Bishop of Kensington bids farewell to worshippers in moving service at St Paul’s Cathedral
On the evening of Friday 2 September, St Paul’s Cathedral held a special farewell service for the Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin. Worshippers from the Kensington Area and across London came together to experience the incredible voices of the Cathedral choir and hear from Bishop Graham in his last week as Bishop.
In February, it was announced that Bishop Graham would step down to lead the Centre for Cultural Witness, a new project which will explore how the Church can explain and share with others its profound story, with the goal of transforming the public narrative and imagination around the Christian faith. The project will initially run for four years and will be based at Lambeth Palace.
Bishop Graham has been Bishop of Kensington since 2015, and has been involved with communities within West London throughout this period, especially after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, serving as the Vice Chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community.
Bishop Graham trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, was a curate in Exeter, later returning to Wycliffe as a tutor in Historical Theology, eventually becoming Vice Principal. He was for several years a member of the Faculty of Theology of Oxford University, teaching on the Reformation and contemporary culture, before moving to London in 2005 to launch what became St Mellitus College.
The process for appointing a new Bishop is ongoing.
The Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, commented:
“It has been a privilege to serve the diverse West London communities as Bishop of Kensington over the past 7 years. I have worked with a wonderful group of clergy and lay people, whose strong faith in Jesus Christ has helped us all get through the most difficult of times, especially after the Grenfell Tower tragedy and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am now looking forward to serving God in a different way, through finding new approaches to explain aspects of Christian faith and perspectives on culture and contemporary life to different audiences in my new role at the Centre for Cultural Witness.”
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally, added:
“Last Friday’s wonderful service was a great way to come together to thank God for Bishop Graham and his ministry as the Bishop of Kensington over the last seven years. Bishop Graham has continually provided pastoral episcopal care for clergy, those in our churches and the wider community.
“I wish him all the best in his future role at the Centre for Cultural Witness where he will continue to spread the word of Jesus Christ to new audiences.”