Photo Credit: Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
The former Executive Leader of the international Anglican mission agency CMS has been consecrated as a bishop in the Church of England. Bishop Philip Mounstephen will serve the Diocese of Truro in the south west of England. The diocese covers the county of Cornwall, where Philip has significant ancestral roots, as well as the Isles of Scilly and two parishes across the county border in Devon. He was consecrated on Friday at a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
While now legally the Bishop of Truro, he will not formally take up his role until 12 January, when he will be welcomed to the diocese with a special service at Truro Cathedral.
“It was a humbling experience to be there with so many family, friends and colleagues, old and new”, Bishop Philip said about his consecration service. “It gave me an incredible sense of place and purpose, being consecrated at St Paul’s, which is such an iconic and historic cathedral.
“I cannot say how excited I am to be moving to Cornwall now, and to follow God’s call to mission as the Bishop of Truro. It is undoubtedly a privilege, and I cannot wait to begin serving the diocese in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and our two parishes in Devon.”
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, preached the sermon during the service, in which he described himself as “a product of CMS”. He spoke of the vision of Truro diocese to grow, and said that his prayer was that its current 300 congregations would grow to many more.
The clues to church growth, he said, were the important of following Jesus – “confessing Him [and] being like Him in character and ministry”. He urged the new bishop to be like Jesus: “be open and let people reach you”.