A month of celebration 

Seventy years on the throne: our Queen is an amazing woman, totally committed to duty, honour, country and commonwealth, and to her Christian faith. Although her accession to the throne was in February, this is the month of celebration, and the time for us to honour our Queen and to thank God for her. 

Some people find public celebrations very easy, and love big events, street parties, mega concerts, and so on. Others prefer a quieter life. However, this is a unique national occasion, and we ought all to find ways to honour such a remarkable person and all that she has brought to our national life. 

From the first weekend of the month to the last, and June is also the month when we ordain new deacons and priests in the Cathedral. Not every parish is directly involved, but it should be a great cause of rejoicing for all of us that men and women, younger and older, are continuing to offer themselves for ordination in healthy numbers. 

Our selection process is quite rigorous, training takes several years, plus at least three years of on-the-job training as curates. It usually takes around eight years from someone first offering until they can be in charge of a parish or in an unsupervised chaplaincy role. Even through lockdown, we have had a steady stream of good candidates, and the future looks promising in terms of the availability of future clergy. 

In the middle of June, among other things I will be presiding at confirmations, instituting a new vicar in a parish, dedicating major refurbishments in another church, spending a day in a rural multi-parish benefice including a school visit, spending a morning with the group of people training to be licensed as Lay Ministers and Readers later in the year. 

In one way, these are just standard, “bread and butter” activities in my diary: but they are also signs of a church that is truly alive. That is something more to celebrate. Praise God! 

With best wishes