In normal circumstances I would have said goodbye to my family and gone away for a pre-ordination retreat this week. There 18 others waiting to be ordained as a Deacon, and others waiting to be ordained as a Priest, would have gathered away from the hustle and bustle of life to pray, contemplate and prepare for the change in identity about to come.
But these are not normal circumstances. The Coronavirus Pandemic that has claimed and devastated lives across the world has impacted ordinations as well. We cannot yet safely gather in large groups so the collective retreat isn’t possible. Nor are the ordination services which requires a bishop to lay their hands upon the ordination candidate — in part to maintain apostolic succession. I will start my curacy as a Licensed Lay Worker before, hopefully, being ordained as a Deacon on 27th September 2020 (should it be safe to do so).
So instead of being ordained a Deacon in Wells Cathedral on Sunday 28th June 2030 I will be gathering in front of a computer to be licensed by Bishop Peter and Bishop Ruth of the/my Diocese of Bath and Wells. And though you too cannot sit in the cathedral to celebrate with me, you can participate and celebrate with me online.
I hope that you will join me on Sunday. I have been blessed by a lot of gracious accompaniment through this blog that has encouraged me to this point, and I would love to celebrate with you.
The service will take the form of a Zoom video-conference meeting that will be live-streamed. You can watch it live on the Diocese of Bath and Wells’ website and Facebook page. Later on you will be able to watch it on YouTube.
Here are all the details you need:
- The time and date: 10:00 (UK), Sunday 28th June 2020.
- The service booklet with all the words, prayers and names in, is available to download.
- The service will be available on the front page of the Diocese of Bath and Wells’ website — scroll down the page to find it.
- The service will also be available on the Diocese of Bath and Wells’ Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view the page or the service, but you will if you wish to participate by using the comments and emoji reactions.
- You can watch the service on your television via the Facebook Watch TV App (if you have an internet-linked TV) a simply search for the Diocese of Bath and Wells to find their channel and the service. Information on getting the app is available on Facebook’s website.
- After the service the recording will be available on the Diocese of Bath and Wells’ YouTube Channel, as well as on the sites above.
- Sue Rose, the Diocesan Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of Bath and Wells, has written some words about the service that you might wish to read.
Do please return to this blog soon. In the next days and weeks, I will be posting some reflections looking back on my journey towards ordination and forwards on my forthcoming curacy.