The Anglican church traditionally ordains priests and deacons at the start of July at "Petertide", the point in the church year when we remember the apostle Peter's commissioning by Christ to lead and serve His people.
This year not only marked thirty-seven years since Rev. Michael was ordained, but was a particularly joyful one for us as Kate from our congregation at St. Andrew's was ordained deacon along with seventeen others. It was a glorious day, in beautiful weather, with the abbey looking and sounding its finest. It was also very moving. The bishop laid his hands upon each ordinand's head in blessing and commissioning, vows were solemnly taken, and the congregation of a couple of thousand (the abbey was absolutely full) also promised to support the deacons in their new parishes.
That, of course, is the sad part of a day like this - the newly ordained deacons are commissioned curate for specific parish while they continue their training towards their ordination as priest in a year's time, and potentially a parish of their own one day. This is almost never the parish in which they have lived, participated, and worshiped. Kate will be curate at St. Mary's parish, Marston Moretaine and Lidlington, and we wish her and her family well as she takes up her ministry there.