16th anniversary of ordination as priest

Yesterday , 16 years ago, I was ordained priest in the parish church of St Edward the Confessor, Leek. I was delighted that they chose the church where I was curate for our area’s cohort. I am still friends with 2 of the others.

Me and my dad on the day of my ordination as a priest
Class of 2002 at pre-ordination retreat June 2003

Yesterday was my day off so I had time to reflect and enjoyed a time of morning prayer using the Celtic office that I’d recently downloaded on Kindle (a bargain for 99p) – it contains music files to sing the office. As I had stayed at the Northumbria Community for a couple of retreats I am familiar with the tunes and do enjoy using them and was annoyed that I can’t find my CD containing them. The readings were also apt. How wonderful when timings are just right. And I would have got a different set of readings if I’d gone to their online site.


Psalm 51:6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” 9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

1 Corinthians 1:20 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. 26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God.

DAILY READINGS One day Abba Arsenius consulted an old Egyptian monk about his own thoughts. Someone noticed this and said to him, ‘Abba Arsenius, how is it that you with such a good Latin and Greek education, ask this peasant about your thoughts?’ He replied, ‘I have indeed been taught Latin and Greek, but I do not know even the alphabet of this peasant.’

Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.
In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace.
Frederick Buechner

I pray that God will teach me wisdom and, as I responded to his call I continue to need his guidance. Like Jeremiah I often feel I am not up to the job. I also see others and their very effective ministry and wonder how effective I am. The previous night I had attended a farewell service for our diocscan missionary, George Fisher, who is retiring. I’ve benefitted from his ministry and encouragement in parishes for many years. I will never be as effective an evangelist as him. My ministry is small and I often feel insignificant despite affirmation that I’m doing a good job from various sources, including my bishop. As I was thinking this, I felt God rebuke that attitude. He has called me and appoint me here, for who and what I am. I need to concentrate on being open to His guidance etc and leave the results to Him. He will direct me, give me the words and He has been a five in my life thus far and will continue. Whether I am effective and produce visible fruit or not, whether I am well known and minister to many or obscure and minister to a few is up to Him. I committed myself afresh to the work of the Holy Spirit within me.

left to right: Gilbert David (Team Vicar in my previous parishes), me, George Fisher, Terry

Overall, yesterday was a lovely day off. I posted pictures on Facebook and so did a friend, so there were lots of Likes and comments to follow during the day. My darling husband also gave me some flowers and accompanying photo.

Flowers from Terry – on the left me on 21/6/2003

As I finish typing this up over breakfast I feel blessed by God to be here. He has brought me to a lovely setting. Terry and I had a drive out to Ilam in the Peak District yesterday – wonderful to have so much beauty on our doorstep. I really must put some Quiet Days in my diary to go and walk and pray to keep me sustained.

Wherever God has placed me – and I am no exception, so the same will be true for others who put their trust in Him – he has given me lovely people and whatever is needed to sustain me in ministry and life. So I pray for you who read this that you too will be blessed by God in whatever situation you are currently in.

And so I arise today, a Saturday in June with a wedding, a sermon to write, and a flower festival to attend, knowing that whatever the day brings, God is with me and the Holy Spirit goes before me and within me. Time to take my 2nd cup of tea and go and pray.


  1. Good to read your thoughts and meditations on this day – thank you. I’m thinking, a little, about what God is calling me, and my church, to next. Your thoughts are helpful in my ponderings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I will pray that God guides you all. I sometimes think it would be much easier if he sent a memo, in triplicate, but he doesn’t. And it’s probably just as well. It’s all part of the mystery of discernment. We don’t always get it right, but nevertheless he never gives up on us.


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