Consecration of Bishop Adrian Wilkinson
A congregation of friends, colleagues in ministry, and parishioners greeted the Rt Revd Adrian Wilkinson as the new Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory on Sunday afternoon (30th October) at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Bishop Wilkinson was consecrated by Archbishop Michael Jackson, with Bishops Pat Storey and George Davison as co–consecrators.
The preacher was Bishop Paul Colton, whom Bishop Wilkinson assisted in his previous role as Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross while serving as Rector of the Douglas Union of Parishes. The Bible was read by Mr Gary Wilkinson (Numbers 27:15–20, 22, 23), Mrs Hazel Corrigan (2 Corinthians 4:1–10) and the Revd Dr Edwin Aiken (John 21:15–17) with Psalm 119:165–174 sung by the Cathedral choir.
Bishop Colton, reflecting on the passage from 2 Corinthians 4, noted how St Paul described ministry in the book’s previous chapter: “It is the ministry of the new covenant. God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus. The day of salvation has come. The activity of the Spirit of God is seen in the lives of believers. It is a ministry that brings righteousness – it won’t fade – it will last. All of this, says Saint Paul, gives us hope and this hope emboldens us.”
He recalled the words of the New Testament scholar, Paula Gooder, speaking in Cork recently, who reflected that in several Scripture passages, “nothing external happens to enable hope to happen” and “that which should transform everything has already happened … Hope is running rampant in the world. The question is whether we can join with it. There is hope because God is there. Jesus is there.”
Bishop Colton remarked that St Paul is “quite open and frank about his own vulnerability and his weaknesses” later in this letter and lists an entire catalogue of the challenges and predicaments he encountered, in 2 Corinthians 11.
Concluding, and highlighting the timeless template for the ministry of a bishop in the words of the Ordinal, Bishop Colton asked the congregation to remember that “the task of oversight is not exercised by the bishop on his or her own,” adding: “Ministry is entrusted to all of us – it is a God–given calling, responsibility, opportunity and joy passed to all of us together. Yes, these are tough times and the calling is daunting, but ‘Since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.’”
The Revd David Nixon and the Revd Laurence Graham, representing the Methodist Church in Ireland as current and past presidents, joined Church of Ireland and other Anglican bishops in the laying on of hands as part of the act of consecration. The Most Revd Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and the Most Revd Alphonsus Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, attended the service as ecumenical guests.
The congregational hymns were ‘For all the saints, who from their labours rest’, ‘Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’, ‘Christ is the King, O friends rejoice!’ and ‘Angel–voices ever singing’.
At the close of the service, Bishop Wilkinson led the procession from the Cathedral, carrying the Bible and pastoral staff presented by Archbishop Jackson. Guests gathered after the service for refreshments in the nave of the nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Bishop Adrian Wilkinson was born in 1968 and ordained in 1994. He initially served as Curate in Douglas Union with Frankfield, Rector of Dunboyne Union, and Rector of Rathmolyon with Castlerickard, Rathcore and Agher, before returning to Douglas Union as Rector in 2002. He was Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross from 2014 onwards. Bishop Wilkinson is married to Jacqui, who is a lecturer in teacher education at the Church of Ireland Centre at Dublin City University, and they have three grown–up children – two sons and a daughter. He graduated in geography and sociology from Trinity College Dublin before training for ordination, and his interests in his free time are walking, travel and reading.
The United Dioceses of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory covers the south–east of Ireland, including counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny in full, most of county Waterford, and parts of counties Wicklow, Laois and Tipperary. Bishop Wilkinson succeeds Bishop Michael Burrows, who served as Bishop from July 2006 to April this year, when he was translated into the new role of Bishop of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe, covering most of the west of Ireland.
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