from Llanstrisant, where he has been the assistant curate for the last three years, takes over from Canon Edward Dowding, who retired last year.

The Revd Andrew James will be licensed as associate priest of these parishes and in a reciprocal cluster arrangement, Jon will also be licensed as associate priest in Andrew’s parish of St Andrews Major with Michaelston-Le-Pit.

Jon, 50, is originally from Neath but worked as a stage manager for many years, including at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Before training for ordination, he was head verger at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford, where Shakespeare is buried. He is married to Sheonagh and has two daughters, aged 21 and 23.

“I’ve been a churchgoer throughout my life, from by childhood days in Neath and by the time my vicar in Stratford asked if I had ever thought about ordained ministry, my reply was that I’d been thinking about it for 20 years!” said Jon.

That conversation led to Jon going for selection and training and finally a return to Wales as assistant curate in Llantrisant.

“I’ve had a fantastic time in Llantrisant, it was a wonderful place to start my ordained ministry and I particularly enjoyed working with the vicar Viv Parkinson. One of the things that we established was a film club where we would get together and watch all different types of films from Groundhog Day to High Noon and then discuss faith in connection to the film that we had just watched.

“I’m very excited about getting to know people in my new parishes and helping them to get to know others in neighbouring parishes, especially within the new cluster. There are already some joint services being held but we may be able to develop this and possibly hold some joint social events,” said Jon, who is also keen to work with schools in the area.

He will be responsible for St Mary’s, Wenvoe, St John’s, Sully and St Bleddian’s, St Lythans. In his spare time Jon enjoys the theatre, film, music and is a keen rugby fan, especially the Ospreys.

Bishop David said, “Originating from South Wales, Jon became assistant curate in Llantrisant, where he has proved very popular indeed. Jon is a good listener, with a caring manner who is patient and takes time with people.

“His previous skills as a church and parish administrator and in the theatre have all been harnessed by the ordained ministry, enabling him to be efficient and immensely creative. Personable, friendly and with a very good sense of humour, crowned with a deep and proven desire to bring others to an exciting faith, Jon will enjoy being parish priest of Sully, Wenvoe and St Lythans.

“I was privileged to visit the parish on Easter Day to lead the morning services there, and know how much they are all looking forward to Jon and Sheonagh joining them, rightly expecting great things.”