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Bishop Sean enthroned in St Paul’s Cathedral Nicosia

Religious leaders from across Cyprus joined clergy and friends from the Diocese and beyond to celebrate the Enthronement of the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Right Reverend Sean Semple, in St Paul’s Cathedral in Nicosia on Saturday (22 June), and to welcome his wife Jenny and their family to Cyprus. (The service was livestreamed and is available to watch here.)

Bishop Porphyrios of Neapolis represented the Orthodox Archbishopric, joined by Maronite Archbishop Selim Sfeir, Vice Grand Mufti of Cyprus Imam Shakir Alemdar, and members of the diplomatic community.

Bishop Sean was admitted to the Cathedral by Dean Jeremy Crocker, and the mandate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East giving authority to enthrone him was read by Canon Georgia Katsantonis.

The congregation heard Bishop Sean present his Charge—an outline of the principles and priorities of his episcopal ministry. In it he spoke of a unique Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, stretching “like a tent” across the geopolitical crossroads of the world. He spoke too of the “crucial values of spiritual discernment, Christlike behaviour and good neighbourliness” for Anglican Christians in the region who, he said, are often “migrants welcoming other migrants into their churches”.

The Enthronement included hymns accompanied by organist Valerie Fidelia, as well as the second movement of Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe Concerto in C minor, played by Angelos Charalambous (oboe), Sorin Alexandru Horlea (violin) and Laura Rodgers (piano).

The first bishop of the Diocese to be born in Africa, Bishop Sean was consecrated and enthroned in St Christopher’s Cathedral in Bahrain on 24 May, in a service led by the Most Reverend Hosam Naoum, Archbishop in Jerusalem and Primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The two principal co-consecrating Bishops were the Right Reverend Dr Robert Innes, Bishop in Europe, Chair of the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission and Vice-Chair of the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity; and the Right Reverend Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford in England and Clerk of the Closet—head of the College of Chaplains of the Ecclesiastical Household of the King Charles III. Also in attendance were the Right Reverend Anthony Poggo, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; and the Right Reverend Anthony Ball, Bishop of North Africa in the Anglican Province of Alexandria, Chairman of the Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association (JMECA), and Canon of Westminster Abbey. Bishop Sean is the first Anglican bishop to be consecrated in the Gulf region.

“It is the greatest privilege of my life to now begin serving God and the people of Cyprus and the Gulf as their bishop,” said Bishop Sean. “We pray that we, like Abraham, would be blessed by God in order to be a spiritual and practical blessing to each nation in which we gather.”