It was good be at the Installation of Bishop Alan Hopes as Fourth Bishop of East Anglia on Tuesday. What a magnificent Cathedral they have in East Anglia; it’s hard to believe it was built just to be a parish church.
The heart of an episcopal ‘installation’ is just that: you install the bishop, you put him where he is meant to be, like a household appliance or a new piece of computer software.
The ‘place’ where he is meant to be is the cathedra, the bishop’s chair, which signifies his authority as the chief shepherd and teacher within the diocese. A cathedral, remember, is not just the biggest or most beautiful church in a diocese, but the one that contains the cathedra; and in Rome, for example, it is therefore St John Lateran and not St Peter’s.
The photo shows Archbishop Vincent Nichols addressing Bishop Alan just after he has been led to the cathedra.
This text gives you a flavour of this central moment:
The Archbishop leads the Bishop-Elect to the cathedra and says:
In the name of God, I, Vincent Nichols, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Westminster, do install you, Alan Hopes, Bishop in this Church of East Anglia. May our Lord Jesus Christ watch over you now and always.
The Archbishop installs the Bishop in the cathedra.
The Archbishop presents him with the Book of the Gospels saying:
Bishop Alan, receive this Book of the Gospels and preach the Word of God to the Church of East Anglia, teaching always with zeal and love.
The Archbishop then presents the Crozier to Bishop Alan saying:
Bishop Alan, at the wish of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, you have assumed the pastoral charge of the Church of East Anglia. I hand you this Crozier, the sign of the shepherd’s office and ministry. May the Lord sustain you in your care for the people of the Diocese.