OVER TO HOLY TRINITY COWLING in West Yorkshire today to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Ordination to the Priesthood of my old friend and training Vicar Canon Richard Price.

Richard and Mary have been among the constants in my life since I was 14 – and I was fortunate indeed to “serve my title” (curacy) with Richard as mentor, friend and guide. Bishop Martyn Jarrett preached a homily today about the need, first and foremost, of a pastoral heart in a priest. Richard – along with others of his generation who were amongst those present today – has always had a heart of gold. Though his once so-very-young-curate has grown a little greyer about the temples, and Richard himself hasn’t quite the head of hair he once had, there’s still an Energy to be shared in Communion with God’s Holy Spirit and one another. That Energy was certainly flowing through Richard today, after 50 years of priestly service. I look back upon his many handwritten letters of encouragement and support over the years and I recognise “the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ” in this godly pastor and shepherd. I’ve a lot to live up to. Thanks be to the Lord of all our lives for Richard and Mary Price.