Consecration blog - the new Bishop of Bristol

When someone becomes a Bishop there is a special service of consecration where they are formally ordained for their new role. Yesterday, the Lord Lieutenant, clergy and lay people from across the Diocese set off for St Paul’s Cathedral for the consecration of the new Bishop of Bristol – Viv Faull. We started very early in two bright yellow, cheery coaches, that matched the mood of everyone going to London. The journey was not without incident – pulling out of Reading services we saw another coach stranded in the middle lane and found out later it contained another Diocesan group heading to London. Fortunately there were no accidents, and all arrived safely for the service – just in time.

For important services like this there is always a large procession and the Dean and Chapter from the Cathedral were robed in style, along with the Chapters from Rochester, Chelmsford and York as other clergy were also being consecrated. It’s a bit like being the England football team waiting in the tunnel – you all line up solemnly behind your Verger and you go where he/she goes. We processed in at the start of the service to the accompaniment of singing and were followed by the Bishops from across the Church of England, ecumenical and faith partners. The service was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by the Archbishop of York and the new Bishop of London.

The order of service sets out the role - 'Bishops are ordained to be shepherds of Christ's flock and guardians of the faith of the apostles, proclaiming the gospel of God's kingdom and leading his people in mission'. The Royal Mandate is read, followed by the Declaration of Assent and then the liturgy of ordination takes place, which includes anointing, promises and prayers. The most solemn and moving part of the service is when the new Bishops are prayed for – all the Bishops attending join in and lay hands together. This was followed by a Eucharist and then the new Bishops are given their staff of office – the shepherd’s crook. Then we had a grand procession down the nave to the sound of clapping and cheering, and out of the west doors onto the steps at St Paul’s cathedral. There the new Bishop blessed the Bishop of Swindon, the Dean and Chapter and members of the public. 

A joyful day. 

Chapter Clerk.  

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Posted on 4th July 2018