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The Consecration of St Nicolas

30 September 2007

The Service of Consecration


The Bishop of Gloucester greets the people outside St Nicolas

The procession leads off around the church

Consecration Service – a Server’s View

ON SUNDAY morning 30th September I was privileged to have the church to myself whilst preparing the altar for the Consecration. At first I just stood and marvelled at how beautiful the church looked, it had been cleaned and polished and the floral arrangements were truly awesome!

By 2.15pm the church was already buzzing, everyone so keen to ensure that the service went without a hitch! Cries of ‘Father Michael should we do this?’ ‘Should we face this way or that way?’ Nerves were bristling, including mine, having not been able to attend the rehearsal and, as crucifer, I had visions of going the wrong way and every one (or no one!) following!! Soon the Bishop and all the clergy, including past curates arrived – the two vestries were somewhat crowded but everyone managed to get appropriately robed and in position!

The service started outside with Bishop Michael blessing the church, and those of the congregation who were able to processed into the church after him. The church was packed and the combined choirs and congregation raised the rafters with the first hymn! What a difference the lovely wooden ceiling makes to the acoustics! The organ music, the trumpets and the singing all sounded amazing! What followed, from the blessing of the four consecration crosses, to the final blessing was to me a beautiful service that I would not have missed for anything! Memorable was the singing of the second hymn, an inspirational choice for ‘the glory of the Lord’ was shining all around.

As crucifer I sat at the front of the church where the whole congregation is visible and it was lovely to see so many happy smiling faces! There was a lot to smile about – the pulling together of so many people to make this service a success. The Bishop and the clergy must take some credit but gratitude and thanks must go to all involved in preparing the church and all those who made and served the lovely tea and cakes!

Bishop Michael said St Nicolas’ had come of age and I think we have! St Nicolas’ can be justly proud its new status.

Lorna Dymock     (Lorna is seen in these pictures carrying the cross)

During the procession the Bishop sprinkles the outside of the church with Holy Water

Servers; wardens of St Nicolas'; The Bishop; Fr Michael; Bishop's Chaplain;
other wardens from the team; the choir; visiting clergy; registrar
and people process around the church

Pictures by Geoff Shaw

Servant of all

‘The greatest among you will be your servant.’ (Matthew 23:11). Standing there on the field at St Nicolas’ as the Bishop and all the priests came out I was startled to see Fr Michael wearing his stole over only one shoulder, robed as a deacon not as a priest. The man at the top of the clerical hierarchy in our parish, our Priest-in-Charge, was serving today as the lowliest of ordained ministers. Is this what Jesus meant when he said ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35)? A challenging thought, and a humbling sight.

Frances Murton



Barn Dance on Saturday 29 September

The Flowers that decorated the church

The Bishop outside St Nicolas' Church at the start of the Service

The Service of Consecration of St Nicolas'

The Address by the Bishop of Gloucester

The Deed of Consecration

The Reception

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The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary and St Nicolas Prestbury Cheltenham - Registered Charity No 1130933

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