It’s nearly a year since I was ordained priest in the Church of England, and the priesting of the next “crop” approaches rapidly. Here’s what I wrote then about it, one week later. A year in, and it feels less fraught, but the juxtapositions still happen regularly. It is a privilege to share so many joys and sorrows with so many people.
I love the occasional offices, meeting people where they are, helping them articulate where God is in their lives at particular points. And I enjoy the routine bits too, the events that mark each week, each month. But I was caught by surprise on Thursday evening at Parish Communion. I wasn’t presiding, I read Isaiah 6, which is the Old Testament lectionary reading for Trinity Sunday. It’s the story of the commissioning of Isaiah, and I found myself welling up with emotion as I read it out. I’d been wondering when the enormity of Priesting would hit me – I had assumed it would happen at first presidency, at Christmas or at Easter. And it didn’t. So I had concluded I must have assimilated it gradually. I was wrong. But I’m so glad it happened in a service where I could just ‘be’ instead of leading, where no-one would notice.
This year hasn’t been a year of step changes, that was my Deacon’s year. This year has been about evolution, about growing into myself. When I grow up, I’d like to be the priest God wants me to be.