For twenty five years now I have been a Clerk in Holy Orders. What an old fashioned ring that has but it is the legal description of my profession. For on this day in 1990 I knelt before the Bishop in Leicester Cathedral for him to lay his hands on my head and pray that the Holy Spirit would equip me for the work of a Deacon in the Church of God.
It had been a long journey and I had a lot of rejections on the way but I was sure that God was calling me and eventually I was accepted. By that time I had already been a Lay Worker for nearly three years and the lovely parishioners had passed a resolution asking the Bishop to ordain me. What a wonderful affirmation! I was (and am) truly blessed.
Nearly four years later I was ordained priest but I will always be a deacon too. Deacons are literally servants and their can be no higher calling than to follow the Master who came not to be served but to serve.
I'm not going to pretend that these twenty five years have been years of uniform delight. At times they have been very tough but I have never had any doubt that God has called me to this work.
When I was preparing for ordination a verse of a hymn was with me constantly. I share it with you.
Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
to work and speak and think for thee.
Still let me guard the holy fire
and still stir up thy gift in me.