The Archbishop of Canterbury Charge at the Consecration of Bishop Stephen

To our well beloved in Christ, Stephen David Lake, now Bishop and Pastor of the Diocese of Salisbury, Greeting.

I recall to you God’s mission entrusted by Christ to His Church to proclaim God’s Kingdom, to heal the sick and to make disciples of all nations.  As the Crown Nominations Commission considered  prayerfully  and  carefully  the  call  of  the  new  Bishop  of  Salisbury  to  share  the historic and eternal gospel with a changing world, and to encourage all Christians in their witness  so  that  more  people  become  disciples  of  Jesus  Christ,  they  discerned  an  especial sense of urgency around tasks and ministries which I now set before you, to guide you as you prepare to take up your new office.

Bishops within the Church of England are called

  • To  share  in  the  ministry  of  the  Gospel  of  Christ,  proclaiming  a  narrative  of  Christian hope for all at a time of suffering for many;
  • To exercise collegial leadership of the Church of England through the House and College of Bishops, promoting unity of the Church, and leading it in its mission and service;
  • To lead, with brother and sister bishops, the emerging Church as we seek to live out our vocation locally and nationally, exploring opportunities for deepening relationships with neighbouring dioceses.

As the Bishop of Salisbury you are called

  • To  lead  the  diocese  in  discerning  its  vision  for  God’s  mission  and  ministry  in  pastoral care and evangelism and in implementing a strategy for realising this;
  • To have a care for bringing others to faith, for growing a church which is younger and more diverse, characterised by mixed ecology, by communities of confident disciples and by the care of older people and the isolated;
  • To  encourage  people  and  churches  to  be  courageous  in  the  gospel,  confident  in  their witness,  bold  in  their  hopes,  faith-filled  around  an  optimistic  vision  and  energised  to make a difference;
  • To create a culture of mutuality across the diocese and with the wider church, living this out in the senior team and in deepening relationships with churches in Sudan and South Sudan;
  • To empower lay people in their leadership and in their partnership with clergy, modelling this in collaborative working relationships with lay staff;
  • To  welcome  the  Channel  Islands  and  to  encourage  their  mission,  to  develop  their relationship with the diocese and to connect personally with the wider civic leadership in the Islands;
  • To encourage local churches in service of their local communities, with particular care for serving military and veterans, seeking opportunities to be present in the wider public square.

Stephen  –  you  have  a  particular  accountability  for  ensuring  that  the  Diocese  of  Salisbury is  a  safe  place  for  children  and  adults  at  risk  and  that  it  models  the  highest  standards  of safeguarding in accordance with the policies of the Church of England.

Stephen – as a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ remember you are also called to tend to your own spiritual life in prayer and study. So may the Lord of heaven, who gives you the will to undertake these things, give you also the strength to perform them, and by his divine providence may his holy angels succour and defend you on earth;  and may his Grace and Blessing be with you at all times.


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