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On this rock I will build my Church

An ordination service for Petertide from Guildford Cathedral, led by the Rev Dr Jo Bailey Wells, bishop of Dorking.

Petertide is one of the traditional periods for the ordination of new priests and deacons. This morning we join the Bishop of Dorking, the Rt Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells at Guildford Cathedral as she presides at an ordination service for the first time as a Bishop. Some of the candidates for ordination offer reflections on their call to ministry and their hopes for the future. The addresses are given by the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, and the Revd Libby Talbot. The Guildford Cathedral Girls Choir are directed by Katherine Dienes-Williams and accompanied by Richard Moore. Producer: Andrew Earis.

38 minutes

Last on

Sun 2 Jul 2017 08:10

Web script

Please note:

This script cannot exactly reflect the transmission, as it was prepared before the service was broadcast. It may include editorial notes prepared by the producer, and minor spelling and other errors that were corrected before the radio broadcast.

It may contain gaps to be filled in at the time so that prayers may reflect the needs of the world, and changes may also be made at the last minute for timing reasons, or to reflect current events.


At ten past eight it’s time for Sunday Worship which shares the experience of a group of ordinands who gathered yesterday in Guildford Cathedral as they made their commitment to serve the church as Priests. Addresses were given by the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson and, during the service itself, by the Revd Libby Talbot.  It’s led by the Bishop of Dorking, the Rt Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells, who now introduces the service.

CHOIR: Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire.

• I’m standing outside Guildford Cathedral….
• This weekend 16 deacons and 16 priests being ordained….bit of a description…and same happening across the country
• Petertide
• Here explore public and private face of ordination – public service is long and formal (2 hours!). Here we’ll be dropping in on some of the key moments, and framed around two moments of reflection – from a pair of ordinands, and from the Bishop of Guildford
• First we join the congregation inside Guildford Cathedral for the hymn…

HYMN: Crown him with many crowns (RX in Guildford Cathedral)

OPENING Comments and PRAYER for the candidates

Isaiah 61
The Good News of Deliverance
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
   because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
   to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
   and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour,
   and the day of vengeance of our God;
   to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
   to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
   the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.

CHOIR: Creator Spirit – Alan Ridout [Cath Choir]

• Back anno Creator Spirit and Guildford Cathedral Girls choir
• Link to ordination candidates – why people choose ministry. Hannah and Ian now tell us their story

I had my call to ordained ministry twenty years ago. I had been recently married and was pursuing my teaching career. One Sunday as a knelt at the communion rail to receive communion I had a real sense of God saying, “Hannah one day you will do this.” My response was “oh okay” and then I put it to the back of my mind. I got on with starting a family, moving back to the UK from South Africa and setting up my own business.

Some fifteen years later, now with two children, I was approached by my local vicar and asked whether I had considered discerning a vocation to ordained ministry. As he said it, I got butterflies in my tummy and felt electrified. The long forgotten memory from the altar rail came flooding back.

CHOIR: The Call of Wisdom (1st part) – Will Todd

I grew up in Birmingham, in a loving, Christian home.  Back then I wanted to run my own Advertising Agency, I was going to be brilliant and that was the plan. There’s an old adage: you tell God your plans so He can have a good laugh. Well, my plans were set but I guess I didn’t hear him chuckling! I got drawn into a Christian youth work and, well, things changed.

At 27 I had a conversation with a friend who suggested ‘I should go into the ministry’. To my huge surprise, I found myself crying, I'm not sure who felt more awkward him or me, But I continued to pursue youth ministry. Over the following 20 years I often dwelt on that conversation, and an insistent inner voice kept asking whether youth ministry was what I really should be doing. I convinced myself it was - and I told God as much as well. In my mid forties, I could no longer ignore that inner voice. I started to explore ordained ministry, after many conversations and theological College. I’m here, today.

CHOIR: The Call of Wisdom (2nd part) – Will Todd

The stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table always captured my imagination as a child. It’s partly that I was brought up in the city of Winchester, where a medieval round table is famously attached to the wall of the Castle. It’s partly that we regularly holidayed in North Cornwall, with its Arthurian links and the evocative ruins at Tintagel. But the stories themselves were so absorbing too, with the wizard Merlin, Sir Lancelot, and the beautiful Queen Guinevere amongst the most memorable of their dramatis personae.
There was something deeper in my love for those stories, though: the vision of belonging to a fellowship like that of King Arthur, gathering around the table for friendship, feasting and laughter, then being sent out to slay dragons, and search for Holy Grails, and engage in other deeds of derring do. I guess many people share that vision, children and adults alike, whether the myth of choice is Camelot, Narnia or Hogwarts: a need for security on the one hand and adventure on the other. Life becomes dull if it gets too cosy around the table. Life becomes exhausting if everything’s a challenge. But combine the two: gather round for warm fellowship, then set off in purposeful adventure, and that seems to me the very essence of the ‘life in all its fullness’ that Jesus came to bring. 

