The service of ordination in the cathedral last night was very beautiful and as I met several old friends there who were ordained at the same time it was inevitable that we did some reminiscing.
It was a bumper year, our year, there were I believe about 12 of us...that's a lot of feet to wash. When Bishop Bill got to my feet he looked down and said," Ah, lovely Cornish brown feet" ...and then at my face and said, "Oops sorry Jean"
We had two bishops at that ceremony.....one of the ordinands was the son of a bishop and his father arrived fully kitted up...he decided to become my keeper for the service and every time I was required to kneel down he was at hand to hoist me to my feet again!
For much of the service tears streamed down my face and I had to reassure everyone that they were tears of joy and massive emotion.
It was completely over whelming and afterwards there was a party at the village hall where the landlord of the village pub served a great deal of Pimms! At the end of the party we then all moved down the hill to resume in my garden. Finally I had to ask a very good friend if he could persuade them all to go home! I had a sermon to tweak!
The following morning I started my first sermon with the words, "Well you all have positive proof that God has a sense of humour!"
Driving home last night after the service I considered what a very long way I'd come since that first ordination.....It seems eons ago now and I reflected that being in the clergy was not actually anything like what I'd imagined...I realised how much I'd learned as well as how much I'd forgotten.
I now know that my ministry was always and will always be a teaching ministry.....with all the other bits flung in as and when required.
I still mist up when I think of that day. And I still thank God daily for all his gifts especially my sense of humour because it has been needed at times!