There was a feeling of great joy and anticipation at Choral Evensong in Truro Cathedral on Sunday 16 December as Revd Bill Stuart-White was installed as Archdeacon of Cornwall.

The service was attended by the High Sheriff of Cornwall, the Deputy Mayor of Truro and the Vice-Chairman of Cornwall Council who were welcomed by The Dean and Chapter, together with Bishop Tim and Ecumenical Canon, Revd Steve Wild. And Director of Music, Christopher Gray and the Choir provided a feast of reflective monastic Advent praise, culminating in the ethereal Ave Maria by Franz Biebl.

Having thanked everyone for their support, Bill picked up on the Advent theme in his sermon as he spoke of the need for fortitude in the face of adversity. He contrasted the nation’s sporting success in recent months with the travails of the Church of England and its apparent decline, as hinted at in the results of the 2011 Census

Bill referred the congregation to both the Old Testament (Isaiah 35.1-10) and New Testament (Matthew 11.2-11) readings in which disheartened and disadvantaged people under stress were offered hope. “Our way ahead is a tough and challenging one,” he said, “but it is a way well prepared.”

The new Archdeacon’s portfolio will be ‘mission’ in all its guises, as clergy and parishes across the diocese embrace the changes necessary to enliven and share the Christian faith. “Every aspect of church life should be dedicated to mission,” he declared. “Then perhaps the next Census might show a different picture.”

Photo: Paul Richards