Stamford Pride

A Warm Welcome for Bishop Debbie

Last month saw a warm welcome for Bishop Debbie Sellin at Peterborough Cathedral as the 39th Bishop of Peterborough was installed in a joyful and inspiring service

Images: Paul Marriott Photography 07885 439184,
Images: Paul Marriott Photography 07885 439184,

Congratulations and best wishes to Bishop Debbie Sellin who was installed in her Cathedra – or Bishop’s Seat – last month. March saw the Archdeacon of Canterbury, on behalf of the Archbishop, install Bishop Debbie in a service at Peterborough Cathedral which was both joyful and inspiring.

The Diocese of Peterborough is the regional presence of the Church of England in Northamptonshire, Rutland and Peterborough. The Diocese is led by The Bishop of Peterborough, assisted by the suffragan Bishop of Brixworth.

The service started with Bishop Debbie banging on the door of the Cathedral and being greeted by children from several local church schools. The Dean then sprinkled Bishop Debbie with water as a reminder of the baptism in which all Christians are called to share.  

The formal aspects of the service included the reading of the Archbishop’s mandate and legal transferring of responsibility for the Diocese. Oaths were made to the King and to be a ‘faithful pastor to the clergy and people of this diocese,’ holding a Bible used at Peterborough Abbey in the thirteenth century. 

Bishop Debbie was then anointed with oil of chrism (myrrh) by the Bishop of Brixworth and Archdeacons of Oakham and Northampton before being robed in the Diocesan Cope which carries symbols of St Peter, the patron saint of the Cathedral. The Archdeacon of Canterbury then placed Bishop Debbie in her Cathedra where she was welcomed by civic and ecclesiastical representatives from across all three counties of the Diocese; Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. 

Bishop Debbie was then greeted with enthusiastic applause from the whole of the congregation. Throughout the service, there was an uplifiting range of worship, praise and diverse music from Te Deum (Colleguim Regale) to Blinded by your Grace by Stormzy. 

Bishop Debbie’s sermon focused on hope and how we long to see change and transformation in our broken world, but we need courage and audacity to work towards this brighter future. She then reflected on the ancient Cathedral and how many centuries of ministry and teaching had served to show the world God’s hope for the future across our diverse diocese. ‘It has always been the task of the people of God here to present that hope, to present it in different ways and it should always be relevant to the culture of the day and offer hope despite the struggles that are going on.’ 

She acknowledged the work of all those who have worked hard in the Diocese throughout the vacancy, in particular Bishop John and said how she was looking forward to working together in their shared episcopal ministry. Bishop Debbie concluded using the words of the Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley; ‘I hope we will choose to live differently, dance to a different tune, to see the world through the eyes of God who died on the cross to change it’ and described her journey as an adventure that she was prepared to embark on and hoped that the whole Diocese would join her on that journey. 

Peterborough Cathedral has a diverse programme of events including former singer of M People, Heather Small, visiting the Cathedral to perform on Sunday 5th May from 7pm. Call 01733 355315 or see To find out more about what is happening across the Diocese in your local churches please visit

07885 439184,
Image: Paul Marriott Photography.