Hearing God’s Call

Earlier this summer I had the privilege of spending a few days at the beautiful Launde Abbey with our new deacons and priests on retreat preparing for their ordinations. We were inspired and very sensitively led by Canon Emma Ineson, Principal of Trinity College Bristol, who also preached at the services in the Cathedral. The ordinands were full of excitement and trepidation at their new ministries.

Since then we’ve rejoiced as a diocese at the announcement that one of our women clergy, Canon Guli Francis-Dehqani will be the first Bishop of Loughborough. She too, in asking for our prayers, has spoken of excitement and trepidation.

When the monk Basil Hume was called away from his beloved Ampleforth Abbey to become the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster he said; “The gap between what is expected of me and what I know myself to be is considerable and frightening. There are moments in life when you feel very small and this is one such moment. It is good to feel small, for I know that whatever I achieve will be God’s achievement, not mine.”

Most of us are not called to be deacons and priests, bishops and archbishops but all of us are called by God and all of us are likely to feel that mixture of excitement and trepidation. I’m encouraged by Basil Hume’s wisdom that it is good to feel small because then God can use us to do great things.

As someone once asked: “Are we small enough for God to use us?”

With my prayers and best wishes as you hear and follow God’s call,

+John Brixworth