THE NEW Bishop of Dudley will be officially welcomed to the Diocese of Worcester this weekend.
Services will take place in both Worcester and Dudley to mark the start of the Rt Rev Graham Usher’s new ministry.
On Sunday (May 4), Bishop Graham will be installed as a Canon of Worcester Cathedral in a service of Evensong at 4pm, with clergy and lay ministers invited to robe for the occasion.
The ceremony comes a day after a Eucharist service of welcome at the Church of St. Thomas and St. Luke (Top Church) in Dudley on Saturday (May 3) at 4pm.
It is anticipated that a number of dignitaries from the Borough of Dudley will attend this service, including the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor & Mayoress of Dudley, along with members of the interfaith community and clergy and parishioners from parishes across the north of the Diocese.
As the Bishop of Dudley works alongside the Bishop of Worcester across Worcestershire as well as Dudley, church members felt it was appropriate the welcome celebrations took place in two locations to enable as many people as possible to attend.
Bishop Graham said: “Everyone I have already met has been immensely welcoming and I’m looking forward to getting to know the people of the Black Country and Worcestershire as I work alongside and support Bishop John.
“The Church of England, working with ecumenical partners, is already serving its local communities in a myriad of remarkable ways across the Diocese and it’s going to be a privilege to be involved with that.
“This outward sense of being there for others is at the heart of being Kingdom People as we seek to worship God and grow in our faith journey in the company of Jesus Christ.
“That’s daily exciting and why I’m really looking forwards to starting my ministry as Bishop of Dudley.”
Between the two services Bishop Graham will be cycling and walking the 32 miles from Dudley to Worcester, before being rowed across the River Severn on the Cathedral ferry.
The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge added: “I’m looking forward immensely to welcoming Bishop Graham to the Diocese of Worcester to minister with me as a colleague bishop.
“He is a man of God with many gifts and a great deal of experience which will enrich us hugely as we seek to communicate God’s love in Jesus to the people of Dudley and Worcestershire. I hope and pray that Bishop Graham, his wife Rachel and their children, Chad and Olivia, will be very happy here.”
All are welcome to attend either service of welcome for Bishop Graham.