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/ 6 March 2015

Maundy Thursday Eucharist, 10.30am, 2nd April Renewal of Ordination Vows and Blessing of Oils

To Clergy, Licensed Ministers and all the people of God

All Christians have a calling to be disciples and ambassadors for Christ, as we say when we anoint them at their baptism:

Christ claims you for his own.
Receive the sign of his cross.
​Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.

We have known for some while that over the next decade the Church of England needs to replenish and enlarge its company of clergy and we have committed ourselves as a diocese to a 50% increase in ordinands by 2020.

So it was very encouraging to meet with some of the 82 men and women who were sponsored by our Directors of Ordinands to join the Towards Ordained Ministry course earlier this year – the highest number ever.

Many of us know that it was godly men and women in our churches who first inspired and challenged us to consider God’s calling on our lives, whether to serving on the PCC, teaching in the Sunday School or offering ourselves for ordination. I hope that this year we can all prayerfully look for those men and women in whom God is already at work and who are perhaps being called to serve Christ in the ordained ministry.

We are developing a website, London Callings, which will be enlarged and refreshed by the autumn and I will be sending out publicity later in the year encouraging us to focus on vocations to the ordained ministry around All Saints tide. The Maundy Thursday Eucharist in the Cathedral is one of the few occasions in the year when we can demonstrate our unity in Christ and generous orthodoxy. It is always moving to see so many clergy, Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers witnessing publicly that the Church in London is still growing and continuing to proclaim the Gospel of Christ by word and deed. It is a day when we can rejoice in the diversity that God has given us and as clergy, renew our ordination vows, pray for the people we serve and bless the oils used in our ministry.

My brother bishops and I hope you will join us. All are welcome: clergy and people together rejoicing in the love of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus who sends us out into the world to preach and to serve in his name.

Practical Arrangements for Clergy and Licensed Ministers

Time: all robing in the Chapel of St Faith in the Crypt preferably by 10am but by 10.15am at the latest please. Enter by northwest crypt door – congregation only through West doors.

Robing: cassock, surplice, and if it is your tradition, white stole for clergy, scarf for Readers and Lay Ministers.

Oil Distribution: collect vials from the Crypt after the Eucharist – please wash and return empty containers from last year and leave them in the receptacles in the Crypt.

Deputies: a parish or chaplaincy representative may collect oils on behalf of the priest. Oils are available from the Virgers throughout the year should you require further supplies.

Special Needs: please contact Susan Charles in the Cathedral, 020 7246 8354, scharles@nullstpaulscathedral.org.uk.

Coffee will be served in the Nelson Chamber after divesting.

About Richard Chartres

The Rt Revd Richard Chartres KCVO was the 132nd Bishop of London from November 1995 until March 2017.

Read more from Richard Chartres

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