Belinda Seabrook ordained as priest!
December 1st, 2020
Congratulations to the Revd Belinda Seabrook, ordained priest in the Church of God on Saturday 28 November at St Paul’s Cathedral! We hold Belinda in our prayers as she ministers in this role in the Parish of Leongatha. You can view the Ordination Service HERE.
The Revd Belinda Seabrook
Belinda is currently full time Assistant Curate at St Peter’s Leongatha. Belinda grew up in Leongatha, moved away when she was 18, then returned about ten years ago after living in Melbourne and Queensland. Prior to her ministry at St Peter’s she worked as a remedial therapist for eighteen years.
Her background is in the Roman Catholic Church, but a serious event and encounter with God led to her coming to St Peter’s, and – through the diocesan discernment process and theological study – to being ordained as Deacon in the Church of God in February 2020.
At St Peter’s, Belinda has been commissioned as a Prayer Evangelist, with responsibility in three areas of ministry: prayer and healing; welcoming; and outreach to the local community. She has been on staff for over 3 years. A significant part of Belinda’s role in the church is the strategic development of ministry, in line with the St Peter’s vision: ‘Preparing the way for the love of Jesus Christ to reach all people’.
The ordaining of priests as found in Anglican Prayer Books within the worldwide Anglican Communion, such as The Book of Common Prayer, 1662, and A Prayer Book for Australia, 1995, describe this ministry as occurring within the life of the church. While the spiritual role of ordained ministers remains much as it was in the seventeenth century, the sociological context in which they operate have changed significantly.
In the century or more between the sixteenth century Reformation and the seventeenth century Restoration of the Church of England, the responsibility of the parish priest was more isolated than it is today. Others now share the exercise of ministry within the life of the church, and this is encouraged and recognised in these ordination services. The particular responsibilities of the priest remain alongside renewed emphasis on the baptismal ministry of all Christians. The phrase ‘take their part’ is used in the service to describe the priest’s role in a partnership with other clergy and lay ministers and the people of God as a whole. This more collaborative sense of ministry is also reflected in the life of the early church.
Belinda has served as a deacon since her ordination to that office in February 2019. Some deacons remain in that order of ministry as ‘permanent’ or ‘distinctive’ deacons, according to their sense of vocation as mutually discerned with the church. Others, like Belinda, undergo a further ordination as priests, reflecting their calling to a sacramental ministry of servant leadership. As part of the church ‘catholic’, or ‘universal’, Anglicans hold to a ‘concentric’ rather than a ‘sequential’ model of ordained ministry, such that priests always remain deacons, and bishops likewise do not cease to be priests and deacons.