On the Twenty-fifth anniversary of my Ordination as Priest

Renewing my ordination vows © Sybille Yates

Renewing my ordination vows with Jack Noonan & Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz © Sybille Yates

On Sunday 1st July 1990, in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban, (to give what is commonly known as ‘St. Alban’s Cathedral’ its correct, full name), I was ordained priest by the then Bishop of St. Albans, Rt Rev’d John B. Taylor. Therefore this coming Wednesday will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of that significant day. So with today being the nearest Sunday to the anniversary, within our Eucharist at St. Clement’s this morning, I renewed my ordination promises or vows.

In the absence of a bishop, I arranged for Licensed Reader Jack Noonan & American Presbyterian Minister Karen Moritz, to once more ask the questions that were put to me within that Ordination Service twenty-five years ago. I found it both moving and challenging even when putting together the printed text for today’s service. All the more so, as I responded to each question in front of the St. Clement’s congregation this morning. If you want to know what exactly is asked at an ordination service, go here and scroll down to ‘The Liturgy of Ordination’.

After I had responded to the questions and had also received the loud support of the congregation, promising to both pray for me and to continue to uphold and encourage me in my ministry, I knelt and we sang the ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus – ‘Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’, which is when the photograph at the beginning of this post was taken. Karen then led us in intercession, using the form of intercession from the ordination service.

Whilst I was warmly greeted when sharing the Peace, what I wasn’t expecting was what occurred just before the end of the service. In advance of the final hymn, I was giving the notices when both of the Churchwardens got up, wishing to also make an announcement. There followed an effusive eulogy written and spoken by Churchwarden Stephen Weeks, the text of which I was later told, had been approved by fellow Churchwarden Gordon Truefitt and gained the blessing of Jack Noonan. I was then given a most humbling long standing ovation by the congregation.

This afternoon, I have been searching through two boxes that sit in my office, famously ‘waiting to be sorted’, trying to find a photograph of me standing before St. Alban’s Cathedral in cassock, surplice and stole on that special day. Unfortunately, I’ve drawn a blank. But below is a scan of the legal document confirming my ordination, signed and sealed by Bishop John. I do love the line, ‘Of whose sufficient learning and godly conversation We were assured’ 🙂

The legal document confirming my ordination

The legal document confirming my ordination

10 comments to On the Twenty-fifth anniversary of my Ordination as Priest

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,

    Warmest congratulations on your quarter century in Holy Orders. Delighted to hear your colleagues and congregation gave you such hearty and heartfelt praise and honour; they are well deserved. You are an inspiration to all who come in contact with you; even those, like myself, whose connection is electronic rather than physical can see your goodness, humanity and Christianity. May God grant you continued health, happiness and success for many years. Congratulations once more.

  • Heather Garnett

    Congratulations Ricky. Your years of dedication and service to The Church Of England do you great credit. You deserve to feel proud of your achievements. With warmest Good wishes dear friend. Heather and Fred.

  • Congratulations! Well done!

  • Em

    What a remarkable milestone! Blessings on you as you navigate to the next stage of your service; your congregation is lucky to have you 🙂 Well done!

  • Bother Facebook! Having congratulated you on there I was so sure I’d done so here too. better late than never, I suppose. 🙂

    Many congratulations on a very significant milestone, Ricky, and continuing blessings on your ministry in Prague. I’m not a bit surprised about the standing ovation.

    P.S. If I’d been a man I’d have been a year ahead of you 😉 but as it is I have to wait until 2022 to reach my quarter-century.

    • Ricky

      Yes – Facebook is useful but it can also be annoying. I get frustrated by people who start a conversation on FB about what I’ve written in a blog post, rather than commenting here on the blog itself 🙁

      Thank you for the congratulations which are much appreciated. I have to say I felt quite humbled by the standing ovation.

      With regard to your PS, I did say in response to your comment on my first blog post of 2015 when you made the same point, that I have always been very aware that the women who were ordained deacon with me on 2nd July 1989, unlike me, had to wait over four & a half years before they could be priested. And as you know from personal experience, in the Church in Wales, it took even longer!