Thursday, 28 October 2021

The Ordination of Sr Claire Maxwell

On Saturday 21st November, the British Province took part in something that was simultaneously familiar and traditional alongside unknown and new. Ordinations have been an integral and loved part of our tradition for centuries but in these uniquely challenging times this one had a twist to allow as many people to be part of it as possible.

I was one of a very privileged few able to be there in person. Due to the government guidelines with regards to COVID-19, we were only able to have four people present in the church. Sr Claire being one, Br Joachim Kreusel as the officiating bishop, Br Paul Holdsworth as the PEC representative and myself as the technical support. This meant of course that many of the people who would have normally attended, not least Sr Claire's family, were not able to do so. To make sure that they and all people were able to attend, we had to look to technology to provide the answer. The initial plan was to livestream the service on Facebook and YouTube whilst having a simultaneous Zoom call going on so people could engage with each other more directly. Unfortunately, despite several attempts, the live streaming simply wasn't working. Instead we had to switch to Zoom only.

The event was shown live through Zoom and many people were able to join from around the world. At one point there were over 160 people there. There were a number of wonderful messages for Claire, all of which were put into a word document for her to see and keep.

The service, despite the added technology, proceeded much like many others. Br Joachim led the service, there were hymns sung and the reading came from Sr Minette Flemming from the Fetter Lane Congregation. The address was brought by Rev Noel Irwin from Northern College where Sr Claire trained for ministry.

Following the service there was a time for people to bring greetings and speak to Claire, which I know that she really appreciated.

Whilst this ordination was different from any other it was the same in the blessings poured out on that day. Although we were far apart, we were together and whatever separates us we know nothing can separate us from the love of God. May God continue to bless Sr Claire in her life and ministry.

Br James Woolford
Hornsey

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Church House is the Headquarters of the Moravian Church in the British Province and is located in London at:
Moravian Church House, 

5 Muswell Hill, 
London 
N10 3TJ

Tel:

020 8883 3409

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