48 new clergy ordained to serve north-west Midlands

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.

The Ed Miliband Interview

Ed Miliband Speaks to PitsnPots

On Tuesday Ed Miliband visited Stoke-on-Trent, we caught up with him for a quick video interview about the General Election and the campaigns in Stoke Central & South and his views on a wide range of election issues. Such as the need for traditional labour supporters to come out on May 6th and vote Labour. When asked if Labours campaign had been lacklustre Mr Miliband replied that he thought that the campaign had simply been different to previous campaigns with the TV debates dominating the limelight.

He also stated that as election day approaches, voters were realising that substance was more important than the style of David Cameron and Nick Clegg. In the second part of the interview Mr Miliband went to to say that he believes "Fundamentally people don’t want to vote for the BNP, they want to know that we are talking about the issues in their lives".

On the conservatives he said that "People dont have enough sense of what the Tory threat is to the country and it’s our job to start getting the message out." When quizzed about cuts Mr Milliband said that cuts would begin next year and tax raises for the top earners and a raise in National Insurance contribution would be the only way to protect frontline services such as health and education. He was confident that issues such as Cutting the defeciet, keeping tax credits, Education would be important issues for people in stoke and that it was labour job to convey that message so that the country doesnt end up with a Conservative Prime Minister, which would "Terrible for Stoke".

When pressed on the BNP threat to the Labour vote in Stoke Mr Miliband states that he was veremently apposed to the BNP’s ideology and that their gameplan was to exploit people’s fears. "when we speak to people and explain about the points based system, they understand and accept that if you have skills and can contibute then you can come here." He also pointed out that there are 1 million people from E.U countries in Britain and about 1 million Britons working in the E.U, and that changing the rules on E.U workers could have dire consequences for British E.U based workers.

Stoke North Conservative Andy Large Takes Campaign Into Cyberspace

When Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate in Stoke North, Andy Large, decided that a fresh approach was needed to speak to Stoke North voters, he used his background in the IT profession and a keen local film maker to make his own party political broadcast, about why they should vote for him.

Andy’s four minute film sees him speaking from several locations within the constituency about himself and his ambitions for Stoke North, including regeneration of the area, which Andy sees as a key issue this election. He said:

“I wanted to speak to every constituent within Stoke North, something that just isn’t possible even with the amount of door knocking and speaking to people we are doing, and this seemed like the perfect solution,”

“A friend had suggested it, and I jumped at the chance. Stoke North has lots of interesting buildings and landscapes so it was difficult to chose the right ones, and although we couldn’t feature them all, I wanted to give a flavour of the constituency. I hope constituents will take the time to watch the video ““ it’s only short, but gives residents the opportunity to see what I’m about, and that we need regeneration, not the stagnation we currently have in Stoke North. I think I’m the candidate to provide that.”

Watch The video below and why not watch the interview Andy recorded with Pits n Pots earlier this year.