Friday, 24 April 2015

Twenty one today

That’s what I am!  No, I haven’t started counting my age (rapidly!) backwards.  It is twenty one years ago today since I was ordained priest.

Ordination day
It was a wonderful day.  I was ordained with twenty five other women at Lichfield Cathedral and that same evening I celebrated the Eucharist for the first time in Shrewsbury Abbey.  I was among the first women ordained in this country – the very first had been ordained a month earlier at Bristol – and I broke a tradition of over nine hundred years by being the first woman celebrant at Shrewsbury Abbey, founded over nine hundred years ago as a monastery for men.  

These years have been eventful.    I served a further year at Shrewsbury Abbey before becoming Rector of five small parishes here in Lincolnshire.  I have been chaplain to the High Sheriff of the county, chaplain to an ex-servicemen’s association and chaplain to the chair of our District Council.   I have visited in prisons, hospitals and many, many homes.    I have sat with the dying, prepared couples for their weddings and blessed and baptised tiny babies.

Five years ago ill health forced me to retire very early and I thought that my priestly ministry would come to an end.  For a while I was unable to exercise a public ministry as I was carer for my sister who was dying of cancer and emotionally I was stressed out, but for the last four years I have donned the dog collar every Sunday and again I am preaching the Good News of God’s love.

One day I shall not be needed for this sort of ministry for God continues to call younger people and indeed one day he will call me to heaven but I give thanks that for the past twenty one years I have been able to serve him in this way. 

13 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your 21 years, a truly wonderful achievement and something to be proud of. Sending you a big hug.

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  2. Happy Ordination Anniversary! I can't think of any better path to follow than that which Christ has lead you down. Such a wonderful, fulfilling career -- I am proud of you. Thank you for posting this photos -- you look just as I thought you would!

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    1. Thank you - but I am half as old again as I was on that photo!

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    2. I doubt you have changed much! It is a lovely photo!

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  3. A lovely post - it is Vocation Sunday this weekend - and so lovely to read today how you have answered His Call. God bless you in your ministry - He is still using you, and will go on doing so, I am sure! Blessings xx

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  4. This post made me smile and smile the whole way through. Congratulations on 21 years and certainly on being one of the first. Well done... a lot of lives have been blessed by yours!

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  5. What a wonderful day for you. Congratulations on your years of ministry. You will still be ministering in many differen ways, including your blog.

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  6. Thank you.

    For some reason whenever you comment on my blog it publishes twice! I've deleted one - no offence but it just looks a bit strange to have the same comment twice!

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  7. I have just found this blog some 16 months since you wrote it and so you will probably not read this, but I just wanted to say that you have certainly brought calmness and thoughtfulness into my life and I thank you for your friendship.

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