I have written about Church of England induction services before. That was an archdeacon. See 10/5. Last night I attended the licensing and installation of my friend Simes to be Team Vicar for St Michael's in the Solihull Team Ministry and Director of Mission in the Team. He did well and everyone likes him, as you would expect if you know him even vaguely.
Although there were lots of old hymns, and robed choirs, robed clergy and robed readers pranced about a fair bit, Bishop of Birmingham and Archbishop of York Designate (see how we love our words) John Sentamu managed to inject a bit of informality and humour into the occasion. He preached well on becoming like a child although he used the expression 'gracious magnanimity' about which I am stilll pondering. A minister should be noble, generous and not petty.
Taking that seriously I will not mock the service. But I do want to.
Bishop John asked the congregation, formally, if we would support and pray for Simon and his household in his ministry. When we said we would he said, 'If you don't; I'll be back.' I think a few more Bishops ought to do the 'Groundforce one year on' visit to see if their work is still being cared for.
Joke of the night from my friend Mark. When the Gospel was read by a man, despite the order of service telling us that we should expect the Rev'd Margaret Jones to read it, Mark turned to me and whispered, 'I expect Margaret is his weekend name.'
Simes, Mark, Bob (also present) and I all cut our ministry teeth on CYFA ventures so it seemed apt that after wine and food (not bad, plenty of quiche; no rice salad) we ended up carrying a desk across a car-park.
Bit weary but perfect end to the evening in The Case is Altered at Five Ways which just happened to be on the way home. It is the unspoilt pub of the year almost every year.