Enjoyed attending the Blessing of Oils and Renewal of Ordination Vows service at Chelmsford Cathedral today. Over 200 clergy gathered for the service led by +Stephen Cottrell who preached on God’s call to Samuel and the woman washing Jesus’ feet. Some provocative and challenging insights but the comment that particularly stuck in my mind was +Stephen’s reminder that Christianity was story before it was doctrine. He went on to challenge us to allow ourselves to be drawn into the stories of the Gospel and to recapture the art of story telling in sharing the Gospel with others.
After the service we processed out and gathered around the cathedral green for a final blessing. As it was lunchtime a group of people were sitting on the grass enjoying their food and they suddenly found themselves surrounded by a circle of clergy, readers and bishops. Is this the first recorded experience of clerical kettling?
One minor whinge. Why is it that there seems to be a moratorium on hymns written by anyone who is still alive at these services? We sang a hymn written by a 13th century pope but the nearest to anything contemporary was something penned at least thirty years ago. I had hoped that a diocesan service would reflect something of the breadth of hymnody and song being used in worship across the diocese and it is no surprise that some colleagues give it a miss. It wasn’t as bad as some of the ordination services I’ve attended in the last few years but was still a bit of a culture shock after Spring Harvest.
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