At 3.00 p.m. on Sunday 13th January St. Marks Church was full for the “institution”, “induction” and “installation” of Eileen.
According to the introduction in the service booklet:-
- “institution” denotes the admission of the priest to the spiritual care and leadership of the parish;
- “induction” gives the priest the legal charge of the church buildings and property;
- “installation” places the priest in the midst of a worshipping, praying and witnessing community.
Basically this means that, instead of being “priest in charge”, Eileen is now the vicar and, what’s more, instead of being “self supporting” she will now be paid (if only 0.4 of a stipend)!
Anyway the church was packed for the occasion, which was both joyous and solemn.
Because it was such a complicated service, Eileen, Bishop Beverley, and others who were to participate, were in church an hour or so before the service began. They were trying to get organised and work out where everybody needed to be and when!
Meanwhile, the visiting clergy and lay readers were robing in one of St. Mark’s School classrooms (because of lack of space in the vestry and Parish Hall). [Thank you Mrs. Freeman for offering your hospitality!]
Amongst all these clerical friends and supporters was Eileen’s sister, Elaine, which was lovely to see.
The service began with the congregation standing for the “Processional hymn”, “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart”. During this hymn the dignitaries entered through the main door and processed to the front of the church where they took their places.
Following the hymn the churchwardens formerly welcomed the Bishop to the parish. The bishop thanked them before telling everybody why she was there: “To give authority to a priest to care for the people of this benefice …”
One of the patrons, Pauline Bricknell, then presented Eileen to the bishop for which the bishop thanked her before explaining, to one and all, why Eileen was there – …”to take her place as your vicar…”.
Bishop Beverley went on to invite Archdeacon Jennifer to “commend Eileen to us”.
The archdeacon duly did so, with enthusiasm and humour. (She also told us how when she had first come to the diocese she would get confused between Eileen and Elaine whenever she met them, as they looked so similar!)
The Archdeacon then prayed for Eileen before we heard a reading from Ephesians 3: 14-21 and Bishop Beverley climbed up to the pulpit to deliver her sermon.
The reading was really a prayer for the Ephesians, which the Bishop developed and expanded to speak to us in our present circumstances.
As the sermon ended, Eileen invited any children from St. Mark’s school that were present to come to the front to help us sing the next couple of songs – “Lord the light of your love is shining” and Eileen’s favourite, “My Lighthouse”.
This they duly did, and with their enthusiasm, and the ecumenical worship band’s brilliant support, we almost lifted the roof!
It was then time for the serious business of the service, the institution of the vicar.
The Bishop asked Eileen, “Do you believe that you are truly called to this ministry?” To this Eileen responded, “I believe that God has called me.”
The Bishop then explained the technicalities of the Church of England asking Eileen to “…. Affirm your loyalty to this inheritance of faith …”
In response Eileen declared her belief in the holy Scriptures before swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and her successors and her obedience to the Bishop of Liverpool.
She then knelt in front of the Bishop who read the License and gives it to her before “Sharing the Cure of Souls”.
Next Eileen was anointed with oil and then the Bishop encouraged others who will be supporting Eileen in her ministry to come forward to place a hand on her as she prayed for her.
Having done that the Bishop encouraged members of the PCC and others of the ministry team to come forward and stand before her.
She then stated, “Eileen you have now been instituted for a new ministry.” Before enunciating that the team needed to support each other to seek to achieve.
Finally she blessed Eileen, the new minister, and her colleagues before they returned to their places.
The service then progressed from “The Anointing” to “The Induction and Installation”
The congregation stood whilst the Bishop said, “Archdeacon, I have instituted Eileen to the care of this benefice. I ask you to induct and install her, in the presence of the Churchwardens and this congregation, and to support her in her ministry here.”
Music was then played as the congregation turned to face the door of the church after the churchwardens had led The Archdeacon and the minister to the door.
The Archdeacon then lay Eileen’s hand on the handle of the door before inducting her “… into the real, actual and corporeal possession of the Church and benefice St. Mark Scarisbrick…” (We couldn’t actually see this, because they were in the porch, but we could hear!)
Eileen then rang a small hand bell before music played once more, the procession returned and the congregation turned back to face the front.
Back at the front, the Archdeacon installed Eileen as Vicar and presented her to the congregation.
(This all seemed a bit strange as Eileen had obviously been ministering to the parish for five years already!)
The Area Dean (Duncan Petty) and the Deanery Synod Lay Chair (David Burgess) then welcomed the “new minister”!
Duncan then went on to introduce her to representatives of the church before Eileen gave the notices.
Then, before she could get away, representatives of the church and of St. Mark’s School rushed forward with congratulatory presents for her!
The Bishop then led us in “The Peace” and the Lord’s prayer before she blessed us and we exchanged the Peace with each other.
This was followed by the offertory hymn during which a collection was taken for some of the Bishop’s causes.
Then, for the “Dedication of minister and people”, members of the congregation came forward to Eileen with a variety of symbolic items.
On the Chancel steps Eileen received a map of the parish….
…. a jug of water to symbolise baptism….
…. a Bible, the scriptures through which all may find Christ….
….and bread and wine to symbolise the sacrament of our Lord’s death and resurrection.
The Area Dean, Duncan, then asked Eileen, “Will you be faithful in baptizing, teaching and proclaiming the truth of Holy Scripture, preparing and administering the sacrament of the Body and Blood of out Lord Jesus Christ”. To this Eileen replied, “with the help of God I will”.
The congregation then stood as the Lay Chair, David, asked them if they would be faithful and participate in these activities. He also received a positive response.
We then sat for prayer which was led by Eileen and a number of others including two children and a representative of Bescar Lane Methodists.
Finally we stood for the bishop to bless us and sang the recessional hymn, “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow” as the dignitaries processed to the door of the church.
For those who had time to stay on, food and drink had been laid out in the Parish hall.
Soon the hall was full of people enjoying good food, drink and fellowship.
There are too many people to thank individually here,
so first of all:
Eileen and Paul
for all they do and give to this parish;
Bishop Beverley and Archdeacon Jennifer
the smallest child
who participated in this service and helped to make it such a significant event
and last but not least
thank you to everybody
who contributed to the food and catering.
This was a great occasion at which to learn, pray and have fun for the old, the young and everybody in between!