The Institution and Induction of a new Priest
Authorised by the Bishop 1998
This service marks the beginning of a new phase of ministry for priest and people. It is one to which all come with a high sense of anticipation of God's blessing on the years ahead, and it is right that this beginning is marked by a special service both of celebration and of dignity.
Some features of this service have their origins in the Middle Ages; others are comparatively new. In itself this reminds us that Christian ministry has been offered in this area for a score of generations and more; yet at the same time the unchanging Gospel has to be made fresh for each succeeding generation.
At the beginning of a new ministry, sometimes a Priest is instituted and inducted; sometimes collated and inducted; sometimes licensed. In this last case, the priest will be made Priest-in-charge rather than Rector or Vicar, and will not be Inducted by the Archdeacon. The difference between Institution and Collation is technical -- in the latter case the Bishop is Patron, in the former case he is not. The role of the Patron is in itself an ancient one; in short, the Patron is responsible for nominating a Priest to the Bishop. Where the Bishop is Patron, he customarily asks the Lay Chairman of the Deanery to take the role of the Patron in the service.
Once a Priest has been Collated or Instituted -- given by the Bishop the 'cure of souls' -- the Bishop invites the Archdeacon to induct the Priest into the 'possession' of the benefice(s). In this short ceremony, the Priest is in effect given a Church building and a home to help in the task given by the Bishop.
After a welcome from churchpeople, a representative of the local community also welcomes the Priest, since the role of the Anglican Parish Priest is not only to nurture the faithful, but also to care for the whole community. The sharing of the Peace then signifies the drawing together in service of the priest, the regular worshippers, and the wider community.
The final section of the service (the Family of God) then spells out the responsibilities which priest and people hold together in collaboration within and beyond the Christian community. Finally, all present are sent out for service in the community with the blessing of the Bishop.