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Bishop David ordains new deacon at St George's, Madrid

We have a new deacon in the Diocese! 

In the first ordination service in the Diocese this year, Bishop David ordained Solomon Uche Ike at St George's, Madrid on Trinity Sunday, 30 May.  Around forty-five people joined Solomon for his ordination service, in accordance with local covid-19 protocols.  You can view a full live stream of the ordination service here.

“I felt quite anxious, leading up to the ordination, as someone who was about to receive a great responsibility but I was excited,” says Solomon. Reflecting on his service, Solomon highlights; “When I lay down on the ground with prayer, there felt a kind of mysticism that follows ordination when you outstretch yourself on the ground. It appears as if we are sacrifice, that we are giving all our body, all our self and all our intellect to God. Where we say ‘God, take me! I give myself to you’”.

Bishop David reflects:

“Because St George’s had a long interregnum, and due to the added difficulties of travel restrictions due to covid-19, Solomon’s ordination was postponed from Petertide 2020. But now, almost a year later, he is finally a deacon, ready to embrace this ministry of service as a foundation for his eventual priesthood. He is a worthy candidate and a gift to our diocese.”

“My journey started when I was in Nigeria, when people told me I had vocation, different people from different backgrounds, right from when I was a youth minister,” says Solomon. Born in Nigeria, Solomon stayed until he was 25 when he then moved to Madrid in 2000. He has been worshipping in St George's, Madrid for around 20 years. “I had forgotten about my call until I was nudged by God through dreams and people speaking to me about ordination again.”

Solomon has a particular passion to reach Nigerian communities, providing pastoral care and sharing the word to everybody. “The main ministry is to preach the word but also to help the Nigerian communities here as, I have discovered,… they are brought up in Anglican church in Nigeria but no longer come to church,” says Solomon. “I want to help with pastoral care, help people put God at the centre of their lives.”

“St George’s, Madrid is like so many of our churches in capital cities, a magnet for the international community who use English as a first, second, or even third language. Many years ago, I had the pleasure of a meeting with a dozen or so members of the church who are originally from Nigeria. They spoke to me with great pride that one of their own compatriots was wanting to become a priest.”

“The then Chaplain of St George’s, Fr Ian Hutchinson Cervantes, was fully supportive,” says Bishop David. “It was clear that this would be a vocation that had widespread backing and one that would be very affirming for the members of the Chaplaincy who claim African heritage. (One of the most joyful events of the year in the Chaplaincy is “pan-African Sunday”). As a Spanish citizen Solomon speaks the language fluently, and will play a large role in the future as an ordained representative of our Church who can bridge so many cultures and backgrounds.” 

Solomon's work as a night-time cleaner on the Madrid metro brings particular perspectives to life and ministry, since is awake while many of us are sleeping. Bishop David emphasises Solomon's commitment:

“Over the years I have observed Solomon’s vocation grow ever more evident. To engage in the period of study and formation was no small commitment, given that he holds down a full time (night) job, as well as having family responsibilities.” 

Following his ordination, Solomon will continue to serve St George’s, Madrid, as assistant curate. We very much look forward to this next chapter of his life of service in Madrid.

“I thank all my family and friends who have helped me on my ordination journey, my bishop and my chaplain” , says Solomon.

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There will be further coverage on this year's planned ordination services in the Diocese in Diocesan media, in July.