Celebrating the installation of the tenth Bishop of Birmingham

It was a joy and an honour to install the 10th Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend Dr. Michael Volland, at a special service on Saturday 2 March.

The service was attended by The Lord-Lieutenant and Lady Crabtree, The High Sheriff, The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Lady Mayoress, The Archdeacon of Canterbury, The Vesturer of Canterbury Cathedral, The Provincial Registrar, ecumenical leaders, visiting Bishops, alongside clergy and other invited guests. Civic guests included Cllr John Cotton, Leader of Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

Local school children welcomed Bishop Michael on his arrival at the cathedral. During the service, he took a number of oaths, was installed in the Cathedra (Bishop’s seat), and prayers were offered. Readings from Isaiah 58:6-12 and John 15.1 17 were presented by Anna Faux, a Bishop’s Youth Council member, and The Reverend Canon Douglas Machiridza, Area Dean of Handsworth and Central, and an Honorary Canon of Birmingham Cathedral. The new Bishop also preached his first sermon in the cathedral, and blessed the city.

Ahead of the service, The Right Reverend Dr Michael Volland, The Bishop of Birmingham, said: “It is good to have arrived at this special day. My family and I are enormously grateful for the warm welcome we have received. It is wonderful to be able to make our home among you and to begin joining in with all that God is doing in Birmingham and the wider region.”

The Very Revd Matt Thompson, The Dean of Birmingham, said: “We give thanks for Bishop Michael’s call to lead us in our own discipleship as one who will pray deeply and listen deeply as well as lead, encourage, teach, and serve. We continue pray for him and for his family for the new beginnings that have taken place for them and all that the future holds, that Birmingham may be a place of God’s blessing for them as it is for us. On behalf of the cathedral community, it is a joy to welcome Bishop Michael today and to assure him and his family of our love and prayers.”

The Right Reverend Anne Hollinghurst, The Bishop of Aston, said:, “Bishop Michael arrives at an exciting time within the Church of England Birmingham, as we continue to shape mission and ministry to serve our diverse communities across city and region. He joins us at a time of many challenges, but also a time of deepening partnerships, fresh creativity, and new possibilities. We look forward to all that he will bring and contribute through his own heart for mission.”

The Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Sir John Crabtree OBE, said: “It is a joy to welcome Bishop Michael to our great City. He will very soon learn that a warm welcome is very much rooted in our DNA…We are all so much looking forward to working alongside Bishop Michael to play our part in addressing the many well-known challenges the City faces, but perhaps we will not be joining him, Rachel and their three children in ultramarathons or winter surfing!

Messages of support were also sent from the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bolivia, The Right Reverend Walter Toro Martinez and The Anglican Council in Malawi.

The installation service involved a number of special elements, including a welcome from local school children, the taking of oaths, the installation in the Cathedra (Bishop’s seat), prayers and a blessing for the city and diocese.

Key moments from the Installation Service

The Welcome of the Bishop

The Bishop arrived and knocked on the cathedral door three times with his pastoral crosier. The doors were opened, and the Bishop was greeted by pupils from local diocesan schools who said:

Children: “We greet you in the name of Christ. Who are you and why do you knock at these doors?”

Bishop: “I am Michael, a servant of Jesus Christ, and I come as one seeking the grace of God, a pilgrim with you in faith and service.”

Children:  “Why have you been sent to us?”

Bishop: “I am sent as your Diocesan Bishop, to proclaim the love of Christ, and with you to worship and love God with heart and soul, mind and strength.”

Children:  “How do you come among us and with what confidence?”

Bishop: “I come in weakness and trembling, confident only in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.”

A moment of silence at the font

The pupils, accompanied by The Dean of Birmingham and Birmingham Cathedral Chapter, and Bishop, walked to the font in silence. The Bishop then used the holy water from the font as a reminder of his baptism, and prayed silently for moment.

The Declaration and Oaths

A large Baskerville Bible was used for the Bishop to make his oaths. The Bible reflects a special part of the Birmingham Cathedral’s heritage, as the printer, John Baskerville, designer of the famous Baskerville typeface, was a churchwarden for a time.

Declaration of Assent

I, Michael John Volland, do so affirm, and accordingly declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, I will use only the forms of service which are authorised or allowed by Canon.

Oath of Allegiance

I, Michael John Volland, Bishop of Birmingham, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles the Third His Heirs and Successors according to Law: So help me God.

Oath of Due Obedience

I, Michael John Volland, Bishop of the Church and See of Birmingham, do profess and promise all due reverence and obedience to the Archbishop and to the Metropolitical Church of Canterbury and to their successors: So help me God, through Jesus Christ.

