Two new Canons in the Diocese

Bishop Robert has announced that The Revd Smitha Prasadam and The Revd Marcus Ronchetti are to be made Canons of the Cathedral chapter for the Diocese. Marcus will be appointed to the chair of St James of Spain, and Smitha to the chair of St Catherine of Siena. Jamie Ellis speaks with Marcus and Smitha about their ministry and mission. 

Smitha Prasadam

“Home is anywhere and everywhere; we had a very nomadic life!” says Smitha. Born into the Church of South India, one of the world’s biggest ecumenical projects with several denominations, Smitha’s family then moved to the Anglican Church in Wales where both her parents became mission partners with the Church Missionary Society. Smitha and her family moved across the UK. “The most significant part of my settled life and ministerial life was in Birmingham,” says Smitha.

Smitha is currently the Chaplain at St. Alban’s Church, Copenhagen - where she has served since 2018. “I was privileged to come to this church in the most amazing God-incidence!” says Smitha. “With 42 countries in one diocese, I just think it is the most glorious, most exciting, most varied and joyful, discerning place to serve God!” 

Reflecting on her time serving in Copenhagen, Smitha observes that “the last eighteen months have been a time of pandemic and protest. How those things affect us as individuals, and as a community, has been a really significant way of us learning more about our dependence on God’s providence, steadfastness and working for God’s justice, putting God’s justice at the heart of everything”.  

Smitha has a deep commitment to justice and mercy. “There have been various ways in  which there hasn’t been justice in society, or in the church, in all sorts of areas: gender, class, ability, disability. But one of those areas is racial justice, about representation and participation of people of colour at all levels,” Smitha stresses. “People need to be able to accommodate each other, whether by gender or ethnicity”. Smitha was a champion in developing the work of the Diocese in Europe Racial Justice Working Group, particularly the "Breathing Life" policy approved by Diocesan Synod, as well as racial justice audits so “we can look at widening access and creating ways of fuller participation for a fuller life in God”.  

All ordained clergy are called to “teach the gospel afresh to this generation” and in Smitha's case she has a huge passion to bring God’s Word to the younger generation. Previously a teacher, Smitha highlights the significance to her of taking the chair of St. Catherine: “It is just amazing! What an honour [to be made canon] and to be installed in the seat of St. Catherine of Siena. Catherine of Siena was known for her teaching, for her discipleship and very steadfast faith and I think; ‘what big shoes I’ll be filling’, in a way, with her as an inspiration.” 


Marcus Ronchetti

Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of his priesting at the end of June, Marcus was ordained in his twenties and has served his ministry in both the UK, particularly Eastbourne following training, and Spain. Marcus is serving in the Costa Blanca chaplaincy, where he has been chaplain for nine years, and he served previously in temporary locum positions. Marcus describes the highlights in serving in the Diocese in Europe so far as the opportunities to gather together from the Diocese, such as at Synods, occasions when congregations from across the chaplaincy in Costa Blanca can be together such as his anniversary celebration, walking, and being invited to host a weekly radio programme.  

Nestled amongst the mountains surrounding the Costa Blanca, Marcus and his wife have been enjoying local hikes. Most recently, Marcus has been conquering his fear of heights by climbing mountainous rock faces in preparation for a walk along El Camino del Rey. El Caminito del Rey is famed for its narrow walkway along the steep walls of a gorge, in the province of Malaga. 

Marcus is due to the installed as canon in the seat of St. James. “It really fits well, because the walk to Santiago is St. James’, which I haven’t completed yet. When I do, I am going to feel such a connection there, it just fits beautifully,” says Marcus. The Way of St. James is a network of pilgrimage routes leading to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  

Other passions of Marcus’ are music, arts, drama and spreading joy. He has played in a few samba bands, including in the Notting Hill Carnival and founded the Beach Dreams Festival in the late 90’s. After speaking twice on his local radio station on funerals and wedding blessings, Marcus was offered a regular slot.

Hosting a weekly radio show every Sunday, 6pm-8pm CET, has been a highlight of his ministry in Spain alongside sponsored dances. “It is great fun!... last week we had a cool summer reggae BBQ. From 7pm, for half an hour, it is more deep and meaningful; we speak about whatever it is related to church and relating to spirituality,” says Marcus. People have joined turned services after hearing Marcus on the radio. You can listen to Marcus’ Sunday Reflections, wherever you are in the world, on PureGold FM live here or via tune in on a smart speaker.  

“The only thing that I can do is be true to myself. Which means, what I have to bring [to the role of canon] is joy. Whatever we find ourselves doing, whatever we find ourselves exploring or concerning ourselves with, for me, one of the things that will matter most is if the consequence brings a sense of joy.”  


Smitha and Marcus are due to be installed as Canons of the Cathedral chapter at services in the diocese later this year. 

To find out more about their chaplaincies you can visit St. Alban's Church, Copenhagen's website and the Costa Blanca Chaplaincy website.