What a day we had with Bishop Tim on 4 October. His visit was accompanied with the hottest weather in October for many a year and provided us with the best of all worlds to walk the Pilgrims Way from Ludgvan, where he blessed the magnificent mural in the Murley Hall, then on to Marazion for the wonderful 150th anniversary celebrations and then, after a splendid lunch, some of us walked on to Perranuthnoe for tea and cake and blessing of the Church Rooms.
From there we all moved back to Marazion to the School where we had a great deal of fun in our outdoor worship with the Bishop (who remembers the Superman Grace he taught us?) parents, children and staff in their new outdoor facility. Well done Dom for creating this worship time.
Not to mention….more lovely cake and scones and cream and jam and tea and coffee and ……….I am sure you get the picture!
I unfortunately was unable to do the walk because someone had to carry the Bishop’s jacket! (That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it) but well done those who did do any part of the walk).
During the service in All Saints Marazion the Bishop blessed a newly restored alter frontal, a whole lot of new pew bibles and he also licensed me as Associate Priest in our Benefice.
So what does “Associate Priest” mean? And why wasn’t Lilian made “Associate Priest?” Why was Lilian a perpetual Assistant Curate? I have been asked.
The answer lies in the new – since February of this year – Common Tenure for all clergy in the Church of England.
Under Common Tenure my old 5 year Licence, given at my priesting in 2008, has been revoked and my new Licence has been granted. My new Licence from the Bishop is given because I am now deemed to be fully trained in the ways of the priesthood so no longer a Curate but a fully fledged Priest.
Dom will remain a Curate until he too has completed his training then he will, in all probability, leave us and take on his own Parish where he will be the Associate Priest, or Vicar or Rector or whatever.
Annie will also become a Curate next year and she will then start her next phase of training with Nigel and Dom.
If all of this sounds very “Church of England” then please be assured – it is! I had thought all this through and researched as best I could when I came across the fact that “Associate Priest” isn’t a new title - there have been Associate Priests in the Diocese for many years – long before Common Tenure was thought of but I have no explanation for that – maybe they’re not as Associate as I am!
So your clergy team now consists of our Rector Nigel, House for Duty Priest Noel, together with Reader Lesley, Associate Priest Beth, Assistant Curate Dom and Ordinand Annie along with the indispensable retired priests John, Frank, David and Leslie who do so much to help in the Benefice and without whom the whole thing couldn’t work.
I do hope that clarifies the situation – just a little bit anyway.
Having sorted out what we are called, we now have to put our vision of the future forward – much more important.
Who knows – except God Himself – what the future will bring but some of our plans for the next exciting year in our Benefice for 2012 are:-
the Easter Celebrations – watch this space, the Benefice visit to Westminster Abbey on 17th June, the Ordination of Annie and the Priesting of Dom the following day at the end of June followed in October by Dom and Hannah’s wedding.
We journey on with God and while He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow I am very pleased to say that our God also delights in doing a new thing. I hope and pray that we do too.
All love, from your new and very excited Associate Priest, Beth xx