Fringe Box



New Bishop Walks To Canterbury For Her Consecration Service

Published on: 29 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 1 Jul, 2016

By Drew Lernihan

A new bishop within the Diocese of Guildford took a 70-mile walk from Dorking to Canterbury for her consecration that took place on Wednesday, June 29.

Bishop Jo on her walk to Canterbury.

The Revd Canon Dr Jo Wells on her walk to Canterbury.

The Revd Canon Dr Jo Wells has become the Suffragen Bishop of Dorking – effectively assistant to the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson.

Her consecration service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to whom she was chaplain until the beginning of June.

The service was attended by senior faith leaders, parishioners from across the dioceses and family, friends and former colleagues.

It marked the penultimate stage of Bishop Jo taking on her role as the fifth Bishop of Dorking.

She was ordained in 1995 in the first wave of female priests. Between 1995 and 2001 she served as chaplain and then as dean of Clare College, Cambridge. She has followed through many roles, her most recent as chaplain to the archbishop.

The pilgrimage was a kind of preparation for her to give her time for reflection and prayer ahead of the consecration.

Before she left she said: “When I get to Canterbury Cathedral to be consecrated, I want to be 100% there, ready to give everything to God for the job ahead.”

The new Suffragan Bishop of Dorking, Revd Canon Dr Jo

The new Suffragan Bishop of Dorking, Revd Canon Dr Jo Wells. Picture from the Diocese of Guildford website.

After her consecration she said: “I want to thank all who have been praying for my family and me during this transition. We feel hugely supported, and so very fortunate at the warmth of welcome.”

The Bishop of Guildford said: “I’m delighted that Jo is our new Bishop of Dorking, I’m hugely looking forward to our partnership in the gospel thereafter.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: “During the three years Jo has been at Lambeth Palace her outstanding gifts as a pastor, scholar and strategist have been a huge blessing to me and the wider church.”

Her consecration took place alongside the former Archdeacon of Norwich, who has become the Bishop of Repton in the Diocese of Derby. The two new bishops are good friends, having attended theological college together.

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