The planned ordination service for Keswick Mission Community’s soon-to-be curate Lawrence Basham has had to be rearranged due to the Covid-19 crisis, although he will be able to start ministry.
Lawrence, 48, was one of seven due to be ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcombe, at Carlisle Cathedral last Saturday (27th June) but the coronavirus restrictions meant the service had to be postponed and will now take place on Saturday 26th September.
Despite the delay, the Bishop of Carlisle has given permission for those who will be stipendiary Deacons to exercise the ‘cure of souls’ within the Diocese. This enables them to be employed by the Diocese from 1st July. Meanwhile non-stipendiaries will continue in the ministries they already have prior to being ordained in September.
Yorkshireman Lawrence moves to the Diocese of Carlisle from the Wharfedale area of Otley and Ilkley with his wife Jemma and children Hope, 9, twins Joy and Judah, 5, and two-year-old Iva. The family has deep connections with Cumbria and they have holidayed in the Lake District for the past three years. Lawrence is also a keen mountain walker and fell runner.
Having run three successful greengrocers, he chose to give the businesses up when he came to faith in his mid-30s, becoming the Director of Youth, Children’s and Families’ Ministry at All Saints, Ilkley, before training for ordination at the Sheffield campus of St Hild College.
A Deacon is one of the orders of ministry, to which all clergy in the Church of England are admitted. Some remain Deacons all their lives but most are ordained priest usually a year after being ordained. Deacons have a full ministry in the Church of England but unlike priests, cannot preside at the Eucharist, pronounce the absolution or pronounce the Trinitarian blessing. Deacons focus on a servant ministry, particularly to the poor and marginalised.
The Keswick Mission Community covers the churches of St Kentigern’s Crosthwaite in Keswick, Holy Trinity in Borrowdale, Thornthwaite cum Braithwaite with Newlands, St John’s-in-the-Vale and St Mary’s at Threlkeld.
The Rev Canon Peter Clement, Diocesan Director of Vocations, said: “This has been a difficult and challenging time for all those who were due to be ordained and their families. Clearly the pandemic meant that the ordination services had to be put on hold but as places of worship continue to reopen, so we can all look forward to a tremendous celebration later in the year. Despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19, it is wonderful to know that these ordinands can begin their ministry. I would ask that everyone keeps them all in our prayers at this time.”