Ordination of Jess Piper

On Saturday June 2nd, our lovely Curate, Jess Piper, was ordained priest at Chester Cathedral. Family and friends, parishioners from her previous parish, from husband Calum’s and of course from Bowdon were there in force to support her.

The service was intensely moving. The Gospel reading from St Luke told the story of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes and the theme was carried over into the sermon preached by Revd Catherine Williams, who spoke of the love of Christ and of how we, with our love for Christ, must go out and spread the word. We might think that we are ordinary people in our faith, but the “ordinary” can become quite “extraordinary” when we spread the word of God. To see this we need only look at the lives of the disciples. As the service progressed and the ordinands knelt in prayer, the three bishops connected to the Chester Diocese and Ian and Calum laid their hands on Jess as the Ordination Prayer was said. Our Archdeacon, Ian Bishop, exchanged Jess’s deacon’s stole for that of a priest and welcomed her with a big hug. A Communion service for all then followed.

The next day, on Sunday June 3rd, Jess presided at her first Communion Service as an ordained priest of the Church of England. The Revd Dr Joe Kennedy, who is Vicar of Oxton where Jess undertook her pre-ordination training and who was a tutor of Jess’s at St Mellitus College, delivered an inspirational sermon on Romans 12 proclaiming the love of Christ. At the end of the service many in the congregation felt moved to tears as the choir, stationed around St Mary’s, sang “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”.  Everyone then trooped over to the Parish Centre where over 60 people sat down to a really delicious shared lunch provided by members of our three congregations. An outstanding  cake spelling “REV” made by Jess’s friend, Emily,  rounded off the meal.  Finally, Ian proposed a toast for Jess and her future ministry which brought a very special, spiritual weekend to an end.

Sue Redford, Churchwarden