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The Welcome and licensing of Vittoria, our new Rector

posted 11 Apr 2014, 00:15 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 11 Apr 2014, 00:55 ]

February 28th 2014 was a day which many of us will always remember. A joyous occasion celebrating the induction of our new rector the Reverend Vittoria Hancock.

Induction service
That evening, entering St Thomas’s church was a joy to behold. One could see how much effort, reorganisation and planning had taken place. Beautiful floral arrangements everywhere, chairs arranged adequately. Previously Anne Harper had described the Church as looking like a young Cathedral. She was quite correct, there was such a devout and holy atmosphere. Much forethought had taken place and a million thanks must be given to all concerned, not forgetting the greeters at the church door giving out the service outline sheets and directing all to their seats.

An Introit, composed especially for the occasion by Sheila Maxwell, was sung by the large combined choir, during which Sam Burgess carried the Cross leading the procession of visiting clergy, lay readers, Rev Vittoria Hancock, and Bishop Bob. The opening hymn was “Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer” sung to the tune Cwm Rhondda.

Induction service
Proceedings began with Bishop Bob welcoming all, and with a special mention of Vittoria’s parents visiting from South-West Scotland, there to give support. After Old and New Testament readings and a Hymn, another gospel reading followed read by Rev Lisa Eunson.

Bishop Bob then gave his licensing sermon. He started by quoting Joshua, exhorting toughness, strength and resolution; Timothy, never underestimating the tasks before him; John, fish being cooked for breakfast, the reward after the night’s toil. All talents that must be deployed for a secure life rooted in faith. He also gave a picturesque description of life on Deeside. Though romantically described as a paradise that many yearn to create, this is a delusion. He then mentioned ecclesiastically a world built around secure patterns of pastoral care and expectations, warning that clerics too have doubts and often wonder, having committed their life to God, are they succeeding?

He then laid out the tasks ahead for Vittoria, mapping out the territory in which Vittoria would serve and the inner fears that may arise; re-assuring Vittoria that what she did will matter; telling her not to be afraid of being a leader, both congregations are ready for re-invigoration. Making mistakes could be your keenest growth, so don’t be afraid. As people are led by you they will come to love and trust you. If an initiative crashes, laugh at yourself and with those around you. Christian ministry is demanding both spiritually and emotionally, but visiting people, listening to family stories and problems, giving love and a passionate concern will be rewarding. Clergy are people who can offer the hope to others which the message of Christ carries.

Induction service
Another hymn was sung and then Vittoria was presented to Bishop Bob, accompanied by two members from St. Kentigern’s and St Thomas’s. After prayers, the Deed of Licence was read out by the Dean. Bishop Bob then commenced the Induction ceremony, Vittoria responding “ I do, with Gods Help”. The congregation were asked by the Bishop to witness the new beginning, giving support and upholding Vittoria in this ministry, all replying “We will, with God’s help”.  Gifts were then given to Vittoria by representatives from both congregations,
symbols of the ministry with which we share.
Induction service
A cross was presented, then the Bishop presented a cruet of water saying “ Vittoria receive this water and be with me as one who baptises”. Vittoria then received church keys, followed by a Bible and Prayer Book. Then a stole from the two congregations: “ Vittoria receive this stole and be among us as pastor and priest”. Oil was then presented. Bread and wine were presented: “Vittoria, take this bread and wine, and be among us to break the Bread and bless the cup”. The Bishop then responded saying “Vittoria, let all these be signs of the ministry which is mine and yours in St Kentigern’s and St Thomas’s Churches”.

Vittoria then knelt before Bishop Bob while he asked her to accept with joy the Saviour of God as Priest in charge of St Kentigern’s and
St.Thomas’s. “ May the blessing of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit be upon you and all your work done in his Name.”  The Bishop then led Vittoria to the Rector’s stall and Clergy and representatives from other denominations then greeted her.  

Induction service
Vittoria then led intercessions, after which Bishop Bob announced The Peace. The whole church erupted, people moving everywhere, shaking hands and offering peace. The offertory hymn followed and then the Liturgy of the Sacrament, after which Thanksgiving and Sending Out and then the final hymn
Induction service
“To God Be the Glory”.

Moving on from Church we crossed the road to the Community Centre, where a feast awaited us, not exactly “The Feeding Of the Five Thousand” but near enough. I believe there were over 100 or more people partaking of the excellent food and drink. Everything was presented so beautifully. Many many thanks to all who contributed to the catering. You did our churches proud.

Induction service
Finally I have to say thank you again to every one who gave so much time and thought to making this a great occasion for Vittoria. I can’t forget a big thank you to Rev Lisa Eunson for assisting during the period between Rectors. To Rev Vittoria, a big welcome and may you have a fulfilling and blessed Ministry with us on Deeside.

Jean Sowrey

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