Ordination of Rev Vivienne Ridpath

9th September 2020

Rev Rosie Bunn reports

It is easy to look at the last few months and come up with a very long list of things we have missed out on, had to cancel or delay. For many within the village's church, the occasion of a special service has been looked forward to for several years now. It was, however, one of the events to be rearranged as a result of this new world we find ourselves in post lockdown release. The first group ordinations in the Church of England since the Covid-19 pandemic have now taken place in the Diocese of Norwich. These celebrations marked the milestone of the trainee vicars becoming recognised as priests within the church 
At a small service in Statham on the 8th August, Belton and Burgh Castle's Rev Vivienne Ridpath was able to celebrate with family and a representative from each of the churches. The end of one long journey and the beginning of another, as she was ordained into the Priesthood by The Bishop of Thetford, alongside Rev Andrew Bevan from Stalham and Smallburgh. The wearing of masks during service, and not being able to sing during worship (a result of the current advice and guidance on gathering) did make for a strange start to the service for someone who is used to quietly singing along to the music as others are greeting each other, but once the service was underway it was easy to forget about the 'restrictions' and get swept up with the atmosphere of such a momentous occasion
The weather seemed to be celebrating alongside us, as members of the church tuned in to watch the service on YouTube. A new experience for many that was enjoyed by all. It may not be the same experience as being there in person, but it enabled everyone who wanted to celebrate alongside Viv and Andrew the opportunity
The highlight for me personally, aside from being asked to attend as one of the representatives, was watching the anointing of Viv and Andrew’s hands before they received their Bibles and their Letters of Orders. The atmosphere within the church at this time was beyond words. After the service, those in attendance gathered in the church grounds to share their congratulations and to take photos in an attempt to capture the celebratory happiness everyone was feeling
The way the church can gather together after a formal event still surprises me, and I hope I never lose that feeling. To have the formality and positional status during the service, and then to come together as one, informally and equal is such an amazing experience that I pray we may see more of outside the church


also published in Village Voice magazine



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Pete &Tricia Gillett (Guest) 15/09/2020 10:30
Congratulations Viv may God bless you and lead you