Bishop of Clifton ordains three Permanent Deacons

 David Brinn, Barry Taylor and Brendan Vaughan-Spruce were ordained as Permanent Deacons by Right Reverend Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton in Clifton Cathedral, Bristol. What a privilege to be once more at the ordination of three deacons in the Cathedral. Every time I attend this ceremony it takes me back to my own ordination four years ago. This year I had a more personal involvement with one of the ordinands Barry Taylor. Not only is he from my own parish of St Joseph's, Tewkesbury, but Barry and his wife Jo are personal friends of both my wife Audrey and myself, and it was my honour to assist in the vesting of Barry. When i was being ordained, it was announced by our Parish Priest at the time, Father Michael Fountaine, that Barry would be joining the formation programme that year; so St Joseph's has had eight years of supporting student deacons. As Chairman of the Deacons' Council for the last two years not only have I been able to be involved in Barry's ordination, I have also been involved in the progress of all the students in formation during this period. The last couple of years has seen quite a few changes for the studenthood. The academic involvement has become more based on the programme at Wesley College, in Bristol. I am always impressed by the dedication, hard work, and sacrifices of family life these students make. Not only the students themselves but their wives and families give much and without that support, most students and deacons would find their vocations a burden as opposed to a great joy. Not only does that support the deacon himself - this support also enhances his vocation for the whole of the parish and environment in which he lives. In Clifton we are very privileged and blessed by the candidates who offer themselves for the Permanent Diaconate. This giving of self is appreciated by the whole diocese, as witnessed by the support and attendance we see at the Cathedral every time there is an ordination to the Permanent Diaconate. The joy, happiness and tears speak of that appreciation felt by all who attend that wonderful service - family, parishioners, deacons, priests and friends. We are all involved in the ceremony not just the spectacle of it, but every one is involved in the deeper meaning of what is happening before us and we are all drawn in to that blessed experience. Thank you Barry, Brendan and David - for giving yourselves to this wonderful vocation. God bless you and your families, may it bring to you great joy. Your journey as Deacons is just beginning, there will be sadness, and sacrifice as well as joy, but that is what was promised by our Lord Jesus Christ, we can ask for nothing less. Source: Diocese of Clifton

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