So the day had finally arrived and my nerves were all over the place.
All I kept thinking was, what if I say or do the wrong thing, I’m about to do one of the biggest and scariest things of my life and all in front of a bishop !
Once I arrived in church I thankfully found I wasn’t the only one who had sweating palms.
I looked around and thought how beautiful the church looked and it reminded me of my wedding day which put me at ease .
Finally bishop Andrew arrived and was so friendly . He asked me to have a chat to him about why I felt I wanted to be confirmed .
I told him that I had attended various churches on and off over the years but that now felt like the right time to make my commitment to the church and go on one of the biggest journeys of my life .
Everyone started arriving and I started feeling the excitement for what was about to happen.
The service was lovely and so great to have all my family there to join me on such a special day.
I don’t have any regrets about my choice and both Alan, Lesley and Lesley Shatwell and everyone who attended have helped me to make my day a very special one .
The Maundy Thursday Service at the Cathedral is perhaps my favourite service of the year – where we renew our commitment to the promises that we made as priests and receive the oils that we will use for the forthcoming year. I enjoyed the sermon from the bishop and the encouragement and the challenge of the service. I came away revitalised for another year in ministry.
Below is the sermon:
Guildford Cathedral, 2016
Luke 7, 36-50
“The whole thing was an outrage. The behaviour of Simon the Pharisee was completely beyond the pail!
The woman – well, she behaved impeccably throughout. True, she was classified as a ‘sinner’ – possibly a euphemism for the town prostitute – but she’d heard Jesus, she’d seen him in action, and she loved him – so what better way to show that love than impulsively buying an expensive pot of perfumed ointment, gate-crashing a private party, wetting Jesus’ feet with her tears, kissing them and wiping them with her hair, then decanting the contents of her pot as lavishly as she possibly could? The whole thing seems perfectly reasonable: I’m sure you and I would have done just the same in the circumstances.
And what of Jesus? Well, he appeared completely untroubled throughout. Having the local prostitute letting down her hair in his presence; allowing her to touch him and anoint him with her ointment and tears in full view of Simon and all his nice Pharisaical friends; even holding up that woman as a role model, as an example of what great love really looks like. Well, that was quite reasonable as well, of course: just the sort of thing that happens to us all the time, in fact, whenever we host a meal for our nice Pharisaical friends.
But Simon: well, he behaved outrageously. He never gave Jesus a proper greeting – a welcome kiss, a little oil on his head, some water for his feet – he quietly seems to have snubbed his guest, doubting whether he was really a prophet at all. His motives in inviting Jesus along in the first place were distinctly mixed. Even the woman had a thing or two to teach him about gratitude, holiness and the love of God.
Read the rest of the sermon here
What a wonderful evening we had at the cathedral last night – eleven people from our Parish were confirmed. Here are some pictures thanks to Lesley Shatwell and Georgie Fry: