The ordination of Rev. James Bell, a former priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church, has taken place in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Inverness. Although former Anglican priests, including married priests, have already been ordained as Catholic priests in England, and some have been given posts in Scotland, this is the first such ordination ceremony to take place North of the Border.
James Bell, who is in his sixties, has extensive pastoral experience within the Anglican Communion in London and in Peterborough, and in Scottish Episcopal Church charges in Easter Ross and in Sutherland. He was ordained by Bishop Peter Moran, the Bishop of Aberdeen in a ceremony attended by around 300 people. Some 20 priests concelebrated Mass with Bishop Moran including the retired Bishop of Southwark Right Rev. John Jukes who now lives in the Diocese of Aberdeen.
In his sermon, Bishop Moran said;
"Ordaining a priest is always a privilege and a joy for any bishop. A privilege because the bishop is passing on sacred power which he himself received at his own ordination and a joy because the new priest will be a colleague and a brother, sharing in the bishop's pastoral task of caring for the "flock"."
Explaining that the Diocese of Aberdeen despite its name included,; Orkney, Shetland and most of the Highlands including Inverness and that relatively few priests covered such a vast area, Bishop Moran added;
"even one additional priest is a wonderful boost to the morale of his colleagues and the ministry which we can offer to our people."
Bishop Moran concluded;
"After James ordination I shall ask him to continue as an assistant to Monsignor Robert MacDonald here in St. Mary's Parish in Inverness before in due course appointing him to his own charge. He brings a wide and rich experience to his new role and I am delighted to welcome him to the priesthood.'
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