Commissioning services are important for the new priest and Rectory family, but also provide a wonderful occasion to celebrate and focus the life of a parish. Because commissioning services are occasions at which we welcome ecumenical as well as non-church visitors, it is generally recommended that the order of service be based around evening prayer. The Order of Service is available from the Office of the Archbishop and should be used in the form provided. Where there is a desire for the service to be that of Holy Communion, or other changes are proposed, these matters should be discussed with the Archbishop.

The Area Dean will:

  • Meet with incumbent elect (where possible) and representatives of the parish to look at the order of service as provided by Church Office.
  • Ensure that the Bishop (or other preacher) is consulted about readings. A choice from those set for the day is usual.
  • Discuss the choice of hymns and other music with the incumbent elect and the parish.
  • Discuss the choice of representatives to bring forward the symbols of ministry. In addition to the traditional symbols provided, a special symbol of the parish or its community may be included.
  • Plan with the parish the speeches of welcome.
  • Discuss with the parish who should be invited as official guests; encourage the parish to issue invitations in good time.
  • Marshall the clergy for procession.
  • Lead designated prayers within the service.
  • Ensure the Vestry Record Book is prepared and signed by all clergy present.
  • Speak on behalf of the clergy of the Area Deanery within the speeches of welcome, or arrange for another member of the Deanery to do this.
  • MC at the speeches – acknowledge official guest present
  • Lead the rehearsal.

The Archdeacon will:

  • Have a role in the presentation of the symbols of ministry within the service. Church Office will:
  • Produce the Order of Service after details have been provided.
  • Ensure the Oaths and Declarations and Licence are prepared.

The Registrar (or designated representative) will:

  • Be present to ensure any Oaths and Declarations are taken.
  • Read the Licence

Speeches of welcome should include:

  • Representative of the wider community (a community leader)
  • Representative of the churches of the area.
  • Representative of the Area Deanery.
  • The Parish.
  • The new incumbent.