The last few days have seen elections taking place, perhaps in the end with relatively few surprises. The local and mayoral elections followed an anticipated trend and the College of Canons have elected the Dean of Liverpool as Bishop of Sheffield following the Queen’s nomination.
Although each election took place in vastly different ways – they were both opportunities for those about to take up civic and ecclesiastical office to hear the endorsement of the communities they are to serve.
For us in this Cathedral we had an opportunity to pray for Pete Wilcox, as he prepares to begin his episcopal ministry in this Diocese and also to pray for the Diocese and all who will be working closely with him as they seek to support his ministry in every way they can. Whilst we may not have been able to place a cross on a ballot paper, we are still able to play an important part in the preparation for this new ministry and to hold the development of that ministry in prayer.
The scriptures show us a variety of how those who lead communities are identified. They reveal that whatever different modes of election eventually contribute to good leadership, this is very often overshadowed by the impact of such leadership being exercised in the context of a prayerful Community. One which is genuinely searching to be faithful to the way God is calling them.
Let us pray that we will build on that consistent example, play our full part in the shared vocation of the Church, and let us pray for our Diocese and for Pete as he prepares to become our next Bishop, with renewed commitment and purpose.
Canon Christopher Burke
Vice Dean and Canon Precentor