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New Bishop shares joyful celebration

by Michael Ford last modified 04 Oct, 2011 09:08 PM

Nicholas Holtam will be enthroned as Bishop in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 15 October at Noon.

New Bishop shares joyful celebration

The Archbishop of Canterbury with the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam

There has been a vacancy of 15 months since the retirement of Bishop David Stancliffe. The new Bishop was consecrated in St Paul’s Cathedral, London on 22 July and moved to Salisbury in August. He can begin his public ministry only after he has paid homage to the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 11 October.

Before the Enthronement service begins, Bishop Holtam will lead a procession of singing schoolchildren and a Salvation Army band from St Mark’s Church, Bishopdown.

He will be following an ancient tradition when new bishops of Salisbury got off their horses at Bishopdown – the origin of its name – and walked into the city as pilgrims.

The Bishop will be led through Salisbury city centre to Mitre House on the corner of New Street and High Street where, as is traditional, he will put on his robes.

The choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields Trafalgar Square – where Bishop Holtam was Vicar for 16 years – will sing for him outside Mitre House before leading him into The Close, accompanied by the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury.

On Choristers Green, he will be greeted in Latin by the senior boy chorister, following another custom. For the first time, the senior chorister from the Girls’ Choir - celebrating its 20th anniversary this year - will repeat the greeting in English before the Bishop replies.

The formal Cathedral Service, a ticket-only event, will begin at Noon. Bishop Holtam will receive the Bishop of Salisbury’s pastoral staff and be seated in the Bishop’s throne before he preaches his first sermon to the Diocese.

Overseas guests representing the Diocese’s international links include the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, the Bishop of Khartoum, and the Assistant Bishop of Riga in Latvia. Representatives from other denominations will take part, alongside officers, lay and ordained ministers from across the Diocese.

Guests from across Dorset and Wiltshire will greet Bishop Holtam, including the Lord Lieutenants, MPs, council leaders, and representatives of the emergency services and armed forces.

The service will end with the Bishop blessing the City and the Diocese from the west doors of the Cathedral, and music from the Cathedral School’s band ‘Jazbytes’.

The Bishop said today: “The vast majority of people know that to be human is to be religious. Our  local churches, schools and other organisations  play a vital part in communities throughout the diocese. I am looking forward to working with them and the wider community in ways that make known God’s loving service.”

[ENDS]

For further information please contact
Jonathan Ball
Bishop’s Chaplain and Press Officer
07500 872081/01722 334031
bishops.chaplain@salisbury.anglican.org

Notes for Editors
Itinerary for the Enthronement Day

1030 – Bishop Holtam will arrive at St Mark’s church Bishopdown

1045 – The Bishop’s Procession will leave St Mark’s, and will proceed down Estcourt Rd, Bourne Hill (stopping on the Green for 5 minutes), Bedwin St, Rollestone St, Brown St and New Canal, before stopping in the Old George Mall at approx 1115 for 5 minutes by Marks & Spencer. The procession will exit into High St.

1130 – The Bishop will arrive at Mitre House (Anokhi) to robe

1140 – The choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields will sing for the Bishop in High St whilst he looks out of the window of Mitre House

1145 – The Dean and Chapter will arrive at Mitre House to lead him into The Close

1150 – The Bishop will be greeted by the choristers on Choristers Green

1200 – The Bishop will arrive at the Cathedral west door and enter for the Enthronement service.

1330 - The service ends with the Bishop blessing the city from the Cathedral west doors. There will be a photo opportunity at this point.

The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam

Nicholas Holtam (aged 57) grew up in North London and was educated at The Latymer Grammar School Edmonton. He read Geography at Collingwood College, Durham and trained for ordination at King’s College, London and Westcott House, Cambridge. He served his first curacy from 1979 to 1983 at St Dunstan and All Saints Stepney in the diocese of London. From 1983 to 1988 he was a Tutor at Lincoln Theological College where he taught Christian Ethics and Mission. From 1988 to 1995 he was Vicar of Christ Church and Saint John with Saint Luke’s Isle of Dogs at the heart of London’s Docklands in the Diocese of London during a period of immense change. From 1995 he was Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.

Nicholas is married to Helen who is half Danish, a committed Quaker and a Maths teacher. She grew up in South Africa and Kenya before her parents returned to England to live in Devizes where she went to the Grammar School and her father, the late Ted Harris MBE, was Secretary to Wiltshire Community Council. Nicholas and Helen have four adult children. He is a regular broadcaster and has written two books – ‘A Room with a View: Ministry with the world at your door’ (SPCK 2008), and ‘The Art of Worship’, a book of meditations and prayers in response to favourite paintings in the National Gallery (Yale University Press 2011). He and Helen enjoy the theatre, museums and galleries. Nicholas is a cyclist and walker who raised over £100,000 by walking the South Downs Way for the Renewal of St Martin’s.

The Diocese of Salisbury

The Anglican Diocese of Salisbury is the seventh largest in area in the Church of England, extending over 2000 square miles, with a population of about 880,000. Within the Diocese there is wide diversity in geography between the many urban areas and the deeply rural ones.

The Diocese includes 95% of Dorset, 75% of the unitary authority of Wiltshire, the unitary authority of Poole, 40% of the unitary authority of Bournemouth, a small part of west Hampshire and one parish in Devon. Poole is the largest urban area, followed by Weymouth & Portland, Salisbury and Trowbridge (the county town of Wiltshire), with many smaller towns including Dorchester (the county town of Dorset), Ferndown and Devizes. In Wiltshire especially, the rural areas are grouped round a number of market towns to which the rural population looks for shopping and most services.

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