Lincoln Cathedral welcomed the official installation of its new bishop, Rt Rev Stephen Conway. Despite his appointment in May, the city’s community gathered in joyful anticipation to witness this significant event, marking one of the final steps in the process.
The event, guided by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Venerable Will Adam, drew an impressive crowd of over 1,000 attendees, including approximately 30 students from local schools who accompanied Bishop Stephen to the cathedral. The atmosphere was one of celebration and community spirit as the service commenced.
To initiate the proceedings, Bishop Stephen used a staff known as a crosier to knock three times on the imposing west door of the cathedral, symbolizing the beginning of his new role. This action held great symbolic importance, emphasizing the historical and spiritual aspects of the event.
Among the dignitaries present were the mayor of Lincoln, the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, leaders of various faiths from the local community, and the bishops of Grimsby and Grantham. The involvement of leaders from diverse backgrounds highlighted the unity and inclusivity of the community in welcoming the new bishop.
A touching moment during the ceremony was the anointing of Bishop Stephen’s hands by the bishops of Grimsby and Grantham. This traditional ritual signified a blessing and an acknowledgement of his sacred duty. The presence of fellow bishops underscored the continuity and support within the broader ecclesiastical community.
Bishop Stephen has been serving in an acting capacity since November 2021, stepping into the role after the retirement of the former bishop, Rt Rev Christopher Lowson. Hailing from London, Bishop Stephen began his ministry training in Cambridge in 1983, marking a rich history of service. Prior to his appointment in Lincoln, he served as the bishop of Ely for an impressive 13 years, showcasing his extensive experience and dedication to his calling.
The installation ceremony not only solidified Bishop Stephen’s role within the Lincoln community but also served as a moment of reflection on the legacy of his predecessor and the continuity of spiritual leadership in the region. The symbolic actions and rituals performed during the service emphasized the sacred nature of the bishop’s role and the solemn responsibilities that come with it.
The inclusion of students from local schools in the procession added a heartwarming touch to the event, showcasing the community’s commitment to passing on spiritual values to the younger generation. The presence of future leaders in the ceremony underscored the importance of continuity and the ongoing role of faith in shaping the community’s identity.
As Bishop Stephen formally assumes his role, the community looks forward to the guidance and leadership he will provide. The installation ceremony, with its blend of tradition and community involvement, stands as a testament to the resilience and continuity of spiritual leadership in Lincoln. It was a day filled with symbolism, tradition, and a strong sense of community, marking the beginning of a new chapter for Lincoln Cathedral under the stewardship of Rt Rev Stephen Conway.