In the sunshine of a perfect autumn day, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, accompanied by a group pupils from Welton St Mary’s Church of England Primary Academy, St Faith and St Martin Church of England Junior School and William Farr Church of England Comprehensive School, approached the west front of Lincoln Cathedral. Knocking on the great west doors with his pastoral staff, he entered the Cathedral as the 73rd Bishop of Lincoln.
The day’s proceedings began with a service of collective worship was held at St Peter in Eastgate Church with pupils from Welton St Mary’s Church of England Primary Academy, St Faith and St Martin Church of England Junior School and William Farr Church of England Comprehensive School. The pupils then helped to robe the Bishop, before escorting him to the Cathedral for his enthronement.
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During the course of the service that was filled with beautiful music, Bishop Stephen was installed in the cathedra, the Bishop’s seat. After the enthronement, he was greeted by a number of representatives from the city, county and Diocese, as well as the Archbishop of Polynesia and Bishop of Harnosand in Sweden, with whom the Diocese has strong links. The congregation which packed the Cathedral added its own greeting with a thunderous round of applause.
The theme of the bishop as shepherd ran through the service, including Bishop Stephen’s sermon. At the end of the service, Bishop Stephen returned to the west front of the Cathedral, this time to bless the city, county and Diocese. The whole occasion was infused with a sense of joy and hope underpinned by a strong commitment to work with our new Bishop as he begins his ministry among us.