On the last Saturday of June it was a joy and a privilege to be at Portsmouth Cathedral for the ordination to the priesthood of our Curate, Matt. As I arrived, my phone helpfully advised me that it was two years since I had last been in that place – another symptom of lockdown.
Clergy in the Church of England are first ordained as a deacon and then, usually, ordained as a priest around a year later. That is not always the case; a small number of clergy remain as deacons. Being ordained as a priest means, amongst other things, that Matt can preside at Holy Communion, which he did for the first time at St John’s on the day after his ordination and will do so for the first time at Christ Church on 4th July.
It was good to see so many of the [church] family at the cathedral. The service was led by Bishop Rob, the Commissary (or interim) Bishop of Portsmouth. The preacher, The Revd Canon Sandra Millar, suggested that being a priest in God’s church was a bit like working in The Repair Shop, a TV programme where much loved, but damaged and decaying items, are repaired and restored. However damaged we are, God gently cares for us and seeks to restore us. Those of us who minister in God’s church are called to share in that work of love.
We pray for Matt as he continues to minister in our church, serving the God who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Priest-in-Charge, St John the Baptist Purbrook
Curate, Church of the Good Shepherd Crookhorn
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC