Christian soldier gets new orders
FOR John Hayhoe the well-known hymn Onward Christian Soldiers has more than a familiar ring to it.The song brings together his past and his future – as he served as both a Grenadier Guard and an army specialist in the first Gulf War, and is now set to sign up for a new commanding officer, God.
FOR John Hayhoe the well-known hymn Onward Christian Soldiers has more than a familiar ring to it.
The song brings together his past and his future – as he served as both a Grenadier Guard and an army specialist in the first Gulf War, and is now set to sign up for a new commanding officer, God.
Mr Hayhoe will next week become one of the Lord's soldiers as he joins the forces of the Church of England when he will be ordained as a deacon.
That will mean he can take up his first post, as curate of St John the Baptist Church in Felixstowe.
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And he is looking forward to a busy parish life on the frontline, working with the community at the resort and spreading the gospel.
"The sea's in my blood," said Mr Hayhoe, who will celebrate his 46th birthday three days before his ordination in St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday June 29.
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"My father was a submarine captain. He was posted to the port cities of Sidney, Auckland and Portsmouth and now Felixstowe gives me back the sea.
"I first thought about becoming ordained when I was at school in Holbrook. It's taken 30 years to get round to it, but I have learned much on the way."
Mr Hayhoe spent 17 years in the British Army. He trained at Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards, reaching the rank of Major.
He served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Jordan, Oman and London and was based at the British Army's central command centre in High Wycombe during the first Gulf War.
His wife Kathryn is a midwife who also served in the army. They have three children, Isabelle 14, George four, and Ruth 15 months.
Kathryn grew up in north-east Brazil, and shares her husband's passion for the sea. She first crossed the Atlantic in a yacht when aged twelve.
Mr Hayhoe, who came from a Christian family, has spent the past two years training for ordination at Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham.
After a year as a deacon he will be ordained as a priest. He will be spending three years as St John's in Orwell Road as curate.
Vicar of St John's, the Rev Canon David Lowe said the parish was delighted to have Mr Hayhoe joining it and was looking forward to exciting times ahead.
This weekend the church will have its new peal of eight bells dedicated at a special service.
Mr Hayhoe is one of twelve priests who will be ordained by the Bishop of Dunwich, the Rt Rev Clive Young, at the cathedral and one of three ex-servicemen – David Middleton was a navigation and warfare officer in the Royal Navy, while Ian Byrne was an army helicopter pilot.
The full list is: Deacons – Ian Byrne, Blyth Valley Team Ministry; John Hayhoe, St John the Baptist, Felixstowe; David Middleton, St John the Baptist, Ipswich; Aidan Platten, St Mary the Virgin, Woodbridge; Anthony Redman, North Bury Team; and Margaret Wainwright, Combs and Little Finborough. Priests – Ian Cooper, Mildenhall Team Ministry; Bryony Davis, Beccles Team Ministry; Ruth Farrell, All Saints, Bury St Edmunds Chris Keys, Fressingfield, Mendham, Metfield, Weybread and Withersdale; and Peter Wyard, Framlingham with Saxtead.