On Sunday June 25th 2017 Thomas Paul McLean was ordained Deacon in the Cathedral Church at Peterborough. On Sunday June 24th 2018 (Nativity of St. John the Baptist) FATHER Tom is to be ordained Priest in that same place.

A whole year has flown by!

I had to check in my diary that it had indeed been a year since we were first happy and excited to welcome him into our Benefice, our churches and our hearts.

The position of a Deacon is one totally different from any other, he (or she) is greeted as one would ones own child, one to be proud of, to be overseen, indulged to a certain degree, to be cosseted and fed with chocolate biscuits by the older members of the church, who will always delight in regaling them with stories of “the old days”.

The younger members of the church see them as an older sibling, hopefully good at computer games and with a sympathetic ear to the troubles that Old Folk can never be entrusted with – believing that Old Folk were NEVER young (!?!)

In St. Mary’s and St. John’s we have been privileged to have had many Deacons and Curates among us over the years, Steven, Roger, Graeme, Brian, Richard (x2), Peter from Korea, Joseph from Japan, Colin - and our only other Tom, from America who eventually became Bishop of Massachusetts (no pressure there then!)
And there are those who went from us to serve their Deaconate elsewhere, David, Robert, Linda - and now we look forward to tearfully and joyfully seeing dear Debbie off on this path of adventure.

From their Training Priest, Deacons learn “the job”, of being faithful in prayer, study, preaching, teaching, to celebrate the Mass and other services. They learn to change a plug, stop a leak, mow the grass, paint a fence, raise funds, cuddle babies, clean drains – or at least where to find someone else who can do such things.
And from the me and you’s of the church they learn the truth of the old adage “There’s nowt so queer as folk”.
We are a rum lot – parishioners – each with an opinion, a point of view, a way of going about things, different life experiences, sore points and mixed talents

Deacons are folded into our lives with affection, we all want to love and be loved to some degree, and there are many Ordination cards kept safely between pages of our prayer books and bibles, prompting us to continue to offer to God in our prayers Deacons and Curates long flown the nest and now flying high in places far afield, but who are still remembered with fondness here, where they fledged.

We cannot all be at the Cathedral with you in body, Fr. Tom, but we will all be with you in spirit - and prayers will be said and candles lit for you in many places both here and in holi- day destinations, possibly abroad, on June 24th
So, dear Father Tom, always trust in God’s faithfulness, enjoy your Ordination Day, and all the Blessings that will be poured upon you, bask in the pride and love of your family, friends and members of YOUR Parish Family, and thank our Lord that He has called you to servewith Him in such a wonderful way.

  ​​Joy Yorke