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/ 28 September 2015

40th anniversary celebration for Bishop Michael Marshall

Bishop Michael Marshall at the piano

A concert marking the 40th anniversary of the consecration of Bishop Michael Marshall has been held at Holy Trinity Sloane Square, performed by Bishop Michael himself, who lists concert pianist among his many accomplishments.

Currently an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of London, Bishop Michael was consecrated Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark at Westminster Abbey in 1975; the youngest man to be consecrated since the Reformation.

Bishop Michael, who has previously performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of London, and the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, was joined in the concert by musicians including Gretchen Pusch on flute and Nicholas Miller on violin. The charity concert celebrated the gifts of music and ministry and followed a Eucharist at which Bishop Michael presided and preached.

Holy Trinity was a fitting location for the celebration of Bishop Michael’s achievements, being the church where he served as Rector for decade. Holy Trinity underwent something of a renaissance during his leadership between 1997 and 2007, going from danger of closure to being a vibrant centre of worship with a wide reach into the local community. One of the initiatives Bishop Michael introduced was the Trinity Foundation for Christianity & Culture, an educational foundation seeking to equip Christians to live out their faith in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society, which he founded with the Revd Nadim Nassar.

The seeds sown during Bishop Michael’s time as Rector have seen Holy Trinity and St Saviour become a vibrant spiritual and physical presence in the heart of Chelsea, with an international congregation representative of London’s ‘world city’ status. It hosts a range of innovative social projects such as Intermission Youth Theatre (IYT) and is currently working to co-ordinate the church and community response to the need of refugees seeking sanctuary in Britain through its Refugee Crisis Response Group.

Holy Trinity has been the venue of previous charity concerts by Bishop Michael, such as one in 2011 to celebrate the milestone of 50 years of ordained ministry. The proceeds of the concert will benefit the Anglican Parish of Christ the King in Rio de Janeiro, former parish of the current Rector, Canon Nicholas Wheeler, and Bishop Michael’s contemplative prayer ministry, Scripture, Prayer, Action.

Bishop Michael’s long and impressive career in the Anglican church has seen him hold a variety of posts around the world, from Founding Director of the Anglican Institute in St Louis, Missouri to advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York on Evangelism. A prolific author, Bishop Michael’s most recent book, is The Transforming Power of Prayer: From Illusion to Reality.

Speaking about Bishop Michael and his influence and contribution through his long career, the Bishop of London commented:

“I was a curate over 40 years ago when I first heard Michael speak at a junior clergy function. He has always had the gift of the memorable phrase delivered with panache. Certain of the things he said that day have stayed with me and I have mercilessly plagiarised them since. Michael has had an outstanding ministry and we have been fortunate to have him on the team of Honorary Assistant Bishops of London for over 30 years. Most especially I am grateful that he took on Holy Trinity, Sloane Street at a low ebb and revived the Gospel witness of that great church. Vivat Michael!”

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