Holy Trinity Church
Richard Writes

Revd Richard Reade


                                                                                                                                                                                  July 2017

Dear Friends,

As I write this, I´m preparing for two important events, both of personal significance and one of particular significance to the churches in Matlock Bank and Tansley. At the end of June I will be marking 25 years since my ordination as a deacon at Lichfield Cathedral and on July 2nd I will be at another ordination; this time in Derby, where Anne will be ordained deacon and once again I will become a training incumbent (Please bear both of us in your prayers!).

My own ordination on 28th June 1992 remains one of the most powerful and moving events of my life (Along with Marriage, priesting and the births of the girls). To process through the aisles of the ancient cathedral at Lichfield surrounded by a huge congregation and the swell of the singing and the organ was an experience I will never forget.

In some ways the actual service was a blur, it was so moving. The sermon was given by a vicar from south London called John Sentamu (Yes. That one!) and the ordination took place before a forward altar in the nave under the crossing. My abiding memory is of the silence before the prayers of ordination when the Bishop of Lichfield, Keith Sutton, began to intone the ancient hymn and invocation, ´Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire´. And as those words echoed around us, my gaze lifted from the altar, around which stood a number of robed Bishops, Archdeacons and other ´ecclesiastical names´, to the screen that lay behind them and upon which were placed the figures of Christ on the cross, flanked by Mary and John, and then above to the high vaulted ceiling. It as a powerful experience of being taken out of yourself in the midst of a hymn of praise. A real sense of the Presence of God surrounding us and blessing us.

As those who have attended Lent courses, Pilgrim or Emmaus or such like through the last 12½ years will have heard me tell at some point, at my Confirmation in 1986, the text given to us was from 1 Thessalonians 5:24 − ´Faithful is He that has called you. And He will do it.´ In a way I feel my ministry of 25 years and counting has been an exploration of what that ´it´ is that God is going to do. But even if I don´t find out in this life, of one thing I can be certain, that God is faithful.

Anne Phillips brings with her a vast amount of experience from her many years serving as a minister in the Baptist Church. We are immensely blessed that God has called her to ordination as an Anglican and to serve in this part of God´s harvest field. My prayer is that as she adjusts to the peculiarities and funny oddities of Anglican ministry, so she will know God´s rich blessing and ongoing merciful provision of grace. And I pray that each one of us may come to know the riches and sheer abundance of God´s love as we seek to carry out His will, to His eternal glory.

Every blessing

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