Peterborough's first female bishop installed in special service at Cathedral

Bishop Debbie Sellin has become the 39th Bishop of Peterborough.

The first female Bishop of Peterborough has been installed at a special service at Peterborough Cathedral.

The service to install the 39th Bishop of Peterborough took place on Sunday (March 3).

Bishop Debbie was installed by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, on behalf of the Archbishop, and formally began her public ministry in the Diocese.

The service started with Bishop Debbie taking part in the traditional banging on the door of the Cathedral and being greeted by children the area’s church schools.

In total, representatives from the 378 churches and 103 church schools of the Diocese attended the service.

The Dean then sprinkled Bishop Debbie with water as a reminder of the baptism in which all Christians are called to share.

The formal aspects of the service included the reading of the Archbishop’s mandate and legal transferring of responsibility for the Diocese. Oaths were made to the King and to be a ‘faithful pastor to the clergy and people of this diocese’ holding a Bible used at Peterborough Abbey in the thirteenth century.

The Archdeacon of Canterbury then placed Bishop Debbie in her Cathedra.

Following this, she was welcomed by civic and ecclesiastical representatives from across all three counties of the Diocese; Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Throughout the service music was performed by the City Praise Worship Band, the children’s choir from Kingsthorpe C of E School and the Peterborough Cathedral Choirs which represented a diverse and uplifiting range of worship, praise and reflection including; Love Divine by Charles Wesley, Howell’s Te Deum (Colleguim Regale) and Blinded by your Grace by Stormzy.

The Cathedral Bellringers rang at a quarter peal, which is done to mark special occasions.

Bishop Debbie’s sermon focused on hope and how we long to see change and transformation in our broken world, but we need courage and audacity to work towards this brighter future.

Bishop Debbie also symbolically took up the Diocesan Crozier, which was laid down by Bishop Donald at his farewell service last year, representing her taking on the spiritual oversight of the Diocese and the Cure of Souls, or the care of all people in the Diocese, of all faiths and none.

Bishop Debbie concluded using the words of the Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley; ‘I hope we will choose to live differently, dance to a different tune, to see the world through the eyes of God who died on the cross to change it’ and described this journey as an adventure that she was prepared to embark on and hoped we would join her on it.