A group from the Barnsley Circuit went to London on Conference Sunday to support friends who were being ordained. There were three people connected with Barnsley, Paul Rees, who was a member at Emmanuel and is now serving as a Presbyter in Plymouth, Terry Street, from Royston serving as a Deacon in Nottingham, and Debbie Marsh originally from Scunthorpe who is our circuit deacon serving at New Hope.
The coach left Staincross and it was good that there was air conditioning working as the day was so hot. There were two drivers needed to comply with working hours. They changed after the comfort stop on the way down. Our friends were involved with three services on the day. All of them were received into Full Connexion at the morning worship in Central Hall. At this service our new circuit minister, Oluyemisi Adetounbo Jaiyesimi, known as Yemi was also received into the Connexion. Unfortunately we were travelling down at the time and could not be there.
We were dropped off outside Central Hall in the hot afternoon sun. It was swarming with people, many obviously church ministers. We were able to greet Sue and Terry Street and for many of us remake connections. We had arrived in good time and the short walk to Westminster Bridge passed a short while. On returning to Central Hall we found the restaurant where meals and drinks could be purchased. Again there were friends to be greeted from places near and far.
Central Hall was quite full on the ground floor, but plenty of space on the balcony. There were nine presbyters being ordained, Paul Rees being one of them. There were other venues around London where other ceremonies were taking place. As expected it was a formal service which included communion. Each ordinand had an assisting minister and Paul's was Leslie Newton, who was minister at Emmanuel when Paul candidated and started his quest to be a church minister many years ago. During the service the ordinands were introduced by name and the congregation asked: -
Do you believe and trust that they are, by God's grace worthy to be ordained?
The people proclaimed
They are worthy.
Will you uphold them in their ministry?
We will uphold them.
Each ordanand received a Bible.
A cup of tea and biscuit was welcome after the service and it was good to greet Paul and his family outside.
The coach arrived to take us to Southwark Cathedral for the evening service. There were a few extra passengers who had been staying in London for this journey. We were dropped off a short way from the cathedral, there being no places to stop on the 'Red Route' The building was nearly full and for us vision was poor with stone pillars between us and the ordination. The sermon was given by Rev. Steve Wild, late of Cliff College and a much lighter reflection than the one at Central Hall. The Deacons' ordination service is different from the presbyters'. They don't have a sponsor and they receive a badge as well as the bible during the service. Debbie Marsh and Terry Street were among the nine deacons ordained this year. Again it was a communion service and we had to walk some fifty yards to behind the main altar to receive the elements.
After the service tea and cakes were served in the court yard, a pleasant quiet area to the side of the building. The coach arrived to take us home, arriving in the early hours after a peaceful journey.
Mary & John