The Right Reverend Debbie Sellin will be installed as the 39th Bishop of Peterborough at a service of welcome in Peterborough Cathedral on 3 March.
The service which will be attended by representatives from the 378 churches and 103 church schools of the Diocese, alongside Diocesan staff, civic leaders, representatives from other faiths and denominations and Bishop Debbie’s friends and family marks the beginning of Bishop Debbie’s public ministry in the Diocese.
Bishop John, who has been Acting Bishop in the Diocese during the vacancy said: ‘I am very much looking forward to welcoming Bishop Debbie, it has been a good year with a lot of people working hard together to continue the ministry and mission of the Diocese, but we are looking forward to the new direction and energy that a new Diocesan Bishop will bring us. Having spent time with Bishop Debbie over these last few months I am delighted that it is she whom God has sent to serve us all in this Diocese’.
At the beginning of the service, in line with tradition, Bishop Debbie will knock on the door of the Cathedral with her Crozier and be admitted by children from some of our church schools. Beginning her public ministry surrounded by young people is especially relevant to Bishop Debbie, who made her own commitment to faith during her time at a Crusaders youth group, and who started full-time ministry as a Children and Families Worker.
Bishop Debbie said; ‘This will be a wonderful occasion filled with joy and celebration as I take up my role as your Diocesan Bishop, I am delighted that so many of you will be able to join me and hope that others can share in the occasion online. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the season of my arrival’.
The service will include formal oaths and declarations alongside personally chosen songs, hymns, anthems and readings. Bishop Debbie will symbolically take up the Diocesan Crozier, which was laid down by Bishop Donald at his farewell service last year, representing her taking on the spiritual oversight of the Diocese and the Cure of Souls, or the care of all people in the Diocese, of all faiths and none.
Music will be a key part of the day with specially selected pieces, both traditional and contemporary, performed by the City Praise worship band, the choir from All Saints School in Kingsthorpe, and the Cathedral Junior & Senior Choirs and organists. The Cathedral Bellringers will ring a quarter peal, which is done to mark special occasions.
The service will be by invitation only but to allow as many people as possible to be involved in the event, it will be live streamed on the Cathedral Facebook and Diocesan YouTube channels on 3 March. Further details of the service including an online order of service will be available on the Diocesan website in February.