Gallery: New bishop will be key part of church’s bid to grow in Suffolk
- Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham
Suffolk’s clergy and churchgoers were out in force on Saturday to welcome the new Bishop of Dunwich.
With a colourful procession through Bury St Edmunds, soaring music, prayers and readings from some of the county’s younger and newest Christians, The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison was formally installed as the Bishop of Dunwich at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
Hundreds of worshippers took part in the service, which included traditional hymns alongside contemporary Christian music.
Bishop Mike, as he will be known, will officially be the suffragan – second – bishop in Suffolk working alongside Bishop Martin Seeley who took over the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese in 2015.
The new Bishop of Dunwich is expected to focus on church growth in the county.
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Bishop Mike said: “It’s wonderful to finally arrive here after months of anticipation and I am very grateful for the warmth of the welcome and for the prayers in which I and the family have been held.
“I am aware of joining a diocese steeped in a long and rich history of Christian mission and am greatly looking forward to joining others in this work, not least through the ‘Growing in God’ strategy.”
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The service was attended by a number of Church of England and civic leaders including the Mayor of Ipswich, and Clare, Countess of Euston, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk.
Father of four Bishop Mike, 52, will live in Mendlesham, was accompanied by his wife, Rachel, and two of the couple’s four children Rebekah, 16, and Sarah, 13.
During the service Bishop Martin presented Bishop Mike with the Dunwich Crozier – a traditional symbol of the ministry of a bishop.
Bishop Martin said: “Mike is committing himself to working with us as we seek to grow in Suffolk. We will grow in our faith, building up our congregations, engaging with young people and their aspirations, and in our service to the wider community.
“Our vision is to grow in depth, numbers, and influence and to attract younger people too. Mike will be a key part of this. It was a wonderful occasion with representatives from across the county and from all walks of life.”
Stowmarket Churches Together Food Bank, Kesgrave Youth Group, Newmarket Town Pastors and recently confirmed worshippers were among those who took part in the service which was also a celebration of mission and ministry in the diocese.