S Norfolk church packed as new priest arrives
Tacolneston Church in South Norfolk was packed with 140 people for the licensing and installation service for the Rev'd Suzanne Cooke as part-time Priest-in-Charge of the Upper Tas Valley Benefice. Rev Jenny Cooper reports.
Amongst those attending the June 17 service were Suzanne's family and friends (one had travelled from Canada
), a large group from Watton
where Suzanne had been Curate, representatives from the local primary schools, parish councillors, ministers of other churches and people from all the villages of the benefice.
The Rt Rev Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford
conducted the service and preached from the Bible reading of the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Then after a time of silent prayer an invocation to the Holy Spirit was sung and Suzanne was licensed as Priest in Charge of the six parishes which form the benefice.
The Venerable Steven Betts
installed her, entrusting Suzanne with the care of the churches as a shared task with the people of the parishes and the words: “Pray for your people; lead them in their worship and witness and be to them in all things a faithful minister of Christ.”
Steven then prayed for her: “God keep you in His care; Christ empower you with His love; the Holy Spirit lead you in the ways of truth and peace. Amen.
Members of the local parish churches then presented Suzanne with symbols of the ministry that she will exercise in the parishes baptising, preaching, leading prayer, pastoring and celebrating the Holy Communion.
The service was a joyous occasion with wonderful singing and warm words of welcome. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers arranged by ladies from every parish in the benefice.
People stayed on afterwards to enjoy an amazing buffet and each other’s company to make this a memorable beginning to Suzanne’s time in the Upper Tas Valley Benefice.
Suzanne is a regular contributor to Network Norwich, click here to read her latest article.
The Upper Tas Valley benefice includes Ashwellthorpe, the Forncetts, Fundenhall, Hapton, Tacolneston
Pictured above are Rev Suzanne Cooke and the Rt Rev Dr Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford.