Ordination to the Diaconate of Edwin Aiken: Learning about the nature of God’s love and provision
Edwin Aiken will be ordained a Deacon this Sunday, September 19 2021, in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. He will serve as Deacon Intern in the Holmpatrick Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Dublin. Archbishop Michael Jackson will preside at the service which, due to restrictions on numbers in the cathedral, can be attended by invitation only. All are invited to view the service live on the cathedral’s webcam. The link is below. Here Edwin writes about what has led him to ordination.
My sense of calling to ordained ministry has been with me for many years, but it was only in about 2015 that I started to respond to God’s call, beginning the processes of starting the Foundation Course and attending a selection conference in 2018. I began fulltime training in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute (CITI) in September of that year and I have never looked back. I have much enjoyed the varied nature of training for ministry with fascinating courses on everything from liturgy to missiology and biblical studies to pastoral care.
During my training I enjoyed three placements: in St Mary’s, Howth; St Bartholomew’s, Ballsbridge; and the Cloyne Cathedral Group of Parishes in County Cork. Each of these contrasting experiences of church life was very positive and provided many opportunities to see God at work in people’s lives and in my own life. All of them strengthened my sense of vocation and all of them left me with a sense of joy and fulfilment, as well as an understanding of the responsibilities of what lay ahead of me. My training was interrupted by a diagnosis of cancer, which not only meant that I missed a year of study, but also gave me a great opportunity to put so much that I had learnt about the nature of God’s love and provision and my complete dependence on God into active service in my own life. God has indeed been gracious and I have been delighted to reconnect to full time training.
Prior to entering CITI I was an academic with special interests in the relationship between science and religion in the nineteenth century, the history of ideas and the historical geography of the Holy Land; my research revolved around issues of knowledge and power in discourses of Orientalism and postcolonialism. My department at Bristol University was only a few minutes’ walk from the city’s Anglican cathedral and I very much enjoyed the daily sung offices, connecting with my faith through the stillness and music and prayers. This brought my long term sense of vocation very much back to the front of my mind and I very quickly found myself helping out in the work of my home town parish back in County Down, taking on roles in everything from the Elderly Friendship Group to Messy Church.
I am very much looking forward to serving in the Holmpatrick Group and I’m very keen to get to know the people and the work of God in that place; as a friend recently remarked to me: “Find out what God is doing and join in.”
Edwin, along with Alexander Chisnall, will be ordained to the Diaconate at 3.30pm. You can view it on the cathedral’s webcam at https://christchurchcathedral.ie/worship/video-stream-1/