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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Europe Ordinations in Madrid, Lisbon ... and Norwich

On Saturday 30 June in St George's Madrid, the Revd Nigel Thomas (above left) was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Geoffrey (centre). Fr Nigel continues to serve as assistant curate in St George's, under the supervision of the chaplain, the Revd Canon Ian Hutchinson-Cervantes (right).

On Sunday 1 July, in St George's Lisbon, Verna Veritie (above centre) was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Geoffrey. Deacon Verna will serve as assistant curate in St Paul's Athens and St Peter's Kifissia, under the direction of the chaplain, the Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw (above left). Fr Malcolm was the preacher for the occasion. Verna's move to Greece to take up her diaconal ministry comes at an appropriate time when our parish is engaged, with our Orthodox partners, in reaching out to those who are affected by the economic crisis in the country.

On Saturday 30 June in Norwich Cathedral, the Revd Jennifer Elliott de Riverol, the assistant curate of All Saints Tenerife with St Martin de Porres, La Palma, was ordained to the priesthood by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, as commissary of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Jennifer has connections in Norfolk and as women priests in this diocese are ordained either by the Archbishop of Canterbury or his commissary, it was appropriate for her ordination to be held in Norwich. 

Jennifer (4th from left above) continues her ministry in La Palma and Tenerife, under the supervision of her training incumbent, the Revd Mike Smith. She is the first woman priest to be ordained to serve in the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar. 


  1. A serious question, especially in the light of current General Synod machinations: Why are Diocesan Ordinations to the Priesthood celebrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury or his commissary? Why not Bishop Rowell or yourself?

  2. That is an excellent question Doodler. It is a system that was in place when I came into this diocese, apparently to ensure that none of our parishes requested "alternative episcopal oversight" on the grounds that our own bishops were somehow not acceptable. The protocol is now probably over 15 years old, and may well need to be revisited. Of course, it may be best to await what happens when the final decision is made regarding women bishops, so that any revision to our diocesan protocol takes account of whatever a code of practice may recommend. I know it is a great frustration to our women clergy that one of our own bishops, at present, is not permitted to ordain women to the priesthood.