Set apart amid a pandemic

On Saturday, 28 November 2020, a small group of family and close friends gathered (socially distanced) in St Paul’s Cathedral for the ordination of three deacons, two priests and the licensing of the new Archdeacon of Bendigo and the Goldfields.

Earlier this year, Tim Bowles and Andrew Howe were set to be ordained for the ministry of deacon when the first COVID lockdown hit and the ordination was postponed. Despite the pandemic, God continued to work in and through his people and since then three others were discerned as ready for ordination.

Tim Bowles was ordained Deacon in the Parish of Echuca and as Chaplain at Moama Anglican Grammar School; Andrew Howe was ordained as Deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral; Darcy Vaughan was ordained as Deacon to serve the Parishes of Maldon and Inglewood; Rev’d Rob Edwards was ordained Priest of Strathfieldsaye Community Church; and Rev’d Bertram Mather was ordained Priest in the Parish of South East Bendigo. The Rev’d George Hemmings was also licensed for his new role as Archdeacon of Bendigo and the Goldfields.

The outgoing Archdeacon of Bendigo, Rev’d Chris Appleby preached from 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21 encouraging the ordinands and all followers of Christ in their call to live counterculturally for Christ and not themselves; to be servants in the ministry of reconciliation; and to be encouraged that as ambassadors for Christ “the power of the message [they share] doesn’t reside in the bearer but the one who sends them”.

Bishop Matt was assisted by Bishop Donald Kirk from the Diocese of the Riverina as Tim Bowles’ chaplaincy at Moama is in the Diocese of the Riverina. The service also included Dean Elizabeth beautifully singing Come Holy Spirit acapella as they prayed for the ordinands.

Although there were restrictions in numbers and slight modifications required, it was a joy for family and a small number of clergy to gather in St Paul’s Cathedral and many others watching online, and join in this significant occasion for Tim, Andrew, Darcy, Rob, Bertram, their families and the Diocese of Bendigo.

Katy Lambert