Habemus Papam!!

Or, to be a touch more precise, here in St Albans we have a new bishop, and he is Alan Smith. Bishop Smith is currently Suffragan of Shrewsbury in Lichfield Diocese, a former chaplain of Lee Abbey and a graduate of the top vicar factory in England, Wycliffe Hall.

Here’s a snippet from the press release:

On hearing news of the appointment, The Rt Revd Christopher Foster, Bishop of Hertford said:

“Bishop Alan’s appointment is great news for the Diocese of St Albans. He will bring proven leadership in parish ministry, and as a Missioner, as Archdeacon, and Bishop in varied settings. His commitment to reaching out with the gospel will inspire us in creative service and he is well known for his support of clergy and lay people. I’m confident his appointment will give fresh impetus and heart to us all.”

The Rt Revd Richard Inwood, Bishop of Bedford said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Bishop Alan is to be the next Bishop of St. Albans. I have known him for a number of years, and I am sure he will bring a vision for God’s mission and a real dynamism to the Diocese. His experience in rural, urban, and multicultural ministry make him an excellent ‘fit’ for us here, and I look forward enormously to working with him.”

Following the announcement at St Albans Cathedral, Bishop Alan travelled out to meet members of the community. He visited Chapel Farm, Chalton, in Bedfordshire, a Church in Luton where he met the Chair of the Luton Council of Faiths and to St Mary’s Secondary School Cheshunt, a Church of England secondary school.

Of course, given that we’re the Church of England, it took St Albans Diocese almost an hour and a half to get the press release up on their website, despite the fact they use a content management system that lets them schedule the publishing of any item. And then there’s the brilliant idea of having a video of the new Bishop, marred by the fact that for the first three hours it was up the video was set to "private" so no one could view it.

D’oh

Anyway, here at "An Exercise" we’re delighted with the news. Bishop Smith is a gospel man and methinks slightly more reliable than muppets like this. Here he is for you to make your own mind up about.

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