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Petertide Ordinations of Deacons in Swansea and Brecon Diocese

During Petertide, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Right Reverend John Davies ordained six new priests, and seven new deacons, in services at Brecon Cathedral. On Sunday 26 June, Justin Davies, Ian Folks, Hywel Griffiths, Nigel King, David Martin, Anthony Porter and Rachel Storer were ordained deacons.

As on Saturday, the processional hymn set the tone for the day as we all sang “Living God, your word has called us, summoned us to live by grace.” Then the Bishop explained what was to happen as the seven were ordained deacon.

“We will pray for them and lay hands upon them, invoking the Holy Spirit that they may work faithfully among God’s people. We will clothe them with the vesture of their order and present them with the outward sign of the ministry which will be entrusted to them. We will welcome the new deacons to serve with their bishop and fellow priests in proclaiming the gospel, serving God’s people and building the Kingdom of God.”

The preacher at the service was the Archdeacon of Gower, the Venerable Robert Williams.

“We are met to worship and adore God who is the ‘true shepherd of this flock’, as the Prophet Ezekiel said. This is the God that so loved the world that He gave Himself to us in the person of His only son Jesus Christ”.

St Mark’s Gospel reminded us that we are to journey confidently, unhindered by burdens not required, trusting in God to bless that which we undertake. Archdeacon Robert asked us to remember also that this is a celebration of the gospel, not just of these candidates.

“We are met here by our Lord in word and sacrament.  In this Eucharist, Christ always invites us all to come and be transformed. How can we express in a few minutes the many lessons that Ordained ministry will have to teach us?  How can I do justice to the heights and depths of being a deacon and a priest, in the church of God, of the sacrifice and the delight of this vocation which is sometimes an unimaginable privilege, and sometimes an almost unendurable burden?”

Those to be ordained knelt in turn before the Bishop, who laid his hands on the head of each candidate. “Send your Holy Spirit upon your servant, for the office and work of a deacon in your Church”. The newly ordained deacons were presented with a stole (the symbol of office of deacons and priests) by the Dean of Brecon Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr Paul Shackerley, and were presented, by the Bishop, with a bible.

The hymn ‘Lord of the Years’ gave us all a message to take out into the world.

Lord, for ourselves, in living power remake us
self on the cross and Christ upon the throne,
past put behind us, for the future take us;
Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

Report by Angela Hewitt and Mike Williams and photographs by Angela Hewitt