One Year On …

We have just celebrated Petertide, the Christian festival on the 29th June whereby the church remembers St Peter and St Paul. The nearest Saturday to Petertide is traditionally when the church has ordained those called to Holy Orders, particularly Deacons and Priests.

So it was, on the 1st of July 2017 I was ordained as a deacon and sent to the G7, armed with a theology degree and a new wardrobe of rather peculiar frocks. Since then I have been trying to learn as much as I could, as quickly as I could. I have wrestled service sheets, fought with robes, and even managed to turn up in the right church at the right time (mostly).

As a deacon my role has been to serve, and to learn. You may have noticed on a Sunday morning I have been with Canon Sheila, and the others, as they prepare for the Eucharist. I have read the gospel, preached, invited you all to share the peace and bid you to ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’. All of these parts of our services are associated with the office of deacon.

I am, and always will be, a deacon, as are Canon Sheila, Rev Richard, Rev Bonnie and Rev Philip. Like them I have also now been ordained as a priest. On the 1st July this year I found myself presiding at the Eucharist for the first time. It was truly moving. I must say a huge thank you to all those who came to the Benefice Service here in Egerton, and for the gorgeous food afterwards. Thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement over the past year.

Although Canon Sheila is my Training Incumbent, mentor, and boss, I have learnt so much from the lovely (and very patient) people of G7. So, thank you all for the times you have encouraged, corrected, and laughed, as I have grappled with my first year as a curate …

… what is that? A deacon, a priest and a curate, isn’t that just greedy having three titles??? I was asked this week why I hadn’t changed my e-mail signature from ‘Assistant Curate’ to ‘Priest’. Simply put, being a deacon and a priest are the offices your clergy hold and are ordained to. My role is an Assistant Curate, just as Canon Sheila’s role is our Rector.

Over the past year I have been your Assistant Curate, and over the next few years I will continue to be your Assistant Curate. My role is to continue to serve God here in G7, as well as preparing myself for the day when I may have a parish, or seven, of my own. I still have a lot to learn, not least in celebrating the Eucharist, but also in baptising and performing weddings.

In the meantime I really do appreciate the roles God has given to you as you serve in your own way in G7. Thank you for the continued support, the cakes, the prayer, the cakes, the laughter, and the cakes … OK, best not mention the cakes, those rather peculiar frocks are feeling a little tight!!

With thanks and blessings,
Jack