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LATEST: Maidstone hairdresser swaps blow dries for Bibles

Thursday 29th July 2021

A MAIDSTONE hairdresser has swapped her scissors for sermons in her pursuit to become a priest.

Former Maidstone Girls’ Grammar School girl Anthea Mitchell, 54, has owned Hair Professional in King Street for more than three decades and, after six years of intense studying, has finally been ordained as a deacon.

She will continue to run her salon full time as she cuts herself a career as part of a new breed of Ministers in Secular Employment.

Rev Mitchell, who will take up her role at St Paul’s Church for the next three years, believes by keeping her current job she will be able to reach more people who simply want to talk or offload some of the challenges life presents, but who do not attend church.

She said: "I was raised in the Greek Orthodox tradition and attended a Catholic school so faith was a big part of my early life, albeit it a slightly confused part.

“My Anglican identity has developed very slowly over the last thirty years, and God has somehow brought me, sometimes kicking and screaming, to this next part of my journey.”

For the past six years, she has spent half her time in the discernment process and another three years at St Augustine’s College of Theology in West Malling.

After 80-hour-weeks at the salon and late nights studying, all her hard work paid off when the Bishop of Dover, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, ordained her and ten others as deacons in a special ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral.

During her curacy at St Paul’s, Rev Mitchell intends to keep a detailed journal of her experiences and hopes to be ordained as a priest this time next year. 

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