It’s clear that security and adventure were always part of the package of following Christ. Like King Arthur, Jesus was accessible as a leader, a shepherd who lived at close quarters with his sheep. St Paul was the same, sharing his very life with a remarkable group of those he called his synergists, his fellow workers – and intriguingly the list of those workers in the last chapter of Romans includes the names of almost as many women as men. These were men and women with a mission. Indeed they would become one of the most effective, compassionate, transformational mission movements that the world has ever seen.   

We’re just approaching the summer vacation, a time of year that gives many of us a chance to stop and think: and the process of stopping and thinking often leads us to recognise an imbalance between security and adventure, a sense that life has become too safe, perhaps, or else too chaotic. It’s much the same at Christmas. Step forward a little, to January and September, and here are the best vocation months, we’ve learnt, the times of year when the deepest questions have begun to surface. To coin a phrase, ‘vacations lead to vocations’.

And something of that kind has been true for the 16 new priests and 16 new deacons whom we’re ordaining in the Diocese of Guildford this weekend. And it’s been true too of the encouragingly growing numbers of those being called to the priesthood in the Church of England over the past 12 months. It’s not that every Christian is called to be a vicar, of course. But few roles combine security and adventure like this does – which is one of the reasons, perhaps, why it’s clergy who recently topped a Cabinet Office survey of 274 occupations, when it came to lifelong job satisfaction. 

So as the new priests and deacons, and the whole congregation gather together around Christ’s table in Ordination services here in Guildford and around the country, we do so as those open to the still, small voice of his call. For the invitation to be part of Christ’s fellowship is no myth, no Arthurian Romance: this is the reality to which all the myths are pointing.   

CHOIR: The Call of Wisdom (3rd part) – Will Todd

READING: John Chapter 21

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ 16A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’17He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?’ 21When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about him?’ 22Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!’ 23So the rumour spread in the community* that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?’*
SERMON: The Revd Libby Talbot. 

Music: Broken for me…. Janet Lunt


Bishop Will you be diligent in prayer, in reading Holy Scripture, and in all studies that will deepen your faith and fit you to bear witness to the truth of the gospel?

Ordinands By the help of God, I will.

Bishop Will you lead Christ’s people in proclaiming his glorious gospel, so that the good news of salvation may be heard in every place?

Ordinands By the help of God, I will.

Bishop Will you then, in the strength of the Holy Spirit, continually stir up the gift of God that is in you, to make Christ known among all whom you serve?

Ordinands By the help of God, I will.

Further prayers from +Jo


+Jo :We praise and glorify you, almighty Father, because in your infinite love you have formed throughout the world a holy people for your own possession,a royal priesthood, a universal Church.
Lord, send your Spirit.

And now we give you thanks
that you have called these your servants,
whom we ordain in your name,
to share as priests in the ministry of the gospel of Christ,
the Apostle and High Priest of our faith,
and the Shepherd of our souls.
Lord, send your Spirit.

Therefore, Father, through Christ our Lord we pray:

Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant XXXXX
for the office and work of a priest in your Church.
(overlay 2/3 of these….fading into music…..)

MUSIC: O send out your light….Katherine Dienes-Williams

Let us pray

(Ordinand) For the peace of the whole world,
for the welfare of the Holy Church of God,
and for the unity of all,
let us pray to the Lord.

(Ordinand) For the poor and the hungry,
for the homeless and the oppressed,
for all prisoners and captives,
and for our brothers and sisters
who are persecuted for their faith,
let us pray to the Lord.

(Ordinand) For the sick and suffering,
for the aged and infirm,
for the lonely and neglected,
and for all who remember and care for them,
let us pray to the Lord.

(Ordinand) For ourselves;
for grace to repent and amend our lives,
that we may be pardoned and absolved from all our sins,
let us pray to the Lord.

(Ordinand) Remembering all who have gone before us in faith,
and in communion with all the saints,
we commit ourselves, one another,
and our whole life to Christ our God.

We say the Lord’s Prayer together:
Our Father
who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen

May the Father, whose glory fills the heavens,
cleanse you by his holiness
and send you to proclaim his word.

May Christ, who has ascended to the heights,
pour upon you the riches of his grace.

May the Holy Spirit, the comforter,
equip you and strengthen you in your ministry.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always.

HYMN: To God be the Glory

May the Father, whose glory fills the heavens,
cleanse you by his holiness
and send you to proclaim his word.

May Christ, who has ascended to the heights,
pour upon you the riches of his grace.

May the Holy Spirit, the comforter,
equip you and strengthen you in your ministry.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always.

ORGAN VOLUNTARY: Komm, heiliger Geist – J.S. Bach

Today’s Sunday Worship came from Guildford Cathedral. The Girl Choristers was directed by Katherine Dienes**-Williams and the organist was Richard Moore. The service was led by the Bishop of Dorking, the Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells and the producer was Andrew Earis.

The Archbishop of Capetown preaches next week as Sunday Worship visits South Africa with former BBC world affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge.
And a reminder that Radio 2 is seeking it’s Young Choristers of the Year 2017; details of the competition can be found on the Sunday Worship web page.