And so, on the 26th July, I was ordained an interfaith minister:

ordination photo
And so many thanks to my friends who came to share in my ridiculous joy – you guys are amazing.

It was a ceremony that was powerful, meaningful, and occasionally naff, but I’m never going to forget a second. I remember when I was 5, thinking that I’d quite like to be a minister – 20 years later, I’ve got Reverend in front of my name and a commission to go forth and minister as I see fit. It’s a lot of responsibility! The faculty told us to be aware that you feel quite fragile afterwards and I actually found that was true. It was like I’d had a phenomenal dream, and I kept asking myself, “Did that really happen?”

It’s mildly surreal introducing myself as a minister: I went to a birthday dinner last week and a bunch of friends and someone I didn’t know ended up at my flat afterwards for more drinks. The unknown person found out at about 5am that I was an interfaith minister and couldn’t quite square his mental image of a minister with a drunken me. I’m not sure whether that is a good thing or not, but I like to think of myself as transcending boundaries. :P

ordination circle
The ceremony itself. I’m on the bottom left.

33 of us were ordained that day, to make a total of some 600 interfaith ministers in Britain. What people actually do varies considerably. Some work as chaplains, others do workshops, go on to get further qualifications in their specific faith path, specialise in one ceremony or just work as a general celebrant.

I am still doing a MSc at the moment and in a slightly bizarre twist of events I’m opening a takeaway next week, so my time is somewhat limited – I’m taking this opportunity to let things settle but, to judge by the emails I am already getting about helping people with developing ministries and websites online, I’ll probably be combining both loves for a little while I wait for an angel to descend and tell me what to do next. I’m planning to build a separate website – watch this space!

Ordination Class of 2014, at your service! Check out OSIF for more info.