After 13 years as Dean of Salisbury, a much-loved figure has moved on to her next challenge – being the 72nd Bishop of Llandaff. She was was consecrated at a service in Brecon Cathedral on Saturday and will be enthroned this coming weekend Hundreds of people are expected to pack into Llandaff Cathedral this weekend to welcome their new bishop.
Bishop June, one of the most senior church leaders in the UK, was appointed in April by the Church in Wales’ bishops, and is the second woman bishop in Wales. She said the move would serve as “something of a homecoming for the family, particularly because my husband is from Cardiff and it is a place we know and love”.
The address at her consecration was given by the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, and the Gospel was read by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, who was the Anglican Communion’s first woman primate.
Bishop June was anointed with the oil of Chrism and presented with the symbols of office – the episcopal ring, pectoral cross and mitre, as well as a Bible and a pastoral staff. Choristers and lay clerks from Salisbury Cathedral joined Brecon Cathedral Choir to sing at the service.
It was only the fifth time a bishop has been consecrated in Brecon Cathedral. Three of the previous occasions were during the time when John Morgan was Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff as his own cathedral was out of use for major services because of damage it sustained during World War II.
“Leading a diocese that is so diverse, in an area that is both historic and beautiful, will be challenging but I have an enormous appetite for the task and am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to join a diocesan team which is strong and imaginative. These are turbulent times across the world and the need for faith, and for the confident, distinctive leadership of the Church has never been more important,” Bishop June said.
Six days previously, at her farewell to Salisbury Cathedral after her final Choral Evensong, she had said that the Dean of Salisbury is the best job in the Church of England and being Bishop of Llandaff is the best job in the Church in Wales. “How blessed I have been to hold that post,” she told a large gathering of family, friends and colleagues.
Canon Chancellor, Edward Probert said June had had made an enormous contribution to worship and the life of the Cathedral community in her 22 years there: the major repair programme, social justice - making the Cathedral more outward-looking, the new font and toilets, playing a leading role on General Synod, the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, the Leading Women programme, the Diocesan links with South Sudan and the Cathedral’s links with Stanford University in California. She has also been president of the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral.
Among the gifts presented to her were a book in which dozens of people had written messages, a lectern in wood and glass made in the Cathedral’s workshop for the chapel in her home and flowers from the Cathedral Flowers team.
The enthronement service starts at 11 am and is ticketed due to limited space. Before the service can begin Bishop June will have to request permission to enter the cathedral. As part of an ancient tradition she must knock three times with her staff on the cathedral’s west door before being welcomed inside by the Dean of Llandaff, Gerwyn Capon. Her mandate to serve as the Bishop of Llandaff will be read out and she will take her oath on the cathedral Bible.
During the service Bishop June will be anointed with the Oil of Chrism, vested with her cope and mitre and presented with the diocesan staff – the symbol of her authority in the diocese – before being installed in her seat in the cathedral, the Episcopal Throne.
She will then greet the cathedral Chapter and area deans along with civic dignitaries and faith leaders. Following this one of her first duties as bishop will be to deliver the sermon.
Dean Capon said: “We are delighted to welcome our new Bishop June to the cathedral. The enthronement service enacts a tradition that goes back centuries to the early church and is essentially an expression of what we believe about the role of the bishop. She will have her seat at the heart of the mother church of the diocese, and from it, literally and metaphorically, Bishop June will nurture us in the faith.
“In turn, gathered around her, we will be able to pray for our bishop and support her in the vital ministry into which she has been called. Bishop June’s enthronement begins a new chapter in the life of the church in this diocese and we will commit ourselves to working with her and giving her the resources she will need to bring us all into a deeper relationship with Christ.”
Clergy and representatives from parishes across Llandaff Diocese have been invited to the service along with canons, bishops, diocesan staff, civic dignitaries and ecumenical guests.
Image: Former Bishop of Llandaff Barry Morgan with his successor Bishop June Osborne ©Angela-Hewitt
Click here to view more images of the consecration.
Click here to view images of Bishop June's last services at Salisbury Cathedral.