Ordination to Priesthood
Saturday 2nd July 2016 was most definitely a day to remember. After spending the last year as a Deacon in the Team. I was ordained priest at St Albans Abbey by the Bishop of St Albans. Prior to the ordination those preparing to be ordained spent a couple of days on retreat at Feldon Lodge, reflecting on ministry and God's call to us to carry out this weighty task. And what a weighty task it is; the Bishop reads out a very long list including 'to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord, declare in Christ's name the absolution and forgiveness of sins, bless people in God's name, preside at the Lord's table' and the list goes on!
Someone asked me on Sunday if I had felt anything when the Bishop and other Priests laid hands on me and the answer is ‘yes’. I can’t explain it, I can’t begin to describe it but I do in some way and on some level feel different, feel transformed. I do know it’s not about feeling any more holy, any better than anyone else but rather having been given stewardship of a rather weighty and heavy but nonetheless very precious gift, shown through being given the authority of God to preach the gospel of Christ, to absolve, bless and minister the holy sacraments.
An amazing and moving Saturday was followed by an equally amazing and moving Sunday when I presided at the Eucharist for the first time. The Revd Diana Spink from my sending parish of St Mary's and St Paul's Hemel Hempstead was the preacher and gave a lovely and very personal sermon. The service was a beautiful and uplifting occasion with contributions from people from across the Team churches. It was a joy to stand behind the altar and preside for the first time and I was in some ways surprised at how normal and 'right' it felt. The party afterwards was a great opportunity to celebrate with family and the whole Team. So many people worked so hard to make it all run smoothly - so 'Thank You'.
And so the adventure continues......