A former governor of Exeter Prison and a master glazier were among 18 new deacons to be ordained in Devon yesterday.
Gary Deighton, formerly prison governor of Exeter and Pentonville prisons, will join the Benefice of Paignton St John, while Andrew Johnson, who makes and repairs stained glass windows, will join the Cathedral Church of St Peter in Exeter.
They were among a group to be ordained at Exeter Cathedral yesterday morning, and who will all become priests in a year.
Mr Johnson said: "As a master glazier, I spend a lot of time in churches, and I used the silence and space to reflect on my calling.
"I see my role as ambassador for the church, drawing people's attention to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as the new windows I make and repair speak to passers-by as well as the Christians inside."
He will continue to make stained glass windows. The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Michael Langrish, said he was delighted to be ordaining the ministers.
"This follows the ordination of nineteen last year," he said. "These numbers are higher than at any point in living memory and represent a significant statement about commitment and vocation not just by those involved but also on the part of the wider Church.
" It is notable that at a time when we are told that the Church has lost its relevance and is in terminal decline, we have record numbers offering their lives to work in its service in this way."