Last Sunday (15th July) was a very happy day at Peterborough Cathedral as the Ordination of Priests and Deacons services took place. The Cathedral was packed out at both 11am and 4pm to see six curates and eight ordinands make their ordination vows before family, friends and God.
The six curates ordained as priests were (parishes in brackets):
- Jane Burns (Finedon)
- Irene Cobley (Cogenhoe and Great Houghton and Little Houghton with Brafield on the Green)
- Lisa Holland (Duston and Upton)
- Denise Maud (Kingsthorpe)
- Philip Nightingale (Rushden St Mary with Newton Bromswold)
- Amanda Oliver (Yardley Hastings, Denton and Grendon with Castle Ashby and Whiston)
The eight ordinands ordained as deacons were:
- Jordan Allan (Rushden St Peter)
- Sophie Cowan (Desborough; Brampton Ash, Dingley and Braybrooke)
- Jenni Duffy (Empingham, Edith Weston, Lyndon, Manton, North Luffenham, Pilton, Preston, Ridlington, Whitwell and Wing)
- Kathryn Evans (Brington with Whilton and Norton, Church Brampton with Chapel Brampton and Harlestone and East Haddon and Holdenby)
- Patrick Kelleher (Kettering Christ the King)
- Keri Morrow (Peterborough St Mary)
- Matthew Smith (Weston Favell St Peter)
- Alice Watson (Kettering St Peter and St Paul)
The candidates were presented one-by-one by the Archdeacons of Oakham and Northampton to Bishop Donald (priests) and Bishop John (deacons), before confirmation was made of their calling to serve in their particular ministry.
The Revd Canon Sarah Brown, Canon Missioner of Peterborough Cathedral, gave inspiring sermons in both services, where she talked about “the vulnerability of ordained ministry”. At the Ordination of Priests service, she explained that “when priests give a blessing or absolution, it happens – it is easy to underestimate the power we are conferring on these people”. She also said that being a priest “is not just about giving communion, it’s not enough to maintain the status quo … pastoral care and Sunday services are not enough. The main priority of the Church is to tell people about Jesus – make sure your activities keep Jesus right at the centre. Your parishes are the world to you – go and make disciples.”
At the 4pm Ordination of Deacons service, Sarah said that the ordinands would be “nervous, but absolutely sure of what God is calling them to do”. She described the work of a deacon as “a big calling – a wonderful calling – but not without its difficulties. She added that “to be a deacon is to be a servant – it doesn’t mean doing everything, but it’s doing whatever God calls you to do. Your work will not be cosy – to be a deacon is to be as Christ in the thick of difficulties”.
After making vows to confirm their service in the Church, the candidates knelt for the laying on of hands – the priests by eight senior clergy from the Diocese of Peterborough (plus their parish clergy), the deacons by Bishop John. The newly-ordained priests were then presented with Bibles and had their stoles adjusted, while the newly-ordained deacons were given copies of the New Testament and had stoles placed upon them. They were then given prolonged and well-deserved standing ovations as they were officially welcomed into their new roles.