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BOC Conference at Mickfield
18-05-2008, 05:59 PM,
Dear John

After being ordained for 18 years much of what you say rings true in my own heart and understanding of priesthood.
I come originally from a background that has a 'low' view of priesthood, but over the years increasingly within me I sense the importance of 3 words in your comments - 'celebrant', 'shepherd', and 'icon'.
To be well prepared in mind and spirit for the celebration of the Eucharist is for me of primary significance and crucial to the gathering together of God's people for worship. The preparation of the sermon, the leading of intercessions, and the celebration of the Eucharist are important to me, and I do give a lot of time during the week preparing for Sunday worship.
Being the 'shepherd' is also of importance to me and consequently I have declined over the years to sit on various diocesan committees that would be better served by lay folk, thus giving me more time for pastoral care in my parishes. Seeking to be as Christ (with all my shortcomings) in the midst of the people is an integral part of my vocation.
Being the 'icon' of the bishop is not something I have ever heard mentioned in Anglican circles, or given much thought to. Yes, I represent the bishop in my parishes, but for most he is a distant figure who is a functionary rather than a spiritual father. How in need is the Church of England of spiritual fathers!
Of course, the role of deacon is peripheral to much Anglican thinking, and your comment helps me to see why so much 'stuff' has fallen to the priest in Anglican parishes.
Yet it seems to me increasingly that society ever more needs its priests, and indeed the Anglican Church needs to recover the true meaning of priesthood rather than be obsessed with 'fresh expressions' of being church.
I believe the Orthodox tradition has much to teach me in my exercise of priesthood and I would truly value further comments.

Messages In This Thread
[] - Robin Westwood - 11-05-2008, 10:24 AM
Further thoughts - John Charmley - 11-05-2008, 12:00 PM
[] - admin - 12-05-2008, 08:46 AM
[] - Michael Kennedy - 12-05-2008, 10:34 AM
[] - John Charmley - 13-05-2008, 02:04 AM
[] - Michael - 16-05-2008, 10:53 AM
[] - John Charmley - 16-05-2008, 01:43 PM
[] - Michael - 18-05-2008, 05:59 PM

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