The Rt Rev George Davison, Bishop of Connor, was installed in Belfast Cathedral at a Service of Choral Evensong on Sunday March 13. (Photo gallery below).
Clergy, lay readers and members of Diocesan Council attended the service, along with the Chapters of Belfast and Lisburn Cathedrals, ecumenical guests and members of the Bishop’s wider family. The Lord-Lieutenant of Co Antrim, David McCorkell, and the Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast, Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle, were among the honoured guests.
Due to the pandemic, Bishop George’s Consecration in Armagh Cathedral in September 2020 took place in the presence of a very small congregation, and Sunday’s Installation Service was the first opportunity for the whole diocesan family in Connor to give formal welcome to Bishop George.
Following the procession of clergy and the first hymn, Bishop George knocked on the closed West Door of the Cathedral with his Crozier, seeking admission. He was welcomed by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, and by the congregation.
Moving to the top of the Nave, the Bishop was met by the Diocesan Registrar, the Rev Canon William Taggart, who read the mandate for installation, before the Dean guided the Bishop to his stall (throne).
During the service, the Bishop was presented with symbols of his ministry in the diocese – the Rev Canon Kevin Graham, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, presented a Bible; Alan Mills, Carrickfergus Parish, and the Ven Dr Stephen McBride, Archdeacon of Connor, presented the Bishop with his pectoral cross and ring; and Cynthia Cherry, Diocesan Council, presented the Bishop with a towel.
The first lesson was read by Bishop Sarah Groves of the Moravian Church and the second lesson by the Most Rev Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor. Bishop George preached the sermon.
Prayers were led by the Rev Nathan Ervine, curate in Carrickfergus Parish; Gillian McCaughey, Diocesan Lay Reader, Belfast Cathedral; and Ken Gibson, General Synod Honorary Lay Secretary, Lisburn Cathedral.
Music was led by the Cathedral Choir, and included Evensong by Howard Skempton, with the Collegium Regale setting for the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Charles Wood, and the Anthem Lead me Lord by SS Wesley. Hymns will include God is Here and I heard the voice of Jesus say, in addition to By Faith and Facing a Task Unfinished by Keith Getty et al.
The service was followed by refreshments.