Wednesday, 16 June 2010

2010:365:167 Anniversary

There's a great depth in this painting by unknown artist...all that can be said is that it is 'after the school of Kenneth Webb'.  Just under nine years ago it was hanging in an obscure corner at a car boot sale looking very sorry for itself.  Then it was in its original frame where it had been put while the paints were still wet.  
The pigments match those of the mural in Bangor Abbey.  The subject matter is a priest who appears to be at the Holy Table facing a congregation in an arched building.  The paint was applied generously with a knife and also some brush work.
It is one of those paintings that, once seen, you would sell everything you have to own it!  Fortunately, as I was in my first year as a curate at the Abbey, it cost very little.  Since then it has been re-framed and now hangs in my living room. 
There's something about it that draws your eye right in to the place where the action is happening. 
Nine years ago tomorrow, 17th June, I was ordained deacon in the Church of Ireland to serve as Curate Assistant in Bangor Abbey.  That centre goes back to the sixth century AD and is steeped in history and spirituality.  
One year later, eight years ago today, I was ordained priest; so a lot of time today has been spent reflecting on that calling and reading again the ordination service. 
The knitted doll belonged to the late Rev Miss Patricia Needham.  Pat died on 22nd September 2004 (I think).  She'd been one of the first women to be ordained in the Church of England and this little Sheffield United (soccer) priest came to me as a gift from her brother and sister-in-law.  
To celebrate today's anniversary of my ordination the 365Project photograph combined the painting and the priest!  
Picnik was used to put these three shots together and to add football symbols.... no.... I've not been converted to watching the game.... but it seemed like a fun idea while I'm avoiding world cup fever!
Meanwhile.... there was a short interlude while I had a visitor from the British Red Cross... one of the little gifts that I received was this wee bar of chocolate!  It's an example of rather good advertising and reminds the recipient that one of the jobs of the Red Cross is to respond to emergencies.  However this picture can't be repeated as the chocolate is long since gone!
The sentence I read at Holy Communion today from Paul's letter to the Romans (12:5-6) is a useful reminder that every person has a part to play in the ministry and service of the church. 
"Just as in a single human body there are many limbs and organs, all with different functions, so we who are united with Christ, though many, form one body, and belong to one another as its limbs and organs.  We have gifts allotted to each of us by God's grace."

Almighty God,
you have chosen and ordained these your servants
to be ministers and stewards of your word and sacraments
and given them the will to undertake these things:
Give them also the strength to perform them,
that they may complete that work which you have begun in them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer
Bishop's prayer at the end of the Ordination of Priests.


Anonymous said...

I was the guest speaker at The New Testament Assembly last Sunday and my theme was 'Give thanks with a grateful heart'. I would like to take this opportunity to Give thanks to God, with a grateful heart, for your 8 years of ministry as an ordained minister but your ministry, I am sure, started long before you were ordained. Give thanks to God for you who are - the woman He made in his image. Give thanks to God for all that you are yet to be in His name. take care and many congratulations, Judith

Anonymous said...

oops sorry that should read Give thanks to God for who you are...

Anonymous said...

Romans 12 is one of my favourite passages from the Bible. In Sunday school we had to learn the chapter by heart and I can still remember it!

Rev Elizabeth said...

Judith... thank you so much. That is a lovely prayer.
Yes... we'd need a book - or a good face-to-face - to fill in the whole story.
To Anon.... it is a great passage and we had to learn it in SS as well!!

Loey said...

I enjoyed reading about your painting, your knitted doll & how you came to own both, Elizabeth.
Amazing what one can pick up at a car boot sale :)
I can see why you were drawn to it - it is very striking, yet so simply painted.
I like the framing.
Congratulations are in order as you celebrate 8 years since being ordained - I can imagine your reflections on those years, and maybe wondering where have they gone ? :)
Thinking of you today!