The strains of Widor’s Toccata were drowned by spontaneous applause as Rt Rev Robert Innes walked out of Canterbury Cathedral after his consecration as Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.
The two hour service, where the Archbishop of Canterbury presided at a Eucharist and the Bishop of London in his sermon welcomed Robert to his new ministry, was attended by visiting bishops, clergy and lay people from around the diocese and many visitors who had travelled for miles to the service on Sunday 20 July 2014.
The international nature of the Diocese in Europe was reflected in the mix of languages – the Old testament lesson was read in German by Katharina von Schnurbein, Advisor to the President of the European Commission, the Gospel in Dutch by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Antwerp and the presence of representatives of other churches with whom the diocese is in partnership.
Rev Augustine Nwaekwe, Priest-in-Charge of Ostend in Belgium, served as deacon for the consecration.
Suffragan Bishop David Hamid and the bishop of Oxford stood each side of the new diocesan to present him to the Archbishop and commend him for the office. Bishop Robert then made his vows and commitments before he was ordained by the company of bishops.
He was presented with a bible and, after everyone had shared in Communion, at the end of the service he was presented with his pastoral staff – a sign of his new commitment.
After the service the new bishop said "To be consecrated on my own, in the mother church of the Anglican Communion was a massive honour for me and for our diocese. It gave a very powerful sense of our European diocese’s connectedness and belonging with the wider church. For me personally it was an overwhelming experience. I could not have imagined a more wonderful start to my episcopal ministry.”
More pictures from the consecration are available to view an d may be downloaded for sharing in the diocese