A TAUNTON man who has dedicated most of his adult life to helping others was celebrated at a service recently.

Deacon Trevor Jones was joined by family, former colleagues and the Catholic community to mark 25 years since his ordination into the Catholic Church as a deacon.

The Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated at St George’s Catholic Church by Bishop Declan Lang. Deacon Trevor’s ordination 25 years ago is not something he ever expected to take place, but it is something he has flourished in.

“I worked in the police force for 43 years, and spent the later part of that career with the Avon and Somerset Police, working as a member of the police support staff,” he said. “43 years is a long time to spend in any organisation but it is something I enjoyed and am grateful for.”

It was around halfway into his career that Deacon Trevor was told to take a vocation, and it’s a day he remembers well.

He said: “Taking up such a vocation is something that never occurred to me, Canon Patrick Lynch didn’t so much ask me, but tell me. I remember him saying that I had a vocation, and turning around to see who he was talking to. I had never thought about it. It was something that found me, not me finding it.

“I agreed to go along with it, he was a big support to me and very encouraging.”

Trevor spent the next four years undergoing training to become a deacon alongside working in the police and studying for the completion of an honours degree.

And on September 22, 1990 at St George’s Church in Taunton, he was ordained.

“For 20 years there were at times an overlap between my work in the police force and my work as a deacon, I think there were certainly times when the jobs complimented each other.”

Part of this ‘legacy’ was helping to set up the voluntary workplace chaplaincy for the Avon and Somerset Constabulary back in 1993 – one of the first in the country.

He was also, for three years, the chairman of the Taunton Council of Covenanting Churches as well as some 25 years of hospital chaplaincy experience. And he has showed no signs of slowing down since. Despite retiring from the police force, Trevor says he is busier now than before.

As well as carrying out his religious duties, he is currently working as a researcher at Birmingham University in Holocaust Studies; an undertaking following earlier awards of an MEd degree in theology from Hull University and later, an MA degree in Jewish Christian Relations from the Woolf Institute at Cambridge.

He said: “I’m always looking to broaden my understanding and deepen my understanding of my own beliefs and those of others. Knowledge and understanding is a great promoter of tolerance.

“The bulk of what I do is pastoral, that is visiting people, among the number of people I visit, there there are three people who I try to see on a regular basis and they’re all over 100.

“I also conduct baptisms, wedding and funerals.”

And by his side since day one has been his devoted wife Phil.

“As you get older you realise how important it is to just make that little bit of time for each other.”

Deacon Trevor says it would be a difficult and lonely existence without her.

In fact, the support of your wife is vital if you want to become a deacon as she has to give her written consent.