The induction service for Rev Robert Davies-Hannen took place tonight at the Parish Church of St. Paul, Sketty, writes Angela Hewitt.
The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon welcomed a full church to the service, where he said that it “had been a long time coming”, in reference to the fact that Robert’s appointment to the parish was announced in June 2016. “This is a team ministry,” said the Bishop, “not just the new vicar’s.”
During the service, the choir sang an anthem by Anton Bruckner, ‘This place was made by God, a priceless sacrament; it is without reproach’. The congregation then sang a hymn to the Holy Spirit, ‘Holy Spirit, living Breath of God, breathe new life into my willing soul. Bring presence of the risen Lord to renew my heart and make me whole.’
The Bishop, in his sermon, began by asking a question about tea, and how we like our tea. We all think that whatever way we have our tea is the best, and if it is something we do not like, we tend to say that ‘it’s not my cup of tea’. Anglicans can take their tea in many different ways, said the Bishop. “Sketty reaches out to the community in different ways, and with Robert as your new incumbent to lead you, you can enjoy everything you like.”
The Bishop based his sermon on the Book of Isaiah chapter 30, and the Gospel of John, chapter 11, both of which explore the idea of God and Jesus as the Teacher. We need to move beyond our own tendency to do things our way, and learn to listen to God our Teacher, which also means moving beyond constantly thinking ‘if only’.
The service continued with Robert reading out the Declaration, Undertaking and Oath, publicly. The Bishop then read out the Deed of Institution. Robert was welcomed by the congregation, and also by several representatives from other denominations in the area. The Archdeacon, and Area Dean, inducted Robert into the Benefice, and members of the congregation presented him with water, bread and wine, a Bible, with holy oil, and a prayer book, as symbols of Christian ministry. He was presented with the keys to the church by a churchwarden.
Prayers of intercession, which were led by Sister Marion, were followed by the final hymn ‘I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry.’ The service ended with the Blessing given the Bishop.
Refreshments then followed in the Parish Centre.
Pictures: Angela Hewitt
You can see a gallery from tonight’s service here.