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Celebrating with Bishop Stephen

by Michael Ford last modified 28 Apr, 2022 10:02 AM

Southwark Cathedral was full to the brim with people delighted to be able to support Bishop Stephen as he was ordained to be the Bishop of Salisbury.

It was a special service, with even the Cathedral Cat, Hodge, wandering in and out to see the action. Aside from it being a day of joy, it was also a day of dedication and serious support for Bishop Stephen, as all the Deans walked into the service with him, and later in the service, all the Bishops gathered around him to pray for him. 

A moving sermon was given by The Very Revd Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, who was Stephen’s training incumbent, during Stephen’s curacy at Sherborne Abbey.

Reflecting on the reading from the Gospel of Mark, Dean Robert highlighted that it's ‘the shortest and to the point’ of all the Gospels, in which Jesus wrestles with his own vocation – an apt theme as Bishop Stephen committed to his calling in front of the congregation that day. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury ordained Bishop Stephen

A particularly special quote was used in the sermon, which one of the local families in Sherborne always used to read out at any of their family funerals: 

Let the Great Shepherd lead; and by winding ways not without green pastures and still waters, we shall rise insensibly, and reach the tops of the everlasting hills, where the winds are cool and the sight is glorious" James Martineau 

Dean Robert ended his sermon by praying for Stephen and his family, his wife Carol, a children Katie, Sam and Joe. After the service, joyful chatter arose as the guests spilt out of the cathedral, and we got to interview Bishop Stephen to catch his post-consecration thoughts – watch here. 

The Revd Jo Haine of Salisbury Diocese said:

"A very special service and a wonderful privilege to be able to attend. Exciting times ahead for the Diocese of Salisbury what a great team we have leading us!"

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