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Ordination of Priests

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Ordination of Priests

On 30 November 2019, the Church of God gained three new priests – The Revd Jane Hawkins, The Revd Peter Hotchkin and The Revd Linda Pilton, who were ordained by Archbishop Kay on the feast day of St Andrew the Apostle, in St George’s Cathedral.

The Reverend Dr Elizabeth Smith, who led the pre-ordination retreat at Shoalwater, preached that the new priests would need to cultivate theological curiosity and to tend all their relationships carefully. Loving the Church would also be essential: ‘However eccentric, however shabby, however wounded, however infuriating the Anglican Church may be, both in our worshipping mode and in our organisational, institutional mode, those who are ordained are called to love the Church, nearly as much as we love Jesus himself’. Helping the Church to change would be another responsibility of the new priests. ‘Though they each treasure the Church that has brought them to this day, Linda, Jane and Peter are not in the business of preserving all the inherited patterns of that Church. It’s the faith of that Church that they will uphold with us. These new priests will be products of the change we are all experiencing, and they will be agents of the change that the Holy Spirit is inviting all of us to embrace.’

The Archbishop was joined by her diocesan priests in laying hands on Jane, Peter and Linda who were thereby set apart ‘for the office and work of a priest’ tasked with:

preaching the word of God,
leading God’s people in prayer,
declaring God’s forgiveness and blessing,
and faithfully ministering the sacraments of God’s grace
with reverence and care. (The Ordinal)

Jane, Peter and Linda shared and enjoyed their special day with the family, friends, mentors, colleagues and parishioners who journeyed with them towards ordination. The festivities continue with their first celebration of the Eucharist at their parishes.

We congratulate Jane, Peter and Linda on their ordination to the priesthood, and we pray for God’s continued blessings to be upon them and their priestly ministry.

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