Service of Acceptance
On Saturday 17th December 2016, Stockport Spiritualist Church was overjoyed to host the Service Of Acceptance of our Vice President Debbie Ridgway, as an Officiant into the Ministry of The Spiritualist National Union.
The church was packed with Ministers, church members, members from other churches, relatives and friends of Debbie. The atmosphere was charged with excitement, spiritual emotion and a palpable abundance of love for Debbie. Minister Alan Rawnsley conducted a wonderful spiritual and joyous service, and Minister Janet Cookson was our service Chairperson.
Lots of beautiful words of well-wishing and congratulations was bestowed on Debbie, but more importantly people present was able to voice and share their thoughts and experiences on how Debbie had made a meaningful contribution in their life with her guidance, support and friendship. Minister David Bruton President of the SNU who was unable to be there, sent his personal well wishes and congratulations by letter to Debbie which was read out loud to the congregation.
The Service Of Acceptance signifies the investiture into a religious ministry and the act of granting pastoral authority, this would include various official duties for the Officiant. An example of this would mean Debbie can officiate at Marriages, Funerals and Naming services to name just a few of the different duties encompassed in the Officiant role.
Becoming an Officiant means Debbie has been welcomed into the open arms of the Ministry and endorses the never ending love, support and inspiration from the Spirit World, it also signifies the first step in becoming a Minister within the SNU. These three elements opens up a new phase of her spiritual journey, and sets her on an innovative pathway to go forward, and spread the knowledge and realism of Spiritualism, and what it means to be a Spiritualist within society.
All at Stockport Spiritual Church, and I know I am speaking for others as well, are so very proud of Debbie and her achievements; she has worked very hard not only in the practical and theory aspects in achieving this award, but also in arriving at this provoking spiritual juncture in her life.
All that remains to say is this; we all send Debbie our best wishes for her future voyage into the deeper meaning and understanding of Spiritualism, and she will make her mark as a working pioneer not only in our movement, but as a general living embodiment of Spiritualism in Action.
Patricia Foley, President of Stockport Spiritualist Church
Images; From left to right Minister Dennis Jackson, Minister Janette Cookson, Debbie Ridgway OSNU, Minister Jenny Peacock, Minister Alan Rawnsley.