What a wonderful weekend, and busy. On Saturday afternoon in Wakefield Cathedral, Bishop Nick, diocesan bishop of Leeds, ordained fifteen men and women to the diaconate, having ordained nine others in the morning, in a grand but well-ordered service that lasted nearly two hours. Among them, Alex Ladds (second from left in the first photo).
On Sunday, Alex attended the Eucharist at each of our churches: as deacon he read the gospel, and then formally made the Declaration of Assent before the churchwardens and congregation – the necessary legal commencement to his ministry among us. He then introduced himself with a few (light and humorous) words from the pulpit.
At St Mary’s, his father Bishop Robert Ladds, former Bishop of Whitby, celebrated the Mass, with his son on his right as deacon – a powerful expression of our place in the wider Church. At the end of the service, Bp Robert told of his disappointment (reciprocated) that Fr Nicholas and Canon Ann had not come to a parish under his care back in 2001.
As it happened God had other plans. They came instead to this parish, and Ann as Diocesan Director of Ordinands oversaw and guided Alex’s progress through the process of discernment and training; and together they now have the responsibility for his training as a curate. So we meet again in a different setting, to share Christ’s ministry.
A long and tiring day for Alex, but an uplifting one all round. Many have said since, from all three congregations, how exciting and inspiring they found each service. A lovely day! May God bless Alex in his work among us.
Second photo shows Bp Robert Ladds, Alex, Louise his wife and son Joseph (elder son Isaac was away) by the statue of Our Lady at St Mary’s after the first service.