We are proud at St Chrysostom’s of the great number of men and women who have been encouraged in their vocations to priesthood through our church and its special ministry. The Parish Assistant scheme has been going for over fifteen years now and we’ve seen a great variety of men and women going through it. They have found it a great help in discerning their calling. A good number have gone on to training and ordination to the priesthood.
Before anyone is ordained priest they are ordained deacon. At a recent mass at St Chrysostom’s Bishop Mark reminded us that bishops and priests do well to remember that they are also deacons. They are ‘deacons first,’ chronologically. The deacon, – from the Greek diakonos – is a servant, a helper, a minister.
Men and women who are deacons are called to be a ‘sign or sacrament of the Lord Christ himself, who came not to be served but to serve.’ The deacon reminds us all of our own servant ministry as Christians.
This year two of our former parish assistants are being ordained deacon. Ordinations often take place on or near the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul at the end of June. Neil Elliot is being ordained deacon at Manchester Cathedral on Sunday 28th June, and he will serve nearby, in the parish of St Edmund, Whalley Range. Jack Noble is being ordained deacon in St Paul’s Cathedral, London and he will serve in the parish of St Martin, Ruislip.
More than that though! Two people who have found St Chrysostom’s inspiring for prayer while working nearby are also being ordained deacon soon. Robin Pye often came to 5pm weekday Mass when working at FC United, and at one 5pm mass met, for the first time, fellow Chester ordinand Lisa Redfern. Robin and Lisa are being deacon on Sunday 5th July at Chester Cathedral.
Four very different people from different backgrounds. Please pray for them all as they begin their ministries as deacons, and please pray that St Chrysostom’s may continue to inspire and encourage people into ordained ministry.
Robin writes with gratitude ‘for the ministry and inspiration during my discernment and training period’ which he received at St Chrysostom’s.
Whom now among us shall we inspire to consider ordained ministry?