Gill Alexander, our Curate, was ordained on 1 July at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle at 10 am. The Cathedral was filled to capacity, with aboiut 1000 people there. There were 13 ordinands from across the Diocese to be priested, and Gill was first in the alphabetical list. Each kneels in turn before the Bishop, who lays hands on the candidate's head. Then other supporting clergy come forward and also lay on their hands in a giant huddle, while the Bishop says "Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant Gill for the office and work of a Priest in your Church", and presents each with a Bible, saying "Receive this book as a sign of the authority given you this day to preach the gospel of Christ and to minister his holy sacraments".
At the end of the very impressive service, there is then an opportunity for the newly ordained Priests to greet their friends in the square outside the Cathedral. In lovely summer sunshine, there was a great buzz of laughter and conversation, with many able to greet friends from across the Diocese.
Gill will preside at her first Eucharist at a special service at 5 pm on Saturday 7 July at St Cuthbert's Beltingham, where the preacher will be the Rt Rev'd Dr Nicholas Chamberlain, the retired Bishop of Grantham . There will be refreshments after the service. Parking is available.