The Durham Diocese’s first woman Bishop has been formally welcomed to the Diocese as Bishop of Jarrow at a service in Durham Cathedral today.
During a service hundreds of people from across the diocese and wider, The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, licensed the Right Reverend Bishop Sarah Clark for her work as Bishop of Jarrow and welcomed her on behalf of the diocese.
Bishop Paul said: “I am delighted to formally welcome Bishop Sarah to the Diocese.
"In the service I said ‘Sarah, together we have been called to serve and care for the people of Christ in this Diocese.
"I entrust to you the functions and responsibilities of the Suffragan See of Jarrow, as we share in proclaiming the Gospel from the Tyne to the Tees and from the Dales to the Sea.
“I know Sarah will bring rich gifts in helping people discover and discern their God-given calling, including to ordination.
"She will also bring a deep commitment to our 3 priorities of children and young people, tackling poverty together and growing the church in depth, engagement with communities and number.”
She was appointed to the role following the retirement of the Right Reverend Mark Bryant
Related: Bishop of Jarrow to retire later this year
Bishop Sarah said: “I am immensely proud to be here in Durham, a place that has special meaning to me through the parallels it draws to my upbringing in the coal fields of South Wales.
"The welcome I have received today has been almost overwhelming and I am really looking to getting out and meeting people across the Diocese.”
Among the those gathered to welcome Bishop Sarah were: the Mayor of Durham, Councillor John Lethbridge, the High Sheriff of Durham, Dr Stephen Cronin, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield, OBE and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Durham Sue Snowden.
Also in attendance was Colonel The Hon James Ramsbotham, DL, CBE , chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce who’s family include a former Bishop of Jarrow the Right Revd John Alexander Ramsbotham, later Bishop of Wakefield.
During the service, Mr Ramsbotham presented the Jarrow Crozier on behalf of the Ramsbotham family.
The crozier had belonged to Bishop Ramsbotham when he was Bishop of Jarrow in the 1950s.
Mr Ramsbotham said: “The crozier was presented to my grandfather by St George’s, Jesmond as he became Bishop of Jarrow.
"It was made by Molly Challenor, at the time, the only female silversmith - and a parishioner.
"Very appropriate for the first female Bishop of Jarrow.
“The Crozier has particular special mean to my wife and me as it was used by my Grandfather Bishop John when he married us some 25 years ago.”
Bishop Sarah was also installed by The Dean of Durham into the customary stall of the Bishop of Jarrow in the Quire (choir), becoming a Supernumerary Non-Residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral.
Through this, Bishop Sarah became a member of the College of Canons and the wider Cathedral Foundation.
Bishop Sarah was consecrated as Bishop of Jarrow in York Minster on the February 27.