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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Clergy and Readers renew commitment to ministry

On Tuesday in Holy Week, clergy and readers from the diocese gathered with the bishops in two different churches for Chrism masses.

For 5 years now, these services have been celebrated simultaneously in different parts of the diocese to enable more people to attend this important Holy Week tradition. This year, Bishop Geoffrey presided at one service in St Boniface, Antwerp while I presided at Holy Trinity Geneva.

The service in Geneva brought together clergy and readers from 5 countries - Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Monaco. The chaplain of Holy Trinity, the Revd Roy Taylor (below centre) hosted the service and some of his parishioners provided lunch following for the visiting clergy and laity. Music was provided by members of Holy Trinity choir. The preacher was the Archdeacon of Switzerland, the Venerable Peter Potter (below left), who linked the service to aspects of the Royal Maundy at which 3 laity from Switzerland will be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen on Maundy Thursday in Westminster Abbey, as well as to the commitment to service symbolised by the washing of feet, also on Maundy Thursday. It was a particularly poignant service for the assistant priest at Holy Trinity, the Revd Maree Wilson (below right), who will be leaving this diocese to take up a position in Hereford after Easter.

The Chrism Eucharist is the occasion when the blessing of the three oils which are used in the services of the Church - for the sick, for those to be baptised and Chrism for confirmation and ordination -  is combined with the renewal of commitment to ministry by bishops, priests, deacons and authorised lay ministers. Together we remember how Christ consecrated himself to obedient service to his Father, in his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

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