Rector’s News September 2021

Having walked in the Scottish Highlands during August to limber up, our curate Lewis Eden is now preparing for his ordination as deacon on the 11th of September in the cathedral.

As I have mentioned in a previous edition of the magazine, it will be both a joy and a privilege to play a part in Lewis’s formation as an ordained minister. It is also a responsibility which we share, and it is vital that we surround Lewis with prayer and offer our friendship for these next few years which will be formative ones for him.

The word deacon is derived from the Greek word diákonos which is a Greek word meaning servant and it is generally assumed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men by the apostles, among them Stephen, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in Acts chapter 6.

The ministry of a deacon encompasses preaching, teaching, pastoral and missional work and assisting in leading worship. At services of holy communion, it is customary for the deacon to call the congregation to repentance, to read the holy gospel, to prepare the holy table and to cleanse the vessels after communion and finally to send the congregation to “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord“.

The distinctive liturgical vesture of a deacon is a stole worn diagonally over the left shoulder in the colour appropriate to the day or season.

It is important that we do not view being a deacon as merely a stepping stone to the priesthood, but as a ministry in its own right. It does me good to remember that although I am a priest, I was also ordained deacon first and so I try to integrate that into my priestly ministry.

And… Sandra Collier begins her formation this month as she fulfils her vocation to be a ‘distinctive deacon’. This means that Sandra’s calling has been discerned by the Church to be a deacon rather than a priest.

Over the next few years, I hope and pray that we will learn what diaconal ministry looks like as we accompany both Lewis and Sandra on their respective vocational journeys.

Saturday 4th September

 On the 4th of September we will have our annual Book Sale. Sadly, we were not able to hold this in 2020 and so there should be an abundant supply of books to purchase to see us through the winter months.

In the evening, we will have a quiz and supper. These occasions are always great fun and if you have not been before then do, please come along.

I couldn’t help noticing that an instruction for the book sale is ‘no encyclopedias or old reference books please’… maybe this is a way of ensuring that no-one has an unfair advantage by buying a book in the morning and swotting up in time for the quiz in the evening!

Friends Evensong

 On Sunday 5th September it will be good to welcome The Revd. Canon Chris Palmer to preach at Evensong. Chris is the Canon Chancellor at Exeter Cathedral, and we look forward to hearing what he has to say to us.

Your friend and Rector

Matthew Tregenza