Bishop’s blessings

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On Wednesday, April 24 the Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner, visited St Mary’s, Rye to license the Revd Michael Georgiou as an assistant curate and deacon.

It was a beautiful service attended by Michael’s friends and family, the archdeacon of Hastings, and many other clergy from other denominations and dioceses. The church was full of well-wishers for Michael including many members of the congregation of Rye parish.

The licensing of The Reverend Michael John Georgiou

Churchwardens from across the Rye Team Ministry were present to escort Bishop Martin and to show their support for Michael. Bishop Martin spoke powerfully about Michael’s journey into ministry.

The role of deacon is a very important one within the parish. Deacons are called to work with the bishop and the priests and to serve the community. They assist in many ways including administering the sacraments, distributing communion and ministering to the sick and house-bound.

Bishop Martin at the licensing of The Reverend Michael John Georgiou

Bishop Martin said in his sermon: “Jesus was a deacon amongst men. Jesus said, ‘I am among you as one who serves. I came not to be served but to serve.’ The deacons of today are the messengers of God they are those that do God’s will. Michael, that is the ministry that is entrusted to you and with confidence we know that you will exercise among us.”

Michael will be working alongside the Rector, Revd Paul White, and will be ministering in Rye but also across all the other churches of Rye Team Ministry: Rye Harbour, Camber, East Guldeford, Playden and Iden. He also works as a hospital chaplain at the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust at Hastings and Eastbourne. Although new to parish ministry in the Church of England Michael has been ordained as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church for many years and brings with him a wealth of pastoral experience from his work as a hospital chaplain.

The Licensing of The Reverend Michael John Georgiou

Revd Paul White said: “It has been a real pleasure getting to know Michael over the last few months and I am looking forward to working with him and our ministering together across all our communities in this beautiful part of the world.”

Michael wrote after the service: “The occasion of my licensing at St Mary the Virgin in Rye by the Bishop of Chichester was an experience I will never forget.

“The one of the most important parts of the service for me was that my family and friends were there to support me and there was a sense of community coming together. It gave me a sense of purpose about what lies before me in my new roles. The evening was a joyous celebration full of music and significance and was very special.

“I have had a long journey of faith and self-discovery and calling which has lead me to my licensing. I am delighted to work with, and serve, the people of Rye. I have an innate belief that everyone is special and has a unique contribution to make. I look forward to everything that I will face in the future as the adventure unfolds.”

Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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