A FAMILIAR face at a Diss church has been settling into her new role after being ordained as a priest.
Now the Rev Maggie Swayze is looking forward to conducting her first wedding ceremony.
Mrs Swayze, who has been the parish secretary at St Mary’s Church and a lay reader since 1983, was ordained as a deacon last year.
Then six weeks ago, in the first ordination service at the church in 46 years, she was made a priest by the Bishop of Thetford, the Rt Rev Dr Alan Winton.
Mrs Swayze received her calling five years ago and has trained for her role for three years.
She was very moved that the ordination took place in front of the congregation and in the church she has served for almost 30 years.
Her ordination as a deacon took place in Norwich Cathedral, but she said of her latest ordination: “When I was priested it was here in St Mary’s, and the Bishop came here which was very special.”
As a locally ordained, non-stipendiary priest, she serves the Diss parish which recently joined with the Upper Waveney Benefice, supporting and assisting the rector and team. She is also responsible for the parish’s pastoral team and visits Diss Infants School weekly.
She said: “As a lay reader, I took funerals, but now can also officiate at weddings and Baptisms and preside at Holy Communion services. I am really looking forward to my first wedding next year, as they are such joyful occasions,” she said.
The Rev Swayze, 66, moved to Diss from London in 1979. Her husband, Neil, was a local policeman and the couple have two grown-up daughters.