Here in the parish we are looking forward to the ordination of Stephen Graham as a deacon on Saturday 2nd July by Bishop Graham in Norwich Cathedral and to his first day in the parish on Sunday 3rd July. Stephen will serve the first year of at least 3 years here as a deacon and will be ordained priest in 2017.
Deacons existed in the early church of the New Testament and have remained part of the life of the Church. A deacon is a ministry that is associated with service of some kind, in fact the word deacon is from a Greek word meaning servant. As a deacon Stephen will be involved in all areas of parish life, visiting, pastoral care, working with children, young people and families, preaching, teaching, leading worship, taking funerals and celebrating baptisms. He will also have a distinct roll in assisting with the Sunday services, though as a deacon he will not preside at the communion service..
The Church of England belongs to the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” which we affirm in the words of the Creed Sunday by Sunday. It is also expressed in the sacramental life of the Church and in the ancient threefold order of ministry of Bishop, Priests and Deacons. To be ordained into ministry is to answer God’s call to serve him in a particular way and is an immense privilege. Stephen has answered God’s call and I look forward to welcoming him to the Parish to continue his training serving as a deacon and then as a priest. I have no doubt the people of the parish will also warmly welcome him and be blessed by his ministry among us.