On Wednesday 6 August 2014, at 6.30pm, the Reverend Jeremy James will be consecrated as a Bishop in the Church of God.
Jeremy James is Rector of All Saints’ Church, Dianella, in the Diocese of Perth. Prior to this Jeremy served in a number of rural areas including Northam, East Avon, Yanchep, Quinns, Mindarie, and Butler. He holds degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Newcastle, and Wales (Lampeter).
The Consecration is a Diocesan occasion open to all. There will be a tele-visual link to the Burt Memorial Hall for those who cannot be seated within the Cathedral. Early arrival for Cathedral seating is advised.
The Archbishop of Perth presides, and bishops from many Australian dioceses participate. The Eucharist is sung by St George’s Cathedral Consort, directed by Joseph Nolan, Organist and Master of the Choristers, and sees the première of a new choral work by West Australian composer Perry Joyce.
A reception follows in Perth Town Hall.
The Ordination of a Bishop
The Church is a way of being grounded in the communion of God – the Holy Trinity.
In the waters of baptism we are immersed into God’s creating, saving and sanctifying activity. Marked by the Cross, restored and forgiven, we become partakers of the new creation – bearers of resurrection hope. The baptised, gifted with God’s eternal destiny in Christ, are the primary order of the Church.
Emerging among the baptised, the three-fold order of ministry reflects the Trinity – distinctive in character, equal partners in witnessing to the reconciling love of God in Christ. The Holy Scriptures and the early Church portray different structures of oversight that enable the internal cohesion of the community and enhance its missionary character.
The order of bishops carry on the apostolic work of leading the baptised in living and telling the Gospel, preaching the word of God and celebrating the sacraments, encouraging holiness of life, nurturing, sustaining, teaching, supervising, and uniting the Church in its worship and witness. Associated with them are the presbyters or priests, who share the bishop’s oversight. Deacons share with bishops and priests the work of ministry, and have a special responsibility to challenge the Church to minister in Christ’s name to the poor, the sick, the suffering and the marginalised.
Together with priests and bishops, deacons inspire the baptised to model the ministry of Christ the servant Lord.
Those chosen and recognised by the Church as being called by God to ordained ministry are admitted to these sacred orders by solemn prayer and the laying on of episcopal hands. The Anglican Communion maintains and continues the three-fold order as an act of obedience to the Scriptures and to the character of the Church, one holy, catholic and apostolic. To exercise the office of bishop, priest, or deacon in this Church one must be ordained, or have already received such ordination with the laying on of hands by bishops who are themselves duly authorised to confer Holy Orders.
Jeremy Noel Robert James, baptised in Christ, confirmed in his faith, made deacon in 1988 and ordained priest in 1989, has been nominated by the Archbishop of Perth to the office and ministry of a bishop. This call, ratified and approved by the Diocesan Council under the Assistant Bishops Statute 2007 adopted by the Synod of the Diocese of Perth, fulfils the requirements of the Constitution of The Anglican Church of Australia. Today, in this act of consecration by prayer and laying on of hands by at least three other bishops, Jeremy becomes a bishop in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of God.
Following the ordination, in which all the bishops present join Archbishop Roger in the laying on of hands, Jeremy is anointed with the Oil of Chrism, a sign of the baptism he shares with the whole People of God and of the episcopal charism with which he is gifted.
The Book of the Scriptures is held by two deacons over the new bishop as he is anointed to show that he is to live and teach under the gospel. He is then vested according to the order of bishops. The ring is placed on the ring finger of his right hand as a seal of fidelity to Christ and the Church. The mitre representing the Spirit’s pentecostal tongues of fire is placed on his head. The pastoral staff is a sign of his share in the ministry of Christ the Good Shepherd. ‘Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, and not a wolf. Encourage the faithful, support the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, restore the outcast, seek the lost.’
Bishop Jeremy is then presented to the People of God. He shares in the Greeting of Peace, and presides with Archbishop Roger at the eucharistic table. His first episcopal act is to lead us in prayer that we might live the promises of God.
Ever since this burden,
for which I must render difficult accounting,
has been placed on my shoulders,
the concern of my position as bishop has disturbed me.
Although I am terrified by what I am for you,
I am consoled by what I am with you.
For you, I am a bishop;
with you, I am a Christian.
The former is a title of office,
which has been undertaken;
the latter a title of grace.
The first is a danger, the second salvation.
Furthermore, we are tossed about
as though in a great ocean
by the tempest of our responsibilities.
However, when we recall by whose blood
we have been redeemed,
it is as though we enter into a safe harbour.
It consoles me more that I have been redeemed
with you than that I have been placed over you.
-Saint Augustine of Hippo