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Gironde

Joyous occasion as Michael is licensed as Licensed Lay Minister: March 11th

The sun shone brightly on Saturday 11th March, when many from throughout the Chaplaincy came together in Condom to witness the licensing of Michael Torne as a Licensed Lay Minister. This was an extra special day, joyful in so many ways, as so many friends, colleagues, clergy came together to uphold and support Michael.

The service was led by The Venerable Meurig Williams, the newly appointed Archdeacon of France, with hymns chosen to match the tone of the day, and Michael admits to having been particularly moved by the chorus of ‘I, the Lord of sea and sky’ – “Here I am Lord.” During his sermon the Archdeacon reminded not only Michael and all the other many clergy present, but the congregation as a whole that we are not alone having the support of one another. The service ended with "Guide me, O though Great Redeemer" and we pray that Michael will be guided through his spiritual journey.

After the service Michael offered his thanks to everyone as they left the chapel. From those unable to be in Condom on the day there had been many messages of support and goodwill. Sue and Michael’s children particularly had commitments elsewhere which could not be changed but they were able to speak to Michael before the service. The pleasures of the day were completed by a delicious buffet lunch which gave everyone a chance to meet, chat and mingle with friends before heading back home. Many thanks to all those who were involved in the organisational details (that often go unnoticed) to make this such a special day.

Many thanks to Hazel Markham, Paul Mazzotti, Pauline Prosser, and Richard Horsman for their contributions to this news article.

Michael writes, "The words of Dan Schutte’s hymn ‘I the Lord of sea and sky. ‘ sung by a full chapel at my Licensing as Reader or Licensed Lay Minister filled my emotions on Saturday 11th of March, the chorus ‘here I am Lord’ fuelling those emotions. The knowing that it was not just the offering of myself into lay ministry but that all those singing were also offering themselves to the service of God in the many ways that enliven our Church as the body of Christ. I offer my heartfelt thanks to all that came and to all the messages of support from those unable to be there. It was both a surprise and a pleasure to see so many from the Chaplaincy that had travelled so far to be with Sue and I and our community in Condom.

The Archdeacon talked of not being on our own but that we share the task of ministry, supporting each other. Yesterday was one of those occasions when we saw that in practice. I am sure our community will build and grow on this day."

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