Weekly Reflection – The Busiest Time

28 June 2024

When it is Christmas or Easter, clergy often hear people comment, “This will be your busiest time then.” Nowadays, if anyone says that to me, my response is, “No. My busiest time is the end of June.”

A big part of my role is to look after those exploring ordination from their first contact right up until the moment when the bishop lays hands on them and says, “Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant for the office and work of a deacon in your Church.”

My work involves regular meetings and writing reports, and eventually sending them to a national selection panel, which makes a recommendation to the bishop, who holds the final decision. The recommendation is for the person to enter training (or not). The work does not end there, as I keep an eye on them during training too, visiting theological colleges around the country. Most of these selection panels cluster round May-July and there is always a rush while papers are submitted.

Meanwhile, once the training is over, at the end of June it’s time for the ordinations. One Saturday, those who are already deacons become priests and on the next weekend comes the ordination of deacons. Before each one the bishop holds a meal for everyone at his house and then the candidates go on retreat for a few days. I organise and act as chaplain for those retreats.

So June is my busy time, though of course there is lots to do all year round. The work includes the work of prayer. My team and myself are committed to pray for God to call people to lay and ordained ministry, and to pray for them at each stage of the process. Please would you pray for those ordained this weekend and join us in regular prayer for this vital area of the church’s life? Thank you.

Canon Derek: Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations

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