Forty-four new ministers:
20 priests, 18 Deacons and 6 Readers
The large harvest of new ministers this summer is a cause of great rejoicing for the diocese. The Readers’ licensing also sparked a debate in social media and on the pages of The Guardian, which published the photograph below [new Readers jumping with Bishop Michael] asking: “Are Church of England’s dabbing deacons and jumping bishops a leap too far?” Their article included coverage of increasingly eye-catching photographs of ordinations and licensings and gave an account of both the opprobium, and more often, approval that these images get. The diocese is quoted: “Licensings and ordinations are serious occasions, but they are very joyful ones,” Over the last weekend of June, 20 priests and 18 deacons were ordained on a blisteringly hot summer’s day, but the joy of that occasion was also abundantly evident.
Full listings of ordinands and photos are at www.stalbans.anglican.org/licensed-and-ordained-this-summer/
Six new Readers were licensed in June. Their licensing brought, as Bishop Michael put it, one of the readings in the licensing service to life. The reading was, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers few.’ Here were new labourers going to being in the Lord’s harvest wherever that harvest was to be found, he said. From the stories of two of the new Readers interviewed during the service, that meant a wide variety of places.
Catherine Sanderson, licensed to St Mary’s Goldington, had visited a Seeking the Way Course and found that it was helping her to seek direction not just towards ministry in the church, lay or ordained, but for the whole of her life. It crystallised her calling to Reader Ministry and also led her to leave her job in teaching and go to work in the NHS as a counsellor…
Kevin Shaw, licensed to Christ Church Chorleywood, was on the point of retiring from the Royal Navy, which he described as always a good place in which to be carrying the gospel to others. He has recently led the Northwood HQ, the UK’s principal military headquarters site is home to 5 operational HQs. The Joint Forces Command HQ, including Permanent Joint Headquarters and the Joint Forces HQ, the Commander Naval Forces North and Headquarters of Commander in Chief Fleet. He remains in contact with a variety of people and organisations nationally and internationally, where he hopes to be an ambassador of Christ.
Among those admitted this year was one Reader under 30, David Martin, who is licensed to the Radlett Team Ministry.