Oath of Fidelity

I, Michael John Volland, by divine permission Bishop of Birmingham, promise that in as much as in me lies I will be a faithful pastor to the clergy and people of this diocese that we may all be equipped for work in God’s service and built up in the body of Christ; and furthermore I do solemnly declare that I shall faithfully observe and keep the Statutes, Ordinances and Customs and preserve the Liberties of this Cathedral Church; and shall set forth and promote such works as may be fitly done therein for the service of God and for the benefit of his Church, so help me God.

The Installation

The Bishop was installed in the Cathedra, the Bishop’s throne, which is located in the Chancel. This was led by the Archdeacon of Canterbury. After the installation, The Dean of Birmingham gave Bishop Michael the Diocesan Crosier, which was laid on the altar at the retirement of the ninth Bishop of Birmingham.

The Very Revd Matt Thompson, The Dean of Birmingham: “Bishop Michael, receive this staff. Keep watch over the flock of which God has appointed you shepherd. Encourage the faithful, restore the lost, and build up the body of Christ, that when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you may receive the unfading crown of glory.”

You can read more information about Bishop Michael’s Crosier in the service announcement and on the Church of England Birmingham website.

The Bishop was then greeted with applause and the ringing of the Birmingham Bell. Many key guests then personally greeted the Bishop during an anthem performed by the choir.

The Prayers of Intercession

Prayers of intercession were made for the new Bishop, which can be read below.

The Most Reverend Bernard Longley

Archbishop of Birmingham

On this Feast of St Chad, Bishop and Missionary, we praise and glorify you for your saints through the ages who have preserved the Christian faith and called men and women to follow your Son Jesus in the way that leads to everlasting life.

Bless your Church; draw us together in unity; and protect and guide Bishop Michael and his family in all that lies ahead.

Lord, hear us.

Mother Laura Ward

Bishop’s Chaplain

On the anniversary of the Installation of Charles Gore as first Bishop of Birmingham, we rejoice in the threads of faith woven through the life of this city and region, and pray for interfaith colleagues and friends.

We give thanks for our communities and for all who work for the cohesion and flourishing of our neighbourhoods; for our civic leaders; and for all who work for the Common Good.

Lord, hear us.

Anesu Muyambi

Member of Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod:

Look kindly upon the King and Royal Family; and direct the government, world leaders, and those in positions of power and influence in the ways of wisdom and compassion.

We pray for the peace of the world and commend into your hands all places of war and suffering. Raise up peacemakers among us, and in situations that seem intractable, reveal to us the ways of peace and justice.

Lord, hear us.

Hannah Volland

Member of Bishop Michael’s family:

Bless and guard your creation in all its beauty and fragility, and help us to tread more lightly here.

Inspire us to work for climate justice; protect communities rendered vulnerable through human activity; and help us to find new ways to work together in harmony with you and with one another.

Lord, hear us.

The Reverend Dr Sharon Jones

Anglican Chaplain at the University of Birmingham:

Watch over all places of learning: bless our schools, colleges, and universities; the formation that takes place at home and in community; and the insights and gifts we offer to one another.

We pray for the ministry of theological colleges, among them for Ridley Hall; for theological educators and teachers; and for all whose pursuit of truth with love enriches our common life.

Lord, hear us.

The Reverend Canon Jaisher Chaudhary

Associate Minister of Good News Asian Church, Associate Priest of the Handsworth Group, and an Honorary Canon of Birmingham Cathedral

Show mercy to all in need. Protect in your love everyone who is hungry or homeless; in prison; or far from home. Grant wholeness and healing to all who are ill in body, mind, or spirit; your grace to the dying; and your comfort and peace to those who watch beside them.

Gather the faithful departed into your Kingdom and grant us grace in our own earthly pilgrimage to follow in the path that leads to everlasting life.

Lord, hear us.

The Blessing of the City, Region, and Diocese

The service came to a close with the Bishop praying a blessing for the city from outside the cathedral:

Jesus said, ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.’

God bless this city, region, and diocese. Guide our leaders in wisdom and compassion, that bonds of injustice may be loosened and the oppressed set free. Strengthen its people, that in justice and humility, we may share our bread with one another, and hunger may be no more. Pour upon us the riches of your grace, that your light may break forth like the dawn and your healing spring up for deliverance. And may the blessing of God almighty, be upon you and remain with you always.


Livestream of the service

A livestream of the service will be available on our Youtube channel until midday on Monday 4 March.

We regret that after this time, the service will not be available to watch again.

More photos and coverage from the service will be available on the Church of England Birmingham website.

We would like to thank everyone who enabled us to deliver such a joyful celebration, as we continue to support our new Bishop in his ministry.

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