Lichfield Diocese hits “younger ordinands” milestone as Cathedral welcomes its first woman priest.
Two major milestones will be met during seven ordination service taking place this weekend in Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
Amongst the 48 new clergy being ordained in the Diocese of Lichfield is the Revd Nest Bateman, the non-stipendiary curate of Lichfield Cathedral. Ordained a deacon last year; when she is ordained by the Bishop of Wolverhampton tomorrow (Saturday 19th June) in Penkridge, she will become the first female priest licensed to the Cathedral, outside the prebendaries, or honorary canons. She will preside at the Sung Eucharist in the Cathedral at 10.30am on Sunday.
The second milestone is a major step to reaching the Bishop of Lichfields’ target that half of all ordinands should be under the age of 35. The 22 new deacons, being ordained in the Cathedral next weekend, include 10 non-stipendiary (volunteer) clergy and 12 stipendiary (paid) clergy. Half of the new stipendiary deacons are under 35; and the percentage of all the new deacons under 35 is 27 per cent ““ continuing the progress made in recent years towards the total 50 per cent target.
Earlier this year the diocese of Lichfield commissioned television journalist Robin Powell to produce a video report to be shown in churches to support the Bishop of Lichfield’s call for younger ordinands to come forward. Those being ordained over the next two weekends had already been selected and had begun training before that video was shown.
The video is available below and is on the diocesan website: lichfield.anglican.org or the diocese’s You Tube channel: pewtube.org.uk. The diocese also has a special website designed for young people considering ministry in the Church of England: itmightbegod.org.
There are three orders of ordained ministry in the Church of England: deacon, priest and bishop. New clergy are ordained first as a deacon; ordination as a priest usually follows a year later. New stipendiary clergy will serve as a curate alongside an experienced priest for their first three or four years; as a continuation of their training. Non-stipendiary clergy will work in a variety of roles, dependent upon the needs of the parish to which they will serve.
Petertide, the period around St Peter’s Day (29th June) is a traditional time for ordinations.