Last Tuesday morning, the Dean of York Minster, Vivian Faull, was ordained bishop of Bristol in St Paul’s Cathedral, and David and Raymond were fortunate enough to be there.
David, who had previously served as a member of the CNC – the group which chose Bishop Viv – was very close to the action. He had been selected, along with a vicar from Bristol, to present Bishop Viv to the Archbishop of Canterbury at the beginning of the service and both were joined in this task by John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. So it is fair to say David had a ringside seat at these proceedings.
It was a glorious occasion, with a multitude of bishops from the provinces of Canterbury and York, along with massed choirs and representatives of many different cathedrals. The Ven. John Perumbalath was made Bishop of Chelmsford, The Ven. Simon Burton-Jones to be made Bishop of Tonbridge and of course Dean Viv Faull to be made Bishop of Bristol. The first two were appointed as suffragan or assistant bishops.
Bishop Viv, as we can now officially call her, will not start work immediately. We are expecting her to begin work in September.
What of the future?
Archdeacon Christine’s appointment has just a few months to run. Michael Johnson is “doing a Rod Mortimer” and, in his case, serving as Archdeacon for a single year. That will give Bishop Viv the opportunity to select two new Archdeacons once she has her feet under the table. Over the last few years we have been running with one Archdeacon for the whole diocese. Few people could manage that and all agree that it would not be right to ask someone else to take it on.
It is something of a measure of the pastoral concern of those who lead our diocese, that both Archdeacon Christine and Bishop Lee who are both under considerable pressure at the present time, have found time to go and visit Andrew in the hospice.