Bishop Stephen Platten welcomed as Rector of St Michael’s Cornhill
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres, joined over three hundred guests at a stunning ceremony at St Michael’s Cornhill church in the City of London, as he led the service for the institution and induction of the Rt Revd Dr Stephen Platten as the new Rector of St Michael’s Cornhill.
Bishop Stephen is also to be an honorary assistant Bishop to the Diocese of London. He takes up this position following the formal dissolution of the Diocese of Wakefield last year, where he had served as the Bishop of Wakefield for the previous eleven years.
Various other Bishops and significant clerical figures attended the service, including the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, the former Suffragan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Europe, the Rt Revd Edward Holland, and the retired Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Henry Richmond. Stephen’s two sons also were present at the service at St Michael’s, both of whom are members of clergy in the Diocese of London themselves. The Revd Aidan Platten is the vicar at St Mark’s Hamilton Terrace in North London, and the Revd Dr Gregory Platten is the vicar at All Saints’ Friern Barnet.
Music for the service was organised by the church’s Director of Music, Mr Jonathan Rennert, who led the church’s choir in performances of Mozart’s Coronation Mass and also the anthem May the Prayer of Your Love, Oh Lord which was written specifically for Stephen, by the composer Richard Shephard, several years previously.
Commenting on taking up his new position, the Rt Revd Dr Stephen Platten said:
"St Michael’s Cornhill has a splendid tradition of music and liturgy, which I intend to help develop during my time here as Rector. It’s clear that the church’s ministry within the City of London through livery companies and businesses is strong, but this is also something I hope to strengthen over the coming years."
Taking up the post at St Michael’s will be a return to the capital for Stephen, who was born in London and educated at the Stationers’ Company’s School in Hornsey and the University of London before attending Cuddesdon Theological College and Trinity College, Oxford.
Stephen worked for Shell before ordination and served as a priest in Oxford, Lincoln and Portsmouth, including as Tutor of Ethics and Chaplain at Lincoln Theological College, before becoming the then Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs in 1990. In 1995, he became Dean of Norwich and, in July 2003, he was enthroned as the Bishop of Wakefield.
Concurrent with this appointment, Stephen will continue as Chair of the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome and recently became Chairman of Hymns Ancient and Modern.
St Michael’s Cornhill is a medieval parish church in the City of London. The medieval structure was lost in the Great Fire of London and replaced by the present building designed by Sir Christopher Wren, with upper parts of the tower by Nicholas Hawksmoor. The historic church is the spiritual home of the Drapers’ Company, its Patron since 1503.