One of the most important – and enjoyable – roles of being a bishop is ordaining people as deacons and priests. I shall be ordaining nine new priests in the Cathedral at the beginning of July. I find it arresting to think that my predecessors – I am the 113th Bishop of Worcester – have been doing the same there for well over a thousand years.
In preparation for the ordination, it’s always moving to learn from the candidates of how God has moved in their lives and they have felt his call. Very often that call has been mediated through the encouragement of others. Most people don’t think that they are up to the task of serving God in any capacity and they need the prompting and help of others.
Ordination in the diocese takes place at ‘Petertide’ – around the feast of St Peter, when we give thanks for the ‘rock’ on which Jesus chose to build his church. I find Peter very encouraging – as we read the scriptures we see him ‘getting it wrong’ over and over again, even having to be rebuked by Jesus as ‘Satan’, and then denying Jesus in his hour of need. But Jesus restored him, giving him the confidence to serve and lead.
God’s call is a wonderful thing. I wonder how much you have thought about God’s call on your life? You might not become a priest, but God certainly has some role in store for you which you will find gloriously fulfilling if you respond to his call. If you have found it, rejoice in it and relish it. If you have not, pray that it may be revealed to you. Only then will you experience life in abundance which Jesus yearns to give you.
Whatever you do, don’t succumb to ‘imposter syndrome’ and think you are not up to serving God as he calls you. Remember Peter and take heart from him!
Rt Revd Dr John Inge
The Bishop of Worcester