4th July 2023

Ordinations 2023: a joyful welcome to the new deacons and priests

Ordinations 2023: a joyful welcome to the new deacons and priests

Last weekend the Cathedral was full of joy and celebration, as 10 new deacons and 12 new priests were ordained across two incredibly moving services.

Bishop Stephen led the deacon service, celebrating those who have followed their calling into the ministry, and inspiring them to take their next steps in sharing the knowledge of Jesus. He said, “The best thing about being a Bishop is ordaining new ministers to the diocese…now they go out to minister and make Jesus known.”

Bishop Andrew asked the congregation to raise awareness of Jesus within their own lives, calling on the Deacons to inspire others with their own testimonies. He said, “Each of our ordinands will have come, just as they are, because Christ has called them to this. And the one who calls them, friends, is also the one who also calls you (and me) this day. You needn’t worry if you don’t believe in God, it’s far more important that God believes in you…You needn’t fear that you lack faith, for the one who calls you is faithful enough for two.”

In a time honoured tradition, Bishop Stephen, Bishop Karen, and Bishop Andrew washed the feet of each of the ordinands. This is representative of the selfless love that Jesus demonstrated. Each new Deacon was also blessed during the service.

The clergy service to ordain the priests was equally as celebratory. These twelve have spent the last year serving as deacons across the diocese. During their service, the clergy were anointed and prayed over by the three Bishops, and other members of clergy.

Bishop Andrew spoke some powerful words, “What changes today is that the church sets you apart for a particular and holy charge, which is to draw people, not to ourself, but to Christ – the only one who is worthy of our praise and who, in offering himself, reconciles the world to God…As God’s porters, priests often find themselves as thresholds, not only of the church but of homes, workplaces, and schools, or at personal thresholds of love, life and death, places of profound crisis, or giddying festivity. At each of these boundaries we serve the one who called himself ‘the gate’. And while there will be things to lose and things to gain, at his side, your duty and your joy is to release the locks and grant access all areas to the Church of Christ – to proclaim afresh, ‘dear friends, the way to life is now unlocked – come in!’”