It was a weekend to celebrate vocation and ministry at York Minster, as six small and intimate services replaced the usual thronged gatherings.

The annual Ordination of Deacons should have taken place in early July but was displaced by the Coronavirus restrictions that made church services impossible; instead, the twelve candidates were licensed in online ceremonies to begin their ministry as Lay Workers in their title parishes.

Thus one of many surprises for Archbishop Stephen on his arrival in York was the Michaelmas Ordination of Deacons, in five small services held from Friday evening 25th September to Sunday evening 27th September in the Nave of York Minster, each with two or three candidates and a congregation of about a dozen, with the beautiful West Window incorporating the famous Heart of Yorkshire as a backdrop.

On Saturday morning 26th September, Archbishop Stephen Admitted and Licensed five new Readers to serve in parishes in the Diocese of York; the Readers' service was on the date originally advertised and that too was a cause for celebration in this most disarranged of years.

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