Chorister made ‘boy bishop’ to mark St Nicholas Day
One of Norwich Cathedral’s choristers was made Boy Bishop of Norwich 2019 at a special Evensong to celebrate St Nicholas, the patron saint of children.
Reviving a custom from the Middle Ages, Daniel Neville was chosen by his fellow choristers to take on the role for the service on Friday 6 December.
The idea behind bringing back the medieval custom of Boy Bishop to Norwich Cathedral is to highlight the importance of children, and the service in which one of the Cathedral’s boy or girl choristers is made Bishop for the occasion is now planned to become an annual event.
The Festal Evensong on St Nicholas’ Day was also attended by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, who blessed Daniel and presented him with a book pf prayers.
Daniel read words from the Book of Job and in his sermon he spoke of the importance of looking after our planet and of understanding truth.
Daniel said: “The care of this planet falls upon all members of humanity – young and old; but not all of us have voices that are heard. For those of us who are young, it is very difficult to know who is telling us the truth, or whether our voice is heard.”
He added: “As Christmas draws nearer and with an election in sight, may we unwrap the present of truth that seems so hard to unwrap and when we have discovered it may we treasure it for the good of all.”
The custom of Boy Bishop was widespread in the Middle Ages, when the Bishop of the Diocese would symbolically stand to one side on St Nicholas Day and allow a boy to take his place.
Traditionally, the boy would remain in his role until Holy Innocents’ Day on 28 December and the boy would lead his peers, usually fellow choristers, in the taking of all the services except the Mass.
For more about services at Norwich Cathedral visit cathedral.org.uk
Photo by Bill Smith