First Ordination at Hungerford’s St Lawrence’s Church in its 900 year history

For the first time (as far as is known) in its 900-year history, an Ordination service was celebrated in the parish of St. Lawrence, Hungerford, last Sunday when the Revd. Marcia Wadham was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Reading, the Rt. Revd. Olivia Graham. Marcia will now serve as Curate in the benefice of Hungerford with Denford under the guidance of the Vicar, Revd. Mike Saunders, until she is priested in a year’s time then given a parish of her own about three years later.

The church was packed with Marcia’s supporters who included her husband, James, members of her family, and friends. Clergy from the Oxford diocese occupied the choir stalls.

From the lusty singing of the first hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!”, those who had come to share the worship and Communion were carried along in the obvious joy of the occasion.

The Litany (prayers) were led by Revd. Will Hunter Smart and the Old and New Testament passages were read by Leanne Fowler, Revd. Azita Jabbari and Hungerford churchwarden George Ham. In her sermon, the Bishop suggested to Marcia that she should not hit the ground running but hit the ground praying, which was the starting point for everything in life. She also advised her to loiter and get to know the people and situations around her.

The organist was Julian Holloway and the group of singers and musicians who led the vibrant singing were members of St. Nicolas, Newbury.

Marcia and James have lived in the area for sixteen years, ten of which she has served at St. Nicolas. Her background was in admin. She said, “I am really excited to be working with the people of Hungerford”.

Refreshments were served after the service by members of the congregation, the cakes provided by Christine Finlay of Dapao caterers.

On an historical note, the earliest known record of a priest serving in Hungerford was Ralph from c1148 to c1160.

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