By Cheryl Highmore
On Wednesday September 14, a service of collation was held for the new Archdeacon of the Deanery of Waterloo at Trinity Church, Cambridge.
The Rector of Trinity for the past six years, Rev. Greg Jenkins was about to become The Venerable Gregory Scott Jenkins and the folks at Trinity could not be more pleased.
Now, being Anglican, many were too polite to ask what a “collation” was (it means to “bring together” a number of parishes under his care) or what an Archdeacon did. When told he now had responsibility for implementing Diocesan policy, for the physical structures and the pastoral care of all parishes and people in the Deanery (among other duties) we were in awe of the task he had taken on.
When Rev. Greg became Regional Dean for Waterloo, many were not sure what that was all about either but thought it was great he had been “promoted” at last. This new role, we are not so sure is a promotion, but it is a blessing to us all.
Does it mean he has to move away from Trinity? No. Do we have to call him The Venerable Gregory now? No. Archdeacon is the correct greeting, but no worries if you call him Father Greg, Rev. Greg or just Greg, he is just as welcoming.
In true Trinity hospitality the Men’s Group put on a great feast for the visiting clergy before the service.
Then the church filled with members of the congregation, friends and well-wishers from around the Deanery. Music and voices lifted to the rafters in joyful celebration as the processional began.
The Clergy vested in red filed into their seats; the Archdeacons, each with a unique and colourful cope, proceeded to sit in the chancel; and our Bishops, Bob and Linda, in splendid robes and mitres took their place.
Rev’d Greg joined his wife Gillian, and members of his family in the front pew.
At the appointed time in the service, Bishop Bob called Rev. Greg to come forward and the archdeacons formed a supporting circle around him.
After affirming his call to this new ministry, his white cincture was replaced with purple cords and tassels representing his new office.
The Sunday before, the Wardens had presented Rev. Greg with a beautiful new cope on behalf of the congregation and now we see it placed on him for the first time.
Bishop Bob and Bishop Linda laid hands on Rev. Greg and the letter of authority was read. Bishop Bob then presented to us our new Archdeacon and we responded with long and resounding applause.
Rev. Ray Jenkins, Greg’s father, delivered the sermon. He offered words of encouragement and helped those gathered understand the scope of the work that was being undertaken. He also expressed confidence that Greg would bring his love and concern for all people to the parishes now in his care.
After the service, everyone met in the Parish Hall and signed a framed picture of the new Archdeacon as a pledge of our full support for his added ministry. We exchanged smiles, hugs and congratulations over refreshments and a cake in his honour.
The Trinity Chancel Guild had gifted Ven. Greg several new shirts and a new Alb. One of his clergy colleagues commented that they may need resizing, as attending the many meetings and events around the Deanery may take a toll on the Venerable’s waistline.
The new Archdeacon has a deep spirituality and compassion that has meant so much to our congregation. His enthusiasm, his positive attitude, his quiet presence and his support to those in time of need, has spoken to us in action and words the meaning of being “in Christ”.
He also has a sense of humour about himself. You should see him with the children on Sunday morning during the “Children’s Focus”. He will sing, dance or do just about anything to engage them in the story of the Gospel to their (and our) great delight. Bishop Terry Dance, officiating at his first service at Trinity in 2010, called him a “real gem”. Amen!
We know that all the people of Waterloo deanery will find Archdeacon Jenkins as gracious and good-humoured as we do. Together, as one, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen him as he continues his service in Christ, to the glory of God.
Cheryl Highmore is a member of Trinity, Cambridge.