Fr Tom serves at St Saviour, Eastbourne, and will be ordained priest on 3rd October.
One of the things I most enjoyed when starting my curacy was being out and about in the parish; meeting people from the congregation, talking to local people – just being a visible sign of the church in the parish and wider town. Of course, all that changed a few months ago. But since then, being locked down – and indeed locked out – has helped me to truly appreciate another still more important aspect of parish ministry. That of bringing all the people of the parish, those who I would meet every day – as well as those who would cross the street or ignore me – to God in prayer; starting and ending each day by praying for them and bringing them, their lives and their concerns to God. In turning to prayer amidst uncertainty about how best to continue my nascent ministry, I’ve found a silver lining to this Covid-cloud. Although I was praying alone, first at home and later in church, a ministry has developed online to a small but growing group who join these daily prayers – both from within the parish and further afield – as they are livestreamed. Indeed, I know from elsewhere that many people during this Eucharistic fast have re-discovered the joys and benefits of the daily offices.
We are all seeking our true vocation in life, that thing for which God made us – to find and be who we truly are. As the date of my ordination draws near, I’m almost overwhelmed by the sense that I will finally be who God made me to be – a priest in His church, called to love and serve Him and all His people.