On Saturday 2nd July our curate Michelle Parton was ordained Priest. The next day she presided at Holy Communion for the first time at both our 9am and 10.30am services, followed by a Bring and Share Lunch to celebrate.
This has been a really special time for Michelle – one she has been waiting for for over ten years – and a special day for St Mary’s!
We don’t tend to use the word Priest that much at St Mary’s, and we haven’t had a curate before, so it’s worth explaining a little more.
Priests are part of what is often called the “threefold order” of Church leaders in the New Testament – Bishops (sometimes translated Overseers), Priests (sometimes translated Presbyters or Elders) and Deacons. Michelle came to us last year as a Deacon, and it is usual for Deacons to be ordained Priest after a year of service.
“Priests are ordained to lead God’s people in the offering of praise and the proclamation of the gospel. They share with the Bishop in the oversight of the Church, delighting in its beauty and rejoicing in its well-being. They are to set the example of the Good Shepherd always before them as the pattern of their calling. With the Bishop and their fellow presbyters, they are to sustain the community of the faithful by the ministry of word and sacrament, that we all may grow into the fullness of Christ and be a living sacrifice acceptable to God.”
At her ordination Michelle was set apart for this new ministry by the laying on of hands and prayer by the Bishop. Please pray for her, that God will bless and equip her in her new ministry!