Bishop Robert was installed as the 71st Bishop of Exeter last month, in a service at Exeter Cathedral. His installation came at the end of two weeks of journeying around the county on a ‘prayer pilgrimage’; visiting church projects and communities, and listening to people. He said the pilgrimage had been “moving and encouraging”.
He said he wanted to be an advocate for people in Devon but first he would be a “listener”.
“Installing a new bishop isn’t about me, but about a new chapter in the life of the Church here. I am concerned with the future, and where we are going with God. When we go deeper in prayer, in love and trust, then God transforms our lives and the lives of those around us.”
Bishop Robert was processed into the Cathedral by children representing Devon’s 131 church schools, a group from the Young Farmers Association, and the Barnstaple Youth Marching Band.
He paused at the Great West Doors of the Cathedral to pray, before knocking three times with his staff on the door, and was welcomed inside by pupils from St Luke’s School in Exeter.
Speaking to the 1300 people inside, he said he was a “Bishop with L plates” and didn’t have all the answers, but urged people to show joy in their faith: “We will not commend the gospel to the people of Devon by being po-faced and negative. What is demanded of us is not moralising, but joy.“
After the service, he went outside to bless the people of Devon, and handed out ice creams to those watching on Cathedral Green.