From the Rector
On a Saturday in mid-January, Wendy and I joined many hundreds of others in the cathedral at Truro for a momentous occasion.
It was the Service of Welcome and Inauguration of the new Bishop of Truro, Philip Mountstephen.
Truro is one of the youngest Dioceses in the Church of England. It was formed on 15th December 1876, being carved out of the Diocese of Exeter, which must have been huge in the 19th century.
Our Diocese now comprises the whole of the county of Cornwall, but also includes the Isles of Scilly and two parishes in Devon, St Giles-in-the-Heath and Virginstow (this last detail was mentioned many times in the service in a concerted effort to include everyone!).
It seems an age since Bishop Tim left Truro to take up his new post as Bishop at Lambeth, but finally the waiting is over and we have a new spiritual leader.
The service itself on 12th January was memorable. Great care had been taken to mark this new start with the very best that our region can offer. The music was wonderful.
The cathedral choir was in fine form in the two anthems that they sang, a setting of the words ‘Do not be afraid’ from Isaiah 43 by Philip Stopford, and an especially commissioned setting of Ubi Caritas by Russell Pascoe, Director of the Truro Male Voice Choir, and a complete but thrilling contrast being offered by the Falmouth Gospel Choir in ‘O Happy Day’ and ‘Glory, glory.’
There was a lovely touch very near the beginning when a child, Bethany Bone, greeted Bishop Philip at the west door and questioned him as to his identity and purpose before granting him admission. And there was an intriguing section when representatives of Church and City offered spoken words of welcome.
After a service lasting two hours, but not feeling anything like that long, Bishop Philip processed back to the west door and, standing on the steps outside, blessed the City of Truro and the people of Cornwall.
Now a new chapter in the story of the life of the Church here has begun. We all welcome Bishop Philip and his wife, Ruth.
We pray for him that he may have the wisdom and the strength to lead us forward into God’s rich future and we resolve to play our part in building God’s Kingdom in this beautiful part of his world.