Wellington Cathedral of St Paul was full to the brim as our diocesan whānau gathered to celebrate the ordination of eight new priests, and ten new deacons in a day full of worship, thanksgiving, fun, laughter and friendship.
There was a strong sense of joy and the palpable presence of God as our newly ordained deacons and priests were prayed for by the bishops, anointed, and received tautoko and waiata from their parish and whānau support groups. When Bishop Justin and Bishop Eleanor presented the newly ordained, the Cathedral was filled with whoops and hollers of delight – and hundreds of green paper leaves rained down from the ceiling as a gesture of new life – matching the rather large “tree of life” that stood towering over one of the pulpits!
The congregation were then invited to write what they were thankful for on the leaves and peg them to the roots of the tree, which extended across the floor of the Cathedral, stretching from the choir stalls in the chancel, and right down the full extend of the nave.
The Thanksgiving continued with a relaxed and jovial atmosphere, as friends and family caught up over a delicious shared meal and great coffee from our own baristas (Rev Caleb Rowe, Rev Tim Duxfield, Archdeacon Gendy Thomson to name a few!) and food sold as a fundraiser by the Anglican Chinese Mission and other diocesan groups.
Bouncy castles were on hand for the children – although they seemed to attract a slightly more senior crowd, with the Archbishop having a go with newly ordained deacon, Rev Graham Conlon…
They set the trend for episcopal and clerical bounciness, so of course Bishop Justin had to have a go!
The eventful day was capped off with a celebratory Eucharist, at which our new deacons administered Communion and our new priests offered prayer ministry to all in attendance. The day was a beautiful finale to what has been a stunning year of God’s goodness amongst us.
You can see photos from the day on our Facebook page – they’re being uploaded as we finish editing them. If you were ordained or are family and friends of the ordained, feel free to download the full resolution images from our new Flickr page here.
You can also check out what else we’re thankful for in this video: