Bishop Dino and Ma Dlamini visit Carlisle
Just over a month ago, Ma Dlamini and I had the great privilege of attending the Enthronement of the new diocesan Bishop of our link Diocese of Carlisle, England.
We left from OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday 6 October and arrived at Manchester International Airport round about midday, the following day. Our son Thabo was there to meet us and, together, we travelled by train to Ambleside, in Cumbria, near Rydal Hall where Thabo is working.
Rydal is a conference centre owned by the Diocese of Carlisle. One could say that it is for them what the KwaNzimela Centre is for us. We spent one night there and enjoyed meeting Nontobeko Ntanzi, the daughter of the Revd Sipho and Maria Ntanzi from KwaMbusi, Eshowe, and other young people from many different parts of the world.
We spent the next couple of days with the Revd John and Jill Smith from Walton in the Brampton Deanery. Their hospitality was beyond what words can really explain. While staying with them, we had the opportunity to visit some sites of historical interest as well as socialising.
Then, the day for which we had travelled all the way from South Africa arrived. On Saturday 10 October at 2pm we gathered in the Church of St Cuthbert, a short distance away from the Cathedral, for the first part of the Enthronement Service of the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, previously Suffragan Bishop of Penrith in the Diocese of Carlisle.
Both of us, Ma Dlamini and myself, felt overwhelmed by the privilege of being there on such a glorious occasion representing the Diocese of Zululand. But we were not alone from Zululand. Our Mothers’ Union President, Mrs Fikile Manqele and the MU treasurer, Mrs Buyiswa Ntshangase, were there with us, nearly at the end of their trip to England.
Unfortunately, the other link bishops, the Bishop of Madras and the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, the Rt Revd Greg Venables, were unable to attend.
I was humbled to be asked to anoint the head and the hands of the new Bishop just before his enthronement. In doing so I was assisted by the Lutheran Dean of the Diocese of Stavanger, in the Church of Norway. Then, while the congregation at St Cuthbert’s remained inside the church and followed the rest of the service on CCTV, the procession moved out of the church and entered the cathedral where a great number of bishops, diocesan clergy and men and women of the diocese where assembled. There the Bishop of Carlisle was assigned his stall in the Quire and, subsequently, enthroned on the Bishop’s Throne. Bishop James then delivered a remarkable sermon on “Generous Orthodoxy”. By the way, if anyone is interested in the full text of the Enthronement Sermon I can make it available at anytime. Finally, before imparting his first official blessing as the new bishop of the Diocese, he received his pastoral staff from the senior member of the Bishop’s Chapter. A light reception followed in the Cathedral grounds.
The following day, Sunday 11th, I was invited to preach at St Michael and All Angels in the rural Parish of Arthuret. We were warmly welcomed and felt very much at home in that small congregation. Monday 12th we were taken by car to Manchester Airport.
Ma Dlamini and myself would like to thank the diocese for sending us to Carlisle. We really feel it was the right thing to do for some of us to be there on such an historic occasion in the life of our link diocese. We need to continue praying for Bishop James, his wife Alison and family, as they begin their new ministry among God’s people. We also pray that our partnership in mission may grow from strength to strength and bring our two churches closer to one another as we move forward faithful to God’s mission entrusted to us.