Episcopal Ordination in Brentwood- Today's The Day!

So, the day has finally arrived. The episcopal ordination of bishop-elect Alan Williams will take place today, week 13 of ordinary time and the feast of St Oliver Plunket, Bishop and Martyr, at noon in Brentwood Cathedral.


The diocesan website announces:
Finishing touches are being put to preparations in the Cathedral in Brentwood as the long-awaited day looms. This rare and momentous event – the ordination of a bishop - will take place at noon on 1 July: Fr Alan Williams SM will become Bishop of Brentwood 34 years after the building last witnessed such a ceremony. A member of the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers), Bishop-elect Alan is currently the director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, will ordain the new Bishop in the presence of the Papal Nuncio, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Bishops of England & Wales, priests and deacons from the Diocese, church leaders from Churches Together in Essex and East London and the Orthodox Church, and interfaith leaders from the Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Jewish religions. Bishop Thomas McMahon and Bishop Tom Burns will be co-consecrators at the ordination, which will also be attended by Bishop Graham Rose of the twinned Diocese of Dundee in South Africa, the Marist European Provincial from Paris, Fr Hubert Bonnet-Eymard SM, and the Regional Superior of the Marist Brothers, Fr Peter Corcoran SM.
The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Wing Commander Mike Dudgeon OBE DL, and the High Sheriff Nicholas Charrington, will rub shoulders with High Court judges, resplendent in their regalia, and MPs Sir Bob Russell (Colchester) and David Amess (Southend West). Representatives from every parish, school and religious community across the Diocese will also be present.

They will hear music by Parry, Rutter and Mozart, sung by the Cathedral Choir and arranged by Director of Music, Andrew Wright. The entrance hymn will be All Creatures of Our God and King and the programme will feature The Peace of God by John Rutter, which was originally commissioned for the dedication of the Cathedral and the people of Brentwood Diocese. Two trumpets will take part in the service  [errr...Liturgy, surely?] which will also contain some special requests by Bishop-elect Alan: Let All Mortal Flesh [oooo my favourite!!] and a Marian anthem, Sub Tuum Praesidium. The final hymn will be Guide me, O thou Great Redeemer, and organist Stephen King will conclude proceedings with Allegro Maestoso from Sonata in G, op. 28 by Elgar.
Bishop-elect Alan said: “The surprise and shock of my appointment went very quickly and now, after a week of retreat spent entirely alone, I am feeling energised by the prospect of my ordination. And I couldn’t have a more exciting diocese: it is big, busy and diverse, a lovely mix of urban and countryside. I am looking forward to exploring it and meeting the priests and people in their everyday lives, in parishes and schools, so that I can listen and get a real sense of the situations they are in and how I can work with them.”  [Oh yes! We are excited and eager too Father!!]
Outgoing Bishop Thomas McMahon said: “I have been hugely privileged to be Bishop of this diocese for 34 years and now it is time to look to the future.

“I very much welcome Fr Alan Williams SM as my successor. Those who have met him in his role at Walsingham have always been deeply impressed by the outstanding hospitality, thoughtfulness and care for pilgrims that he has shown there. He now brings these pastoral gifts – so important in today’s Church and especially under the present pontificate – to a new and wider role as our next Bishop.”
“I very much welcome Fr Alan Williams SM as my successor. Those who have met him in his role at Walsingham have always been deeply impressed by the outstanding hospitality, thoughtfulness and care for pilgrims that he has shown there. He now brings these pastoral gifts – so important in today’s Church and especially under the present pontificate – to a new and wider role as our next Bishop.”
Special prayers will be said for the new Bishop by congregations across the Diocese over the weekend preceding the 1st July, and on the eve of the ordination a Holy Hour will be held in unison at all parishes from 7.30pm. Bishop-elect Alan and Bishop Thomas will attend this vigil at the Cathedral.
These included Vespers at Churches throughout the diocese last night. The liturgy at the Cathedral was described to me as distinctly Marian (a very good sign), here are some pictures from last night:




More pictures here.

I got in touch with the Anglican Administrator of the Shrine of Walsingham, Lindsay Urwin, who explained that he is...
...sadly unable to attend the ordination as I am on a flight to Malta. Father Stephen, my colleague will be representing the Anglican shrine. We are full of pride and joy that one so committed to Walsingham will be on the bench of bishops!
Anglican Bishop Lindsay Urwin
Please do say a prayer for Bishop-elect Alan. Part-time-Pilgrim suggests the prayer of St. John Fisher might be appropriate, I concur!

Prayer for Holy Bishops by Saint John Fisher

Lord, according to Thy promise that the Gospel should be preached throughout the whole world, raise up men fit for such work. The Apostles were but soft and yielding clay till they were baked hard by the fire of the Holy Ghost. So, good Lord, do now in like manner with Thy Church militant, change and make the soft and slippery earth into hard stones. Set in the Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labors–watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold and heat–which also shall not fear the threatenings of princes, persecution, neither death, but always persuade and think with themselves to suffer with a good will, slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and laud of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church. Amen

St John Fisher

Pray for us

I will post news of the ordination later.



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