Saturday, April 04, 2009

Consecration day

Despite the chill air and big clouds the rain held off today, which was something of a comfort to the family and friends of the two couple who got married at St John's this afternoon. Just before I set off for church to prepare, I had a phone call from Sven Oppegaard, a Norwegian Lutheran Pastor who worked at the World Vouncil of Churches in Geneva during my time there. He was down at St John's, hoping to see me and say hello before going to the Cathedral for the afternoon consecration ceremony of Gregory Cameron as Bishop of St Asaph and David Willbourne as Assistant Bishop of Llandaff. He's here representing the Norwegian Luthernan Church, from Oslo, where he now works as a national Ecumenical officer. We were able to have half an hour together sitting outside in the sunny churchyard, sheltered from the wind, hastily catching up on the past seven years.

After the weddings I made my way up to the Cathedral and slipped in at the back during Archbishop Rowan's sermon. The Cathedral was full with church dignatories and well wishers from far and wide. There were about three dozen Bishops there, active or retired, sharing in the ceremony, and a huge scrum outside for the photo opportunity plus meet and greet session following. How fortunate it still hadn't rained. I slipped out during the final hymn to be ready to take a few photographs, and the sounds of Wesley's 'And can it be that I should gain an interest in my saviours blood" poured out into precint outside, where a local blackbird was holding forth, equally loudly in praise - an exquisite moment on a special day. The Church in Wales Bench of Bishops is now up to full strength again, after a year of comings and goings, with plenty of new blood leadership to stimulate the faithful, and who knows?, maybe take us a few places we didn't quite expect to go. You'll find some photos of the event here

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