On Sunday 9 July, the Revd Brett Murphy was received into the ministry of the Free Church of England and licensed as Presbyter-in-Charge of Emmanuel Church, Morecambe, within the context of a service of Holy Communion.
Brett, who was ordained in the Anglican Church of Australia, was presented by the Churchwarden, Mr Joe Hardman, who expressed his delight that the Church will be fully functional again.
Also welcomed were Brett’s wife, Kat, and their sons Arthur and Micah. The Murphys will be living in a church house in Morecambe.
Present in the congregation were Chris and Katrina Jones of 1538 Community Pantry, who are partnering with the FCE to help reach out and serve the local community.
Also present were the Revd Tony Welty and his wife Cherie from the United States. Tony is a presbyter of the Reformed Episcopal Church (the FCE’s sister Church in North America) and he and Cherie are here, under the auspices of the REC’s Board for Foreign Missions, for a month to help Brett get established in his new ministry.
In his sermon, Bishop John Fenwick spoke of how God patiently prepares people and situations until the time is right to bring them together (Genesis 24). The appointed Gospel reading (Matthew 11:16-19) showed how people criticised both John the Baptist and Jesus for not fulfilling their expectations. In the same way, it is important to not have unhelpful expectations about Brett; his ministry will inevitably be different from what has gone before.
After the service the children and adults enjoyed a time of fellowship.