The Licensing of our former Assistant Curate, Andrew, by the Lord Bishop of Carlisle in the Parish Church of St. James, Arnside, took place on the evening of Friday, 12th July, in the presence of a full church of over 170 people, including our Archdeacon, Vernon, an impressive combined choir from the benefice where Andrew was being licensed and installed, and many robed clergy and readers. It was an impressive occasion.
As customary at these events, the formalities were conducted with great solemnity and dignity – the Declaration of Assent by Andrew to the inheritance of the faith of the Church of England, the Oaths of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and of Obedience to the Bishop, the Licensing itself and Andrew’s formal Installation by the Archdeacon in his stall. Similarly, the Greeting of the New Priest by the people and by members of the Benefices, the Deanery and the Church (and the agreement by all of the latter to support Andrew), the solemn Commissioning by the presentation of symbols of religion and ministry, and the greeting of their new priest by representatives of various local church and secular organizations, along with the commitment by all to work together in unison and unity for the greater glory of God, and for the development of God for All and for the Christian community – all formed a most meaningful service.
Our own congregations of St. Paul’s and the Fell Church were well represented: many of our members and our former Churchwarden and Treasurer, Christine (now resident in Scotland), had travelled to the service, Joyce read a lesson and many of the retired clergy who so beautifully and effectively minister to us week by week, as well as our former Rector, Canon Nick Ash, were seated amongst the robed clergy and readers. Andrew’s parents, grandparents and sister, whom we now consider part of our fellowship, were also present and it was a joy to see them taking pride in the next step of Andrew’s journey in Christ.
The evening finished with refreshments in the Church of England school next-door to the church as we wished Andrew good luck and every success in the future.