10 years ordained
This is just a splurge of thoughts (largely unfiltered)
Ten years ago today I was ordained deacon at Chester
It’s a common story, I’m reading lots of similar social
media posts in the past few days of similar, “5 years ago”, “ten years ago”,
etc, usually accompanied by a smiling picture of people wearing robes and
stoles. Congratulations to you all!
I’m also conscious of amazing people being ordained today,
one of whom I had great pleasure to work alongside for three years.
I’m also seeing posts from a few remarking on anniversaries
of when they didn’t get ordained for whatever reason: peace and prayers for
those people. I’m particularly aware of folk who weren’t ordained because the
Church of England didn’t follow its own formational rhetoric and play by its
own formational rules.
As a pioneer I’m also aware of the discourse in pioneering about
lay pioneering and ordained pioneering and that’s a complicated picture made
incredibly difficult by diocesan decisions to seek ordained pioneers, not because
they are better pioneers buts o they can get more “bang for their buck” by getting
ordained pioneers to fulfil the functions of priestly ministry. There’s also sometimes
a lack of understanding that some of us ended up being ordained in part because
that’s the route that was opened up for us by our vocations advisors, other
routes weren’t even offered, eg. OPM
I’m also aware of wonderful people who have stepped away
from parish ministry, or indeed ordained ministry, or indeed any form of “ministry”
(whatever that means) and have stepped away from those things or are seeking to
step away from those things for various reasons. Grace and peace to you all.
At the same time the Church Times is reporting on a new CofE
Original strategy document from the CofE here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-06/GS%202223%20Vision%20and%20Strategy.pdf
With links to an event here: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2021/2-july/news/uk/archbishop-of-canterbury-endorses-urgent-plan-for-church-planting
(limited free views)
Now at this stage I don’t have anything to comment about the
strategy document or the articles other than things like this are never binary,
need nuance and the Church is always after the next silver bullet.
There are a number of different tacks I could take in my
reflections on this but that’s for another time.
Meanwhile ten years ago today I was ordained deacon and the
day of my deaconing was a delight and joy, the fulfilment of a beautiful
vocational journey that had led to that point. There’s not much else to say
about all of that except that what followed my deaconing didn’t really fit with
what my vocational journey and my training prepared me for.
And as for my priesting, that followed eleven and a half
months later, that was a complicated situation, an immensely confusing, painful,
ridiculous day (except for the wedding Clare went to during my ordination and
to which I went to afterwards!) and once again was followed by a realisation that
the ordination itself and what it meant to the institution in terms of function
didn’t really fit with what my vocational journey and my training prepared me
The journey following both ordinations has been a bit of a
All of this to say that when I think of ordination I quite
often think of this song by Moby and the Void Pacific Choir.