Ordination in Sheffield

With the newly ordained deacon, Rev’d Dagmar Wilkinson © Ricky Yates

I spent from Thursday 29th June – Tuesday 4th July in the UK, staying with my son Phillip and daughter-in-law Lisa, at their home in Nottingham. I was able to spend time with them both and also with my daughter Christa, son-in-law Ian and grandson Finley, at their home in Daventry.

However, on the morning of Sunday 2nd July, I set off early to drive up the M1 to Sheffield Cathedral, in order to attend a service for the Ordination of Deacons. One of those to be ordained was my Czech friend Dagmar Wilkinson.

Dagmar comes originally from Kuncice pod Ondrejníkem in North Moravia but has been living and working in the UK for about seven years. She discovered the Church of England whilst working in a pub which was adjacent to Portsmouth Cathedral. She started worshipping there and in due course, became Head Server.

Dagmar first found me via this blog over four years ago, at the time when she was beginning to explore the possibility of a vocation to train for ordained ministry. It has been my privilege to support her through the various hurdles she has had to jump through, culminating in being recommended for training following her Bishop’s Advisory Panel (BAP), earlier in 2015.

Dagmar has spent the past two academic years, studying theology at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, just outside Oxford. She was very fortunate in being to arrange for her four-week long summer placement in July 2016, to be at Westminster Abbey. But one thing not allowed by this Royal Peculiar, was for her to preach, something that is normally part of a long summer placement – see my post about Lea Williams and his time in Prague.

Therefore at the suggestion of her Placements Tutor, Rev’d Dr Jane Baum, Dagmar asked if would be possible for her to preach at St. Clement’s, Prague, whilst in the Czech Republic visiting her family. So on Sunday 7th August 2016, Dagmar was the preacher at our Sung Eucharist that morning. She also willing agreed to help me with a bilingual wedding the previous day, between William (English man), and Kristýna (Czech lady), held at Chateau Trebešice, near to her brother’s home in Caslav.

At the wedding of William & Kristýna © Ricky Yates

Having been released by Portsmouth Diocese, Dagmar found a training parish for her curacy lying between Sheffield and Rotherham – the Benefice of Aston-cum-Aughton with Swallownest and Ulley. Hence her Ordination as Deacon, took place in the Diocesan Cathedral in Sheffield.

The ordination service was a wonderful occasion featuring hymns and music across the Christian spectrum – from Graham Kendrick’s ‘Restore, O Lord, the honour of your name’ to ‘Veni Creator Spiritus – ‘Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’. I very much enjoyed meeting members of Dagmar’s family who had flown over for the occasion, along with several of her UK friends. Equally enjoyable was meeting Dagmar’s training Incumbent, Rev’d Frances Eccleston and discovering amongst other things, that like me, she was born in Coventry. And it was to the day, the twenty-eighth anniversary of my own ordination as a deacon on 2nd July 1989.

Standing between Dagmar & her training Incumbent Frances, surrounded by Dagmar’s family & friends © Ricky Yates

Here we all are, following the ordination service. A great privilege to stand between two ordained ladies!

8 comments to Ordination in Sheffield

  • Pauleen Bang

    What a wonderful story and how lovely to have these connections between the Czech Republic and the UK, which I hope won’t be destroyed by Brexit. Fortunately there are many of us Brits who have these connections (although we don’t all have the vote any more) so perhaps common sense will prevail in the end. Prayers for that.

    • Ricky

      It is a wonderful story, Pauleen – one of many delightful connections I’ve made since moving to the Czech Republic nearly nine years ago. And you are right – there are so many other Czech Republic – UK connections such as the marriage of William & Kristýna and several other similar ones at which it has been my privilege to officiate.

      I do hope & pray that the utter stupidity of Brexit will eventually be realised, before it is allowed to destroy individual as well as nation to nation relationships. I totally sympathise with you regarding being deprived of a vote in the referendum, because of having lived outside of the UK for over 15 years & yet being directly affected by the outcome. There are several Brits in the Prague Anglican congregation in exactly the same situation.

  • Sean Mccann

    Blessed art thou amongst women Ricky! 😉 Isn’t it amazing how your friend Dagmar was moved by the spirit while working in a licensed premises? Okay, that’s the end of the silly business! We all need reminding in these times of mistrust and fear that we are all human beings – that is the biggest label we wear. Religion, race, nation, colour, language, these are all minor differences in the face of our common humanity and we can never hear that message repeated or stressed too many times. As you know I share your views on Brexit, especially in relation to the consequences for our two countries arising from the need to re-instate the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. I recently viewed a short video on ‘The School of Life’ You Tube Channel which shows the ‘untruths’ in the statements made by Brexiteers vis a vis their past political statements and manifestos. It’s called ‘Dear UK, why are you leaving the EU?’ and makes interesting viewing – you might enjoy it. Good luck to Dagmar and her fellow Deacons in their vocations. God bless, Sean.

    • Ricky

      I felt very blessed, Sean! And I do like your ‘moved by the spirit’ suggestion 🙂

      I very much concur with the rest of your comment which I take as being in part, a reflection on my exchange with Pauleen and her comment. The border situation in Ireland is one of many problems that wouldn’t be arising but for the lying Brexiteers 🙁

  • Neil Brewitt

    A near miss! As I type I sit (and live) five minutes’ drive from Aston. As a long time reader of this blog, I wish I’d known you were local- I’d have bought you a beer in the Old Queen’s Head, a Czech pub in the centre of Sheffield run by Zuzana and Michal. You could have availed yourself there of some ?esnek polévka or perhaps some sví?ková, if you were missing “home”. 🙂 It’s also quite acceptable to mumble “Plze? prosím” at the bar!

    And of course there’s always fresh draught Bernard beer at the Sheffield Tap at the railway station…

    I understand that there’s quite a large Czech/Slovak community in Sheffield- hopefully Dagmar is enjoying being “up north”.

    • Ricky

      Hello Neil – a near miss indeed! Thank you for moving from being a reader to commenting here for the first time. I will be back in Sheffield, certainly in a year’s time when Dagmar will hopefully be ordained priest. And I may be around at some point Christmas/New Year as I’ve been invited to spend Christmas with my son, daughter-in-law & new granddaughter (see next post) in Nottingham which is only just over an hour’s drive away. I would welcome the opportunity to meet & enjoy a beer at one of your suggested pubs.

      My apologies but your comment has once more shown up a long-standing problem which I’ve mentioned several times previously. For reasons beyond my comprehension, my blog set-up cannot cope with certain Czech diacritics – it renders them as question marks 🙁 Fortunately, I can still understand what you mean 🙂

  • I love the thought of a Czech deacon serving her curacy up in Yorkshire. 🙂 A wonderful example of the universality of the Anglican Church.

    • Ricky

      Isn’t it wonderful, Kathy! I am so pleased for Dagmar having journeyed with her and supported these past four or more years. And I definitely intend to be there next year, when hopefully Dagmar will be ordained priest.

      As well as the universality of the Anglican Church, I was also pleased that at the ordination service, an almost equal number of men and women were ordained, a reflection of how much the Church of England has changed since the time of my ordination as deacon, 28 years previously. And that Dagmar has a female training incumbent! It was an utter privilege to stand in the middle of that last photo.