Writes Fr Guy Hawtin:
All of our parishioners and friends are all heartily welcome to the consecration of my good friend The Rev. John Vaughan as our new Suffragan Bishop. The service will take place here at St Stephen’s Church at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 18th.
“Why St Stephen’s?” you might ask. “Fr Vaughan, after all, hails from St Patrick’s Church at Port St John, Florida. Surely it would be more appropriate to consecrate him at his home parish.” The fact of the matter is that choosing St Stephen’s as a venue for Fr Vaughan’s consecration was partly a matter of protocol and partly a matter of convenience.
Bishop Brian Marsh, the diocese Episcopal Visitor, last year named St Stephen’s his “pro-cathedral.” A pro-cathedral is a parish church that serves as a cathedral because that is where the bishop keeps his throne—cathedra, to give its proper name.
We received the honor not because our church is vast enough to be considered a cathedral or because its clergy are particularly distinguished. St Stephen’s was chosen because it happens to be the closest parish to the bishop’s home in Connecticut.
And, in terms of protocol, it is appropriate for a bishop of a diocese to be consecrated in its cathedral.
As to convenience, it has been the practice of the Anglican Church in America to rotate the meetings of its House of Bishops and National Council around the country, and this spring it was the turn of the Washington/Baltimore area to host the event.
This, in turn, means there will be enough bishops meeting in Timonium to provide the traditional minimum of three bishops needed to consecrate a priest to the episcopate.
The redoubtable Trouble 1 and Trouble 2 (aka Donna Szper and Rosa Halbert) have organized the event and thus, the first (and probably the last) consecration to take place at St Stephen’s should be a most memorable and joyous occasion. If you have never seen a bishop consecrated before, why not join us at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 18th.
The above was posted here today.