Ministry and marriage, friendship and family were at the heart of a social evening for ordinands and spouses organised recently in The Hub, the Church of Ireland chaplaincy centre at Queen’s University Belfast
The five second year ordinands and their spouses were welcomed to The Hub by the Church of Ireland chaplain at Queen’s, the Revd Barry Forde, and his wife, Claire, who shared some of their experiences in setting out in ministry together.
Barry and Claire shared some of the best advice they received before training for ordination and some of the top tips they picked up through the years. They were grateful that they had been told it was best to “know before you go.”
They explained some of the ups and downs to expect in ministry and some of the pitfalls best avoided along the way.
The group heard honest accounts of how ministry can affect marriages, friendships and family and advice about how to prioritise and protect the most precious, intimate relationships.
Barry and Claire talked about the fluidity of homes, houses and schools, and yet how God remains constant and present through all the changes and upheavals of life in ordained ministry.
Those who took part later expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Fordes for their openness and honesty. One participant said it helps “to be forewarned, forearmed and generally better equipped to make the transition into parish ministry in September and for all the years of ministry that lay ahead.”
Caption: The Revd Barry Forde at the Spouses’ evening in the Hub