Bishop Graham’s pledge to Yarmouth student
Days after being officially enthroned at Norwich Cathedral as the 72nd Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher’s welcome service at Great Yarmouth Minster on Monday November 18 included a promise of commitment to a young student.
Retired BBC broadcaster Tony Mallion was at the service, and brings us his recollections of the event, which was covered in a story on Network Norfolk last week.
The service was attended by a large congregation drawn from churches throughout the Yarmouth Deanery, including the Mayor, Cllr Michael Jeal; the High Sheriff of Norfolk, Clare Agnew; and Henry Cator, High Steward of Great Yarmouth.
During the service, 11-year-old Eda Revuckaite, a year 6 student from St. Nicholas Priory School, asked the Bishop to declare that he would, by the grace of the Holy Spirit and trusting God to be his guide, walk into the future, lead the church in new paths so it would flourish, and be open to new challenges which would draw people back to Christ, and do more than could be imagined.
Earlier in the service the Bishop said: ‘I come among you as your servant and pastor; humbly seeking the grace of God.’ He continued: ‘I take on the yoke of obedience as your Bishop and for the love of Christ I seek to do his perfect will.’ But he asked the congregation to join with him and also commit themselves to the task.
He moved to the font to affirm the baptismal covenant encouraging the congregation to reaffirm their faith before sprinkling water as he walked down the aisle. He preached a sermon in which he spoke about the Bishop’s staff and Jesus as the Good Shepherd, urging people to listen for the voice of Jesus in modern society. He said, ‘We don’t change the world by looking at it but living in it, living in the world in the way Jesus wants us to live.’
Prayers were led by Belton curate Viv Redpath, Martham Authorised Worship Assistant Ivy Eyre and Alyssa Bassett-Oldfield, another 11-year-old pupil from the Priory School. Two more eight-year-old pupils, Harry Holliday and Matilde Da Silva, helped with the collection. The Total Ensemble company performed Embrace, pictured above, a dance which was also featured in the Cathedral service. A combined choir with singers from several churches, sang John Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You. The whole service was interpreted in sign language by Rosemary Pell and Ann Richardson and members of the Norwich Deaf Church also attended.
Bishop Graham was enthroned at the Cathedral on Saturday November 9, and his welcome tour continues at Cromer on Sunday, Thetford on Monday, and ends at King’s Lynn on Wednesday (27).
The top photo shows the Bishop’s commitment to service assisted by his Chaplain, Revd Canon Sally Theakston.
The middle photo is of the Total Ensemble performing Embrace.
The bottom photo shows the Bishop meets Colin Smith a member of the Minster Preservation Trust.
All pictures are courtesy of Tony Mallion.
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