Monday 2 June 2008

A Ministry of No Small Distinction

It was a very special day on Sunday 1st June.

My father-in-law, Thomas, celebrated
the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination.

He retired from the Cathedral some years ago
but took on responsibility for two country parishes.

His parishioners know how fortunate they are
to have such a dedicated and experienced parish priest
and insisted on making it into a Grand Celebration.

There was standing room only in the church
which was beautifully decorated with flowers.

Family and friends from far and wide
and clerical folk of great distinction
came to join the party and participate in the service.

Afterwards we walked across the road
to a thatched cottage with an exquisite garden
for a lunch of gargantuan proportions.

MrM overindulged in meringues.
Can you blame him?

There were speeches to applaud and cakes to cut
and a small jazz band to dance to.

Little boy-cousins were seen climbing up the marquee poles
and Granny and MissM spent some quality time discussing shoes.

And all the while the church bells pealed in his honour.

It was a wonderful day
and a great privilege to be able to recognise
a lifetime of prayer and service to others.

~ from the final hymn ~

Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided,
Urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way,
Sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided,
Lord for the years, we bring our thanks today.


blackbird said...

May God bless (Grand)Father Thomas.

Fairlie - said...

What a fabulous looking lunch! I think special events should always be celebrated with a spread of food as lovely as that.
Congratulations to your Father-in-law on his significant achievement.

Dani said...

Most people can only dream of owning such an accomplishment. I'm in awe of his dedication, as well as that fabulous celebration in his honor.

Congratulations to all.

Melody said...

How wonderful! What an achievement for your F-I-L.

And what a spread that was put on!! I would surely over-indulge too - looks wonderful...

Lynn said...

What a beautiful celebration, Alice! Speaking as a person who is awfully fond of someone in the clergy, I know how important these ordination anniversaries are. And fifty years -- wow!

(Let me know if there's a shortage of holy folk over there -- perhaps I could persuade a certain Lutheran-turned-Presbyterian to relocate.)

Mary said...

Truly a ministry of distinction. And I loved that the celebration was interdenominational - because it did startle me to catch a glimpse of a nun's habit in the congregation!

dragonfly said...

What a wonderful day - wonderfully captured by you.
That looks my kind of lunch spread too.

Anonymous said...

Once again, your beautiful photos show how really special the day must have been.

You must be very proud of Thomas and all he has achieved.

Congratulations to all!

Anonymous said...

I am deeply touched by this thorough coverage. It was indeed a wonderful day!

fifi said...

Was that really a nun's habit, or was that a nod towards where things were when he was first ordained?

OOOH i love churches.

Splendid day. Wish I'd been there.

Anonymous said...

A day captured in your beautiful photography.
Congratulations to all.

Anonymous said...

What a special moment captured in time and in images. What a stunning picture of the outside of the church!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful day!

The food looks yummy! I am always thinking of my stomach! :)

dottycookie said...

What a wonderful achievement. I hope he is as proud of himself as you clearly are of him!

Gina said...

What a wonderful celebration!

BreadBox said...

Warmest congratulations to your father-in-law! Fifty years giving such care and attention....

And amazing anniversary.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to be able to celebrate a golden anniversary, and how even more wonderful to be able to celebrate in such a beautiful, meaningful and inclusive way. Congratulations :)