LICENSED AT LAST!   Leave a comment

My dear Vicar, Mike and me in our 'party frocks.'

My dear Vicar, Mike and me in our

East and West Sussex New Readers with the Bishop of Horsham

East and West Sussex New Readers with the Bishop of Horesham

September 13, 2008 finished a long journey to complete my training as a Reader. My journey was interrupted by a failed attempt to be accepted for ordination training, then came a stroke and time to heal, then came the most blessed interruption, marriage to Ian, and now finally the journey is complete?
No, it has just moved into a new phase.
The day itself was a journey of over 2 hours including a detour. It was a silent one, as we had both been stroppy to each other, not the best way to begin any day never mind such a significant one. When we arrived already a few minutes late we wandered the Cathedral Close looking for the Vicars Hall where I was meant to be so we had an additional journey. Quietly, I prayed and we found the third person we asked directed us straight to it, amen. We said our hurried good byes and Ian went off to discover Chichester. I entered in time to get a cup of tea and a chat with mates. We then gathered in the Cathedral to practice the order of service, then back to the Vicar’s Hall for what I thought was going to be a reflective time but was instead some ‘thoughts’ about the realities of ministry. Then 3 of us took ourselves off to the ‘Lady Chapel’ for some quiet time. Time to receive God’s peace as we sat in His presence.

At one we had lunch, nice sandwiches and tea or juice. Then it began to be serious as we robed with cassock, surplice, and our scarves over our arms ready to pass them along to our incumbents (Vicars.)
After robing we filed out the door of the Vicar’s Hall to go to the Bishop’s palace and the Bishops’s chapel. It is a 12th century building, who can grasp such a concept? It is a peaceful place a place of prayer for over 900 years and presence of the Lord brought peace again in waves of love as I sat there. It was here that we made our declarations of assents pledging our selves to God and the church. Then we got into proper order and headed for the Cathedral.

We queued up in the procession gathering place and met up with our Vicars to whom we bestowed our scarves, after moments of prophesied confusion we walked solemly processed into the Cathedral area where the service was held.

Now I have next to me, on my desk, the 28 page programme from the day but don’t worry I am not foolsih enough to duplicate it here. I found myself shaking, not from nerves, but the awe inspiring flow of it all. (One personal note, I am very warm blooded and wearing a wool mix, buttoned upto the neck, cassock added more warmth than the day warrented. These garments are still made from styles of the days when ALL C of E churches were stone without any heat.) So great in winter not in late summer, early autumn.

The Bishop of Horsham lead the service and what a gentle, kind soul, yet a real person who conveys the reality of Christ living through him in the everyday world. From his sermon, which he spoke standing on the level floor right in front of us yet to be licensed Readers, I will share this one thought. I can’t give an exact quotation so here is the Langridge version, ‘Don’t ever leave a sermon without mentioning or focusing on Jesus Christ.’

For some of you that would be an obvious thing that perhaps, doesn’t need saying. But wait, stop and think this is the good ol’ Anglican Church and the sad thing is, it needs to be said. He said it with such grace, firmness and love and it was powerful. You had to be there.

We made more public promises, received our scarves, new Bibles and our licenses the last two from the Bishop toe-to-toe without, I might add, his mitre. He really is a down to earth servant of Jesus.

Then we had all gave the peace to as many as we could get to, at this point I saw Ian and through my arms around him and he around me. Real peace. We then of course had communion and processed out for pictures. As is seen in the picture above.

Another personal note: during the communion as I had returned to my chair I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned expecting to see someone from either St. Leonard’s or St. Ethelburga’s but to my surprise and joy I saw my former training buddy from Worcester’s husband Geoff and behind him was Jill my dear friend and their daughter all the way from Kingswinford, WOW!!! After the service we met up and here is the picture to prove it. Also here are other pictures of the day, licensed at last.


Posted 20/09/2008 by ergliangel45 in Uncategorized

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