Norwich Cathedral marks 25th anniversary of bishop's consecration
PUBLISHED: 09:21 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 26 February 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
A service was held at Norwich Cathedral marking the 25th anniversary of the bishop's consecration.
The Rt Rev Graham James is the longest serving bishop in the Church of England, arriving in Norwich 18 years ago.
Mr James said the city felt like home from day one.
He said: “I’ve loved being here, it has been great. I didn’t know how long I was going to be in Norwich, but when I arrived here I can remember feeling immediately at home.
“It felt as though I had come to a community that had identity and there was a bishop-shaped space. So I am not surprised I am still here, although I am grateful I’ve been able to live here for so long.”
The 67-year-old is now reaching the final years of his tenure, as all bishops must retire by 70.
He said: “Twenty-five years is a long time to be a bishop. I think there comes a point when you think ‘I need to pass the baton to others’. I will leave when I still have some energy, rather than letting it get on top of me.”
A lot has changed during his time at the helm, and Mr James thinks now more than ever people must remember Christ’s words, ‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.’
He said: “I think we underestimate meekness. We think that power is vested in those who can enforce their will. The whole point of the gospel of Christ is that he sees the most powerful as the broken-hearted, the meek, those who grieve and mourn, because they are the most open to love.
“Love is the most powerful force in the world and those who are imposing their will on others generally don’t do so out of love, they do so out of fear.
“So I think within the world today we need a recalibration of what greatness is about, and greatness is found in those who are meek, who know they need to be loved and love others. That’s very unfashionable but it’s the truth.”
Hundreds of people attended the special service last night.