The final episode in the extended process of appointing a new Bishop was finally concluded with the enthronement of the Right Reverend Michael Bruce St John Maxwell this evening.
The 14th Bishop to hold the position, Reverend Maxwell’s enthronement service at the St Michael’s Cathedral, symbolically started with the Bishop standing outside of the door with his Chaplain and knocking three times.
“Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord,” he said to Dean of St Michael Cathedral, the Reverend Jeffrey Gibson, who, standing on the inside, unlocked the door after the third knock.
The symbolic gesture introduced the large congregation at St Michael’s row to their new Bishop who was welcomed into the fanfare of trumpets.
“I, Michael Bruce St John Maxwell, by divine permission Bishop of Barbados, having been duly appointed and confirmed, make my request to you, Very Reverend brother, that I be conducted to the Bishop’s Seat in the Cathedral Church of Barbados, there to be inducted, installed and enthroned according to ancient usage and prescriptive right,” said Maxwell as he offered himself for service.
To which Reverend Gibson replied: “Michael, our Right Reverend Father in God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we, the chapter of your cathedral church, together with the people of this diocese, bid you welcome to your cathedral church of St Michael and All Angels.”
The symbolic Anglican service continued with a number of prayers, the Reading of the mandate, the examination conducted by the Canons, the Archdeacon and the Dean and finally the oath. During the final step, the new Bishop swore to observe and defend the rights of the church and the diocese. He also promised to lead, “with truth, justice and charity, not lording it over God’s heritage, but in all things endeavoring to show myself a servant and an example to the flock.”
The new bishop was then introduced to his ‘flock.’
On Saturday evening, scores of people gathered at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex to witness the ordination of Reverend Michael Bruce St John Maxwell following his appointment last November by the regional House of Bishops. It occurred after elections between with the Dean of the Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels, the Very Rev. Jeffrey Gibson and the rector of St George Parish Church, the Rev. John Rogers ended in a deadlock several times.