The Deacon in the Reformation

The English Reformation continued with the ministries of bishops, priests, and deacons, but the diaconate was still a transition to the priesthood. One notable deacon in the centuries following the Reformation is Nicholas Ferrar, who founded the community at Little Gidding (UK). This community is still remembered as offering a "counter-cultural" model for living the Christian life. By the time the Episcopal Church in the United States became organized, she too followed in the footsteps of the Church of England by enshrining in its ordination service the concept that the ministry of the deacon was "an inferior office" (1928 BCP, p. 535) through which one hoped to advance. The Church continued to see the priesthood as the fullest expression of ministry.

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