Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday was the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul and also the Ordination and Consecration of the new Bishop of Winchester, Tim Dakin, at St Paul's Cathedral. I darted through the tents of the demonstrators still encamped around St Paul's to make my way up the steps in time for the 11am service. The atmosphere outside was unwelcoming: about 30 tents, all zipped up apart from a soup kitchen, sporting various notices, "Please knock quietly", "Donations welcome, give generously!" etc. Inside, the Cathedral was packed with almost 2000 people. The Suffragan Bishop of Bradwell in the diocese of Chelmsford was also being consecrated that day and arrivals were instructed, "Chelmsford to the left, Winchester to the right". I hastened to the right and almost bumped into the Archbishop of Canterbury, resplendent in a pink robe. Cheered by his smile, I managed to find a seat half way down, behind a huge pillar, from where there would be no view of the Bishops although I could see the pulpit.
It was a marvellous service: wonderful hymns including Charles Wesley's "O for a thousand tongues to sing" and Matthew Bridges' "Crown him with many crowns". Rowan Williams has a beautifully mellifluous voice and the sermon by the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, was both amusing and instructive, his basic theme being, "Don't be seduced by the trappings of office but concentrate on being the mouth and hands of God."


Anonymous Portinari said...

Puts me in mind of a small ad which I read in the Sunday Times some time ago. It read: "An Anglican vicar in want of a second hand baptismal font would exchange for the same a picture, in frame, of the bishop elect of Vermont".

9:35 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

LOL Portinari! I bumped into your cousin the other day - she's looking forward to moving to the Lake District in July.

10:01 am  
Anonymous Portinari said...

Lucky girl. They have a lovely house there. They will be near her sister. I am most fond of the two of them and I still think of them as wee slips of girls. However they have 7 children between them. What ever happens to time?

3:53 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Time definitely speeds up

8:34 am  
Blogger elleeseymour said...

Good sermon, and one many people in high office would do well to remember.

8:24 pm  

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