Saturday, 14 May 2016

A Party for the New Bishop

Bishop Martyn Smith was installed as the new Bishop of Leicester in a service at the Cathedral this afternoon. As is customary, he had to knock on the Cathedral doors with his Crozier to be allowed to enter! The first part of the service included the legal formalities as well as worship. Then the Bishop was led to his ceremonial chair – all very normal.

But then the doors of the Cathedral were flung open and the Bishop and the whole Cathedral congregation joined the overflow congregation in the Cathedral Gardens. With more worship, the Bishop then addressed the crowd. He spoke of the Christian life as a party and said that his two big themes would be prayer and party. And he asked those who listened to invite others to the party.

The prayers were led by children in a wonderfully down to earth way, in which God was thanked not only for electricity and videogames but Leicester City’s win! They did also include the needs of the church and of the world, as well as praying for Bishop Martyn as he takes up his challenging role.

The party theme continued with wine and food (vegetable curry and onion bhajis) for all afterwards in the cathedral grounds.
We, too, will be praying for Bishop Martyn, who has already visited a young people’s prayer time at St Paul’s (blog of 13 May).
The following prayer has been suggested as a helpful prayer as we ask for God's support for Bishop Martyn:
God, eternal shepherd,
you tend your Church in many ways
and rule us always with love.
You have chosen your servant Martyn
to be shepherd of your flock in this diocese.
Give him, through your Spirit ,
both courage and humility,
true clarity of thought and understanding,
deep wisdom
and love for all.
As our leader and pastor,
may he build your Church
as a sign of salvation for the world.

You can see a video of Bishop Martyn's vision for the future here
Link to the children's prayers for Bishop Martyn here