Trinidad Anglican Church consecrates Bishop Coadjutor
Reverend Canon Claude Berkley is the first priest from Tobago to be a bishop in the Anglican church.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday March 21, 2011 - The Reverend Canon Claude Berkley, a Tobago-born priest in the Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago, became the first from his island to be a bishop in the church when he was consecrated at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-of-Spain to be the bishop coadjutor of the diocese.
His consecration was the first to be conducted by His Grace the Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Dr John Holder, since he assumed that position in December 2009.
Berkley is one of his former students at Codrington College, Barbados.
Bishop Berkley has been a priest for 17 years and was elected as bishop coadjutor by the Elective Assembly of the synod of the church on October 31 last.
Bishop Philip Wright of Belize preached the sermon and he gave this reminder to Berkley: “It won’t be long before you will have even greater influence on others than you currently do. I must warn you, however, that with this can come not only unrealistic, but unhealthy expectations of what you might be able to accomplish.”
Bishop Wright reminded coadjutor-elect Berkley, the candidate, that the Charge to be read to him by the archbishop later in the service, would invite him to give his people the opportunity to get to know him. “Indeed, you should,” said the Belize bishop, adding: “Let this revelation contain an honest disclosure of your own limitations; your need to ask questions and not always provide all the answers; and your desire to be yourself ever so often.”
Before the service, the bishops, clergy and the candidate for ordination processed through the streets surrounding the cathedral.
A Speech Band from Tobago welcomed the congregation in its inimitable style after His Lordship Bishop Calvin Bess had given the official welcome.
The Mandate for the ordination was read by Provincial Registrar Justice Bernard Turner of The Bahamas in the place of Provincial Chancellor Rubie Nottage who was unable to attend.
Bishop-elect Berkley then made his declaration of his belief in the Holy Scriptures; his promise to conform to the doctrine and worship of the church; and his pledge to obey the Archbishop of the West Indies.
The bishops asked him several questions in order that they may know his “mind and purpose” and they wanted to know whether he believed God had called him to the office of a bishop in His church.
He lay prostrate on the sanctuary floor between the choir stalls while the Revd Pam Greaves of Christ Church, Cascade, chanted the Litany for Ordinations after which the congregation sang, Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire.
Later, the coadjutor-elect was vested according to the order of bishops and presented with a copy of the Holy Bible by the archbishop after which a pectoral cross was placed around his neck and his episcopal ring on the third finger of his right hand.
Then the archbishop blessed the mitre and put it on Berkley’s head before placing the crozier in his hand after it had been blessed.
With that, the consecration was complete and Archbishop Holder presented Berkley to the congregation with the words: “I present Claude, Bishop in the Church of God.” Immediately, there was a fanfare and drum roll by the trumpeters and a drummer from the Police Service band to loud applause from the congregation within and outside the church. This was accompanied by the pealing of the cathedral’s bells.
Bishop Claude Berkley then spoke his first words as a bishop when he initiated the Greeting of Peace. Later he joined his now brother bishops to celebrate the Eucharist and distribute Holy Communion, at the end of which he gave his blessing to the congregation.
During the recessional Archbishop Holder took the hand of the new bishop coadjutor and led him out of the cathedral.
Story courtesy “The Anglican Outlook”, Trinidad
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