Installation Service of the new Bishop of Portsmouth

Wednesday 30 March 2022

Two Charter students, Christina and Areen played a key role in the installation service of Bishop Jonathan, the new bishop of Portsmouth.

In the moments before Bishop Jonathan strode into our cathedral as the tenth Bishop of Portsmouth, 15-year-old Christina whispered some comforting words to him.

It was an apt illustration of Bishop Jonathan’s vision that God can use this emerging generation to help lead more mature Christians deeper into faith. It was a point that was reinforced throughout his installation service and to which he returned in his sermon.

Around 500 churchgoers, civic dignitaries, community representatives and guests packed our cathedral for this special service, at which the Rt Rev Jonathan Frost was formally welcomed to our diocese. He was officially placed in his ‘seat’ in the cathedral, dressed in his bishop’s robes, mitre and cross, and handed the bishop’s crozier that had been placed on the cathedral altar by his predecessor Bishop Christopher.

You can relive the whole of the installation service on our YouTube channel https://youtu.be/Yabls5_-3wQ
Bishop Jonathan had chosen children and young people to play major roles throughout the service. Young singers from Portsmouth Cathedral Choir, our pioneering Choir Church project, and the Cathedral Sing school workshops sang beforehand and throughout. And Charter Academy students Christina and Areen processed in and out of the cathedral alongside him, and helped him to robe. Christina read a responsive Psalm, and Areen spoke the words reminding Bishop Jonathan that he was first and foremost a child of God.

“It was magical,” said Christina afterwards. “It was really spiritually overwhelming and so special. It was such an important day, and it was great to be able to talk to Bishop Jonathan beforehand and to tell him that this was the Lord's day, and we should rejoice in it. I was so happy and honoured to experience this beside him.”

Areen, who is 14, was a last-minute replacement for head boy Oren who had tested positive for Covid. He said: “This has been the biggest honour of my life. It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing to be involved. I feel sorry for Oren, but it felt like a gift from God that I was able to take over. I’ve never felt as spiritual in my life, and God was guiding us through this ceremony.”