Yesterday off to Somerset to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the priesting of my training incumbent: the man who with great tolerance and encouragement saw me through my first stumbling years as a curate.
1964 was the year of Harold Wilson, West Ham beating Preston North End in the FA Cup Final, Mods and Rockers at Clacton; the year it was a announced that a village called Milton Keynes was to be a New Town. Series 1 services were yet to be authorised, the ASB had not even arrived let alone left.
Looking back priesthood was elevated, with the laity being the empty category of all left over. Anglican priests still read the whole service, Epistle and Gospel. The male priest was meant to be a holy example for the laity. “What he does they do,” Moberly had written.
I was the Emergency Preacher, the real one having been struck down ill. I quoted instead Rowan Williams: “The priest is in the business of immersing in Christ’s action the gifts and prayers and love of human beings.”