The Venerable Francis John Ashe, Archdeacon of Lynn

John was born on 11 February 1953, educated in Yorkshire, Cheltenham and Christ’s Hospital, Horsham. He graduated in Metallurgy from Sheffield University in 1974 and had a brief career at Dunford Hadfield Steel in Sheffield during which he explored a vocation to the priesthood.  He prepared for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and was ordained deacon on 24 June 1979.  While in Cambridge, John met Shelagh Prouse, a Social Worker from Cape Town, South Africa.  They were married on 14 July 1979 and lived in Ashtead, Surrey, where John spent three years as curate. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1980 at Guildford Cathedral. In 1982, they moved to Cape Town where John worked as a priest in Plumstead and Crossroads.  Their daughter, Joanna Frances, was born on 27 August 1982.

Shelagh, John and Joanna returned to England in January 1987 and John was made Rector of Wisley-with-Pyrford in the Diocese of Guildford. On 20 October 1988, Suzanna Clare and Lucy Sarah were born.  In 1993, John became Vicar of Godalming and Shelagh commenced a new career in horticulture, gaining the R.H.S. Certificate in Horticulture.  She now runs a gardening consultancy business, and lectures in gardening related subjects.

After 7 years as Rural Dean of Godalming, re-organisation of the parish of Godalming led to John being appointed as Team Rector. In 2002 he was made an Honorary Canon of Guildford Cathedral and was also elected to represent the diocese on the General Synod.

In 2009, John was appointed as Archdeacon of Lynn in the Diocese of Norwich.