Bishop of Norwich marks 25 years of service
The Rt Rev Graham James – the longest serving bishop in the Church of England – is celebrating 25 years in the role at a special Evensong service at Norwich Anglican Cathedral on February 23.
He was consecrated to serve as Bishop of St Germans in the Diocese of Truro on February 23, 1993 and was enthroned as Bishop of Norwich on January 29, 2000. Bishop Graham has also been a member of the House of Lords since March 2004.
Ordained a Deacon in 1975, he was a curate in Peterborough Diocese then served as a Team Vicar in Welwyn Garden City. In 1987 he was appointed Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, serving both Robert Runcie and George Carey.
Bishop Graham also has other additional responsibilities within the Church of England, including being the lead spokesman on media issues.
He said: “My memory of the day of my consecration as a bishop in Westminster Abbey is both vivid and blurred, if such a thing is possible. Blurred since so much was happening and I was surrounded by people from every part of my then life. Vivid because it seems like only yesterday sometimes and not 25 years ago.
“Those who were not there in 1993 were all the people I’ve got to know or been privileged to serve since then. Our 18 years in the diocese of Norwich have been very happy ones for Julie and me. We’ve been wonderfully supported by the prayers and love of many people. On Friday February 23, the very day of my silver anniversary of episcopal consecration, I know some people from Cornwall and overseas will be coming, and I hope many will join me in the Cathedral at Evensong at 5.30pm to give thanks to God for his many blessings over the past 25 years. Everyone is welcome.”
Bishop Graham is now 67 and bishops must retire by the age of 70. He has ordained over 200 priests during his time in the Diocese of Norwich.
The Bishop of Repton, the Rt Rev Jan MacFarlane will preach at the service.
Pictured above is Bishop Graham James.