The 97th Bishop of Winchester is to take his seat during a service of enthronement at Winchester Cathedral, after which he will immediately begin work in the diocese.
During the service on Saturday 21 April at 2.30pm the Chancellor of the Diocese will read the Archbishop’s mandate to Bishop Tim, before the Archdeacon of Canterbury (serving as The Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative) takes the new bishop by the hand and conducts him on to his throne, or ‘Cathedra’, from which the Cathedral takes its name.
The enthronement will be a grand occasion involving spectacular ceremony and music. On the 21st, there will be a new musical commission composed by Winchester College director of chapel music, Malcolm Archer (formerly St Paul’s Cathedral). The service will begin with a huge procession of representatives from the Church and community.
According to a centuries-old tradition – said to date from the time of St Benedict – the service will begin dramatically as the new Bishop knocks nine times (three lots of three) on the great west door knocker before being welcomed to the cathedral by the Dean.
As well as being a celebration, there is a legal side to the ceremony, as the Bishop makes oaths in accordance with law and the statutes of the Cathedral. The service will see the Cathedral packed to capacity with representatives from the diocese, the community and the wider church. Entry is by ticket only, and only those already holding a ticket will be admitted on the day. For any missing out on the enthronement service, there will however be an opportunity to pray with the new bishop, as he celebrates Eucharist in the Cathedral at 10am the following day (Sunday 22 April).
Born in Tanzania to missionary parents, prior to joining the diocese of Winchester, Bishop Tim spent 12 years as General Secretary of the Church Mission Society. In addition to a host of notable predecessors, he will be following closely in the footsteps of the 94th Bishop of Winchester, John V Taylor (1974-84), who was also General Secretary of CMS prior to assuming the role.
Bishop Tim’s additional interests include reading, action films, running and cooking. He moves to Winchester from Berkshire with his wife Sally who is also ordained and their two children Anna, 21, and Johnny, 17.
He says: “To become Bishop of Winchester is an amazing privilege and presents me with a wonderful opportunity to serve in a new way. The appointment was a great surprise and I am both humbled and delighted.
“The Church of England is both fragile and robust. It’s fragile because of all the change, yet it’s strangely robust in the way we’re imaginatively tackling new opportunities.
“As Christians, our greatest communication challenge is to show, by what we do and who we are, that our faith is not primarily about what we do in church buildings but about how we live day by day.
“I shall bring with me a passion for mission, and a longing to see the church grow and have an impact in daily life.”
Paul Thaxter, who is a former colleague of Tim Dakin, and Director of Transcultural Mission at Church Mission Society says: “I have worked closely with Tim in CMS for 10 years. I know him to be fuelled by a deep faith, passionate about the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion.
“Working with a radical thinker such as Tim is like trying to eat your breakfast on a rollercoaster – with its slow uphill start, then a dive down into change around an exhilarating bend.
“Purposeful change is a core feature of Tim’s gift, and it is not every day you meet someone committed to creative and radical change within the church but for the benefit of others.
“He believes the Christian life has to be demonstrated in the public domain.
“Some say after the ride – once is enough; others say: ‘can we go again!?’
“The Diocese of Winchester has bravely discerned its 97th bishop and it will be exciting to see how this respected diocese earns its future reputation.”
Chief Executive of the Diocese, Andrew Robinson says: “I am delighted that we are officially welcoming Tim today.
“Having legally been the Bishop of Winchester since December last year, today marks the point that he will become responsible for the ministry in the diocese.
“I have very much enjoyed our initial work together, and know that Tim will provide a strong leadership as the diocese continues to grow its mission and ministry across Hampshire, East Dorset and the Channel Islands.”
The Rt Revd Peter Hancock, who has led the diocese during the vacancy, says: “As a church family, we can rejoice as Tim takes his final step toward becoming Bishop of Winchester.
“His contribution as a theologian, especially in the area of mission, has been widely recognised and I am sure he will help us to engage more effectively with the communities, parishes and people that we seek to serve.
“I would ask you once more to pray for Bishop Tim as he prepares to begin his vital ministry in the diocese.”
The Dean of Winchester The Very Revd James Atwell (who leads Winchester Cathedral) says: “This is a moment when all the resources of the Cathedral come into their own with no effort spared. It will be a glorious occasion of sound, colour and spectacle in a stunning building.
“Yet beyond all the pageantry is the welcome of a new Father-in-God to the Diocese of Winchester, to undertake a tough and demanding job that will call for tremendous stamina and resilience in seeking to bring the faith of Christ to a new generation and inspire a vision of service for our society.”