A deacon on The Lizard Peninsula is to be ordained as a full priest by the Bishop of St Germans at the end of this month.

On Saturday, June 24, the Reverend Lisa Coupland will be ordained as a full priest at a ceremony conducted by the Right Reverend Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans, at Truro Cathedral.

Lisa was born in London at the hospital of St John and St Elizabeth. She was, she notes, delivered by nuns.

“I guess my calling was from birth,” she observes.

She moved to Cornwall in 1985, and apart from what she describes as a “brief stint” of two years in Canada, she’s been here ever since.

She'd enjoyed a successful career working in sales and marketing for several of the world’s biggest transnational drugs companies before deciding upon a life in the clergy.

“Once you’ve worked for a pharmaceuticals firm, you need to atone for your sins,” she laughs.

In fact, she’d had a strong faith since she was a child and had been raised in the Roman Catholic tradition.

“I wanted to be a priest since the age of six,” she recalls. “But being a Catholic girl that obviously wasn’t going to happen.”

She remembers as a child seeing a statue of St Francis surrounded by animals and feeling very drawn to him. She says she still has a very Franciscan and Celtic kind of spirituality, and a great love of dogs, horses and the natural world.

“But through my early years and into my twenties, I felt a bit let down by my church,” she says.

It wasn’t until the 1990s, when her children had started to attend an Anglican school, that she joined the Church of England and was baptised in an Anglican church.

Then in 2015, while in hospital following a major operation, she’d started talking with the chaplains and sitting with her fellow patients and praying with them.

“I’d heard the calling to be ordained since I was a child, but it was only then that I heeded that call,” she says. “I’d always felt I wasn’t good or clever enough. Every time I’d felt those nudges, I hadn’t recognised them for what they were.”

She was ordained as a deacon last year. Since then, she’s served as curate to the Meneage Benefice and the Deanery of Kerrier in the Lizard peninsula.

“This past year’s been a steep learning curve,” she says. “It’s been very enjoyable but challenging in equal measure.”

She’s full of praise for the support given by the Reverend Heidi Huntley, the Rural Dean of Kerrier.

“She’s a breath of fresh air,” Lisa says. “She’s a fantastic minister and a very good people person. It feels like all the threads are coming together.”

She says that the best part of her year as a deacon has been all the people she’s met.

“I love all our congregations, but it’s really about being out in the community, meeting everyday people who don’t necessarily go to church but who still have a faith and want to talk about it,” she says.


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She recalls meeting one lady who was caring for a husband suffering with dementia and cancer.

“It’s all about those moments when you can sit and talk with people, when you can help them and maybe even change their lives,” she says.

As she looks forward to her priesting ceremony on 24th June and her life of vocational responsibilities beyond that, she says she’s still rather awestruck by it all.

“It’s huge, isn’t it?” she says. “I’ve sometimes found the idea of being a priest overwhelming. I’m really looking forward to it but I’m also quite humbled by everything that it represents.”