Inauguration and welcome of the Rt Revd Stephen Lake, 79th Bishop of Salisbury

Sunday 19 June 2022

People from across The Diocese of Salisbury come together today [Sunday 19 June] in Salisbury Cathedral to celebrate theinauguration of the ministry of The Rt Revd Stephen Lake as the 79th Bishop of Salisbury. 

The 3pm service, which is open to all, is an opportunity for civic and community leaders, congregations, and clergy to gather in person and celebrate the start of Bishop Stephen’s ministry together. It is the last stage of Bishop Stephen’s arrival into the Diocese, which began on 13 January with the announcement of his appointment and was followed by his consecration as a Bishop at Southwark Cathedral on 25 April. 

Before the service, Bishop Stephen will arrive at Mitre House, having walked from Old Sarum, the site of the original cathedral, andBishopsdown, accompanied by Scouts. This reflects the fact that Bishop Stephen’s own faith journey began when he was a boyScout in Poole, Dorset. 

Two choristers, representing the 42,000 children in diocesan schools, will then meet Bishop Stephen on Choristers Green andlead him to the Cathedral doors. Children will also play a part in the service. 

During the service Bishop Stephen will also be installed in his seat of teaching – the Cathedra – signally the start of his ministry as 79th Bishop of Salisbury. He will also be anointed by the Bishop of Sherborne and Bishop of Ramsbury, dressed in a cope and handed his crosier and mitre, symbols of his office. 

Bishop Stephen said: 

‘It is wonderful to be able to gather in person after so much time apart, and I am delighted that we can invite people from around the Diocese to join us in person today. 

‘There is a lot to do, and we can do this together as one family of God.’ 

Bishop Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne and, until today, Acting Bishop of Salisbury, said: 

‘We are delighted to welcome Bishop Stephen this weekend. In the Cathedral will be representatives from a variety of settings across the two counties of Dorset and Wiltshire and beyond and the service promises to be a fantastic celebration of our life together in anticipation of what is to come.’ 

Details of the day are as follows: 

Before the service, Bishop Stephen arrives at Mitre House, having walked from Old Sarum and Bishopsdown. Scouts accompany him on this journey, to reflect the fact that Bishop Stephen’s own faith journey began when he was a boy Scout in Poole, Dorset. 

At Mitre House he is vested by his chaplain in his rochet and with his pectoral cross and stole. There he is met by the Dean and Residentiary Canons. 

At 2.40pm, the Procession of Clergy and Laity arrives at the West End and proceeds through the Cathedral to their seats. The congregation remains seated as the procession enters. 

At 2.45pm, the High Sheriffs and Lord-Lieutenants are met in the North Porch by the Vicar of the Close and a Verger. The congregation stands as the Procession of Lord-Lieutenants enters the Cathedral, then sits once they have taken their seats. 

At 2.50pm, the Bishop leaves Mitre House accompanied by the Dean and Residentiary Canons. He is met on Choristers Green by two choristers, who lead him to the Cathedral. 

At 2.55pm, the Cathedral choirs and Cathedral Procession enter the Consistory Court and take their places at the West End of the Cathedral. 

After the service, the guests are invited to stay for light refreshments on the West Lawn. 

Notes to editors 

The Cathedral choirs are directed by David Halls, Director of Music. The Cathedral Junior Choir is directed by Sarah Budd. The Organist is John Challenger, Assistant Director of Music. 

Children taking part in the service today are from The Gryphon School, Godolphin, and Bishop Wordsworth School. 

The Diocese of Salisbury contains 434 parishes with 573 churches in 138 groups (known as benefices). 90% of the parishes are rural, and many of these are in benefices of up to 15 churches. 

The population of the parishes range from a rural 50, to up to 23,000 in urban areas. 50% of the people live in 7% of the parishes. 

In 2020 it was agreed that the process should begin for the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey?to be linked to the Diocese of Salisbury. Therefore, Bishop Stephen will in due course, once the process is complete, also be Bishop for the Channel Islands. 

The Rt Revd Stephen Lake is the 79th Bishop of Salisbury. The first Bishop of Salisbury was St Osmund, appointed in 1078, when the dioceses of Sherborne and Ramsbury were merged. 



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