June 2024

This month marks two years since my service of inauguration in the Cathedral and so its two years since I first ordained people deacon and priest – a powerful and humbling experience.

June 2024 will see more ordinations and a special service to mark 30 years since the ordination of women to the priesthood on Saturday 15th June at 11am in the Cathedral. Everyone is very welcome to attend this service, to give thanks for the gift of women’s ministry in this diocese and across the Church. Please join me in praying for all those who are preparing for ordination, as well as those who serve, and have served, in all forms of ministry across the diocese.

At the service for the ordination of deacons, the bishop explains that deacons are ‘called to reach into the forgotten corners of the world, that the love of God may be made visible.’ Never before has the world been so connected, so visible, with its remotest parts so easy to reach. Yet despite this, many people still feel forgotten and invisible.

Our fast-paced news culture means that stories of suffering, of tragedy or disaster quickly make way for the next headline. The world moves on, but not for those who still dwell, every day, in a place of great difficulty. There will be people around dus who have been forgotten and who feel invisible – those who need support but struggle to access it; the lonely, the housebound or those who cannot access technology. You may feel that way yourself.

‘Reaching into the forgotten corners’ of our world and local communities and making visible the love of God, is a calling to all of us – lay and ordained. This is what we see in Jesus – going to the forgotten places; the forgotten people and showing them that God is with them; that God forgets no-one. Let us, as the church of today, ‘Go and do likewise.’

- Bishop Stephen

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