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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2022 issue

Revd Liz Quinn writes ….

The last couple of weeks have been quite a whirlwind.

It has been a time of lots of goodbyes; goodbye to my training friends at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford; goodbye to my training friends at Portsmouth Pathway; goodbye to my friends at St. Peter and St Paul’s in Hambledon and the benefice. The goodbyes came as I completed my theological training for ordination in the Church of England. Then began the hellos; hello to family and friends as we gathered at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral for the ordination service on Saturday 2 July 2022; hello to my Vicar and new friends at St. George the Martyr parish, Waterlooville for my first Sunday service the following day.

Goodbyes and hellos seem to be what Jesus asks of us; goodbye to old habits and ways of living and hello to living Jesus’ values and calling. Some of these endings and new beginnings may appear small but all are significant in God’s eyes. I think I’ve been taking small steps on my Christian journey until Saturday. Saturday felt like a big stride forwards. I was saying a big hello to Jesus. As Bishop Jonathan ordained me a Deacon, I was putting my trust totally in Jesus and committing my life to his service.

I’ve been reflecting on my thoughts and feelings during the ordination service. I would like to share them with you. But, before I do so, I think I would like to go back a little further. The week before I had spent on retreat with my other colleagues to be ordained. We stayed in a beautiful retreat centre in the Oxfordshire countryside. We spent time in prayer and having some talks from our retreat guide. We all recognised the significance of the step we were about to take. There was a mixture of feelings from anxiety to a sense of peace. One afternoon, I had gone for a walk. As I was going along I noticed a feeling of excitement come over me. It felt reassuring. This feeling was immediately followed by something much more. I felt totally in God’s presence. I could feel his overwhelming love. I knew I was making a big commitment with my upcoming ordination. I also knew that I was not on my own; God was there with me.

This leads me on to my experiences at the Ordination Service. As I entered the cathedral on Saturday, I continued to know God’s presence; that’s not to say there weren’t a few nerves rumbling around too! As the service was about to start my ordinand friends and I were led to the St Thomas chapel. We sat quietly listening to the beautiful music, having a little reassuring chat and praying together. We were then led to the west end of the cathedral where we waited to be invited forward. The feeling of anticipation was tangible in the congregation.  

As the service continued the choir sang uplifting music and everyone prayed for those of us to be ordained. Bishop Jonathan washed our feet, following the example of Jesus at the Last Supper. It is a sign of our calling to be servants of Jesus and to care for people in our communities. Bishop Jonathan then laid his hands on the head of each of us. He prayed for God’s Holy Spirit to come to us. The Archdeacons then placed our white stoles around us, as a sign of committing our lives to the ministry of Jesus. Bishop Jonathan then invited the congregation to welcome us. A tumultuous sound arose of cheering and clapping. As I turned around to face everyone, I felt like a big wind of joy was blowing towards and over me. It felt amazing! I knew that my ordination was not just for me but for all God’s people.

The next day I was up bright and early for my first service as a Deacon at St. George’s. There were more hellos and a very warm welcome. I continued to feel the joy and love of God’s presence at the service. Afterwards we celebrated my arrival with a beautiful cake. It was good starting to get to know everyone.

The whirlwind of goodbyes and hellos has led to this new beginning. It is a new beginning of ordained ministry in God’s family. God has invited me to follow Jesus and share his love in the world. I could not do this on my own. The whirlwind that is God’s Spirit is blowing around and through me. It is not just me who can feel this wind…. I invite you to take a few steps and feel the breeze too!