On the 2nd July in Manchester Cathedral, three men were ordained priest from the Catholic tradition of the Church of England by the Bishop of Beverley.  Fr Mitchell, Fr Thompson, and Fr Oliver-Hemmings-Faye began their priesthood with a life-long commitment to those they will serve.  We pray that Almighty God will bless each one of them, and all those ordained this Petertide: we will pray for them, and for their parishes and those who have been chosen to encourage them on their journey.

Such occasions make all of whom were ordained many years ago to reflect on God’s call and to think about those with whom we shared our own ordination.  Many have gone to glory and now rest in the arms of God in paradise, but others labour on continuing to offer what we can to God’s people.

I truly believe that all of us, whether those ordained or those we serve, are each called to God’s service and to offer the gifts that we have to help others on their journey in life as we all face the challenges that are before us. We still pray for those who face war and violence each and every day in the Ukraine, those who wake each day uncertain where they will find the money to pay for things many take for granted, those who struggle to find food or shelter and so the list goes on.  Our Lord calls each of us into his service and we should listen and respond to that call and bring what little comfort we can to those in need.

Soon, with God’s will, I shall celebrate 60 years as a priest and it has been a privilege to serve many of those years here in Prestwich.  It is a joy to see so many of you as I walk around the parish, and I simply thank God that he called me all those years ago to train and to be ordained and to serve in such a wonderful place.

Pray for those three new priests as they begin their ministries in this diocese and pray too that God calls others to join them and so build up the church for the future.

Finally, I ask your prayers for Alex Walker, a man who serves St Hilda’s as our MC, Thurifer and sub-Deacon as is needed.  Alex has recently been accepted for training for the priesthood and will begin his two-year course of training in September as he moves to the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.

God bless you all and do listen – God may well be calling you to help others!

The Reverend Fr. Ronald Croft