Monday, September 05, 2011

The Institution

So Friday night was my Institution service as incumbent of the parish. An amazing night, for which I am very thankful. Here are some of the highlights:

- A full church. Aghavea was full to bursting with people who had travelled from near and far to be with us on the evening. Looking down from the front it was strange to see lots of people from the different spheres and parts of my life - Dromore, Dundonald, work, friends, family, as well as new church family and diocesan colleagues. I'm very grateful to all who were able to come on a wet Fermanagh evening.

- A smooth service. The Rural Dean, Maurice Armstrong and the Archdeacon, Cecil Pringle had worked hard at ensuring everything went as it should in the service, which meant we could relax and follow it through without a hitch.

- An inspiring sermon. My Rector in Dundonald, Tim Anderson, preached a cracking sermon on the surprises in God's church from 1 Corinthians 1:26 - 2:5 the people, the proclamation, and the preacher. Very clear and faithful, it was a good sermon to preach me in.

- Excellent singing. I'm very grateful to Myrtle and the choir for their hard work, and the way in which they led the singing of the hymns. I perhaps got a bit carried away in the singing, which led to me losing my voice when it came to leading the prayers!

- A warm welcome. The churchwardens and glebewardens were on hand at the door welcoming everyone, as were the men in the car park directing traffic. 250 hands were shaken at the door as I greeted the entire congregation on the way out, but it'll take some time to get to know (and remember) all their names!

- A good supper. We were directed onto the stage for our supper, which was slightly unnerving - it felt as if everyone was watching every bite going into your mouth! The sandwiches, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, and buns were unending it seemed, and all delicious. I'm very grateful to Valerie and her catering team for their hard work and energy in seeing that everyone was well fed. I'd better watch though, or my waistline will be expanding in this parish!

All in all, it was a great evening to introduce me to the parish and diocese. Now the hard work begins getting stuck into the parish, discovering all the things rectors need to do that curates didn't have to worry about!

A DVD of the Institution service is in the process of being made - details will follow on how to obtain a copy in due course.

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