Today's enthronement and welcome service

09 November 2019
The Rt Revd Graham Usher will be enthroned as the 72nd Bishop of Norwich in a historic service at Norwich Cathedral today, Saturday 9 November. This symbolic ceremony will see the bishop formally seated for the first time on the ancient throne at the east end of the Cathedral, and it marks the beginning of his public ministry in the Diocese of Norwich.
9. Bishop of Norwich (c) Diocese of Norwich

In a service that last happened 20 years ago, Bishop Graham will be placed into the Bishop’s seat and anointed for ministry. Norwich Cathedral will be full to capacity with 1,800 invited guests from across Norfolk and Waveney. Representatives from parishes, schools, local charities, other church denominations and faith groups and civic society will bear witness to the solemn vows he will be making and will play their part in welcoming him.

Arriving by horse and carriage, symbolising the significant part that agriculture and rural life play in the county and Diocese, the Bishop will strike the Great West Door three times with his pastoral staff. He will be welcomed in and will begin his pilgrimage through the Cathedral. At various points of the service, different people will take part in welcoming him into his ministry.

The Bishop will mingle with the guests at the end of the service while refreshments are served. Individual honey cakes have been made by Jarrold’s of Norwich, using honey from Bishop Graham’s bees.

Speaking in anticipation of the service, Bishop Graham said: “It’s a great honour to have been called to serve among the people of Norfolk and Waveney as Bishop of Norwich. I'm excited about the opportunity to meet this county's fantastic people at this service of welcome. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and getting to know you and your wonderful communities, as together we continue to seek to live out Jesus Christ’s call to love God and our neighbours.”

The carriage and horses bringing the Bishop to the Cathedral have kindly been provided by Harveys Shires of Bergh Apton, courtesy of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. 

The Cathedral and Hostry will be closed to general visitors for most of the day on Saturday 9 November. Ahead of the 2pm service, admission to the Cathedral will be by ticket only.

The Cloisters, Refectory and Close will all remain open as usual for all visitors throughout the whole day. The Cathedral is expected to reopen by about 4pm and Evening Prayer will take place at 5pm.

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Picture: Diocese of Norwich