The Consecration of All Saints Anglican Cathedral occurred on June 10, 2017 with a flourish of worship, exhortation, and thanksgiving from across the diocese, the ACNA and the whole Global Communion. The churches in the diocese have benefited from the blessing of All Saints’ parish’s hospitality, acting as home to many during its time as Pro-Cathedral. It finally moved from temporary home to the permanent home of the diocese, confirming the role and direction it already had, a place of welcome and worship. That transition was celebrated in a service fit for such an honorable calling. Bishops and Archbishops visited from all over North America, as well as from Kenya and Uganda, with representatives attending from other Christian denominations.
The renovations that took place right before the consecration weekend came about through the hard work and generous giving of many, preparing both building and property to receive the many visitors. Over two hundred guests arrived, with over fifty priests participating in the processional around the Catheral grounds and into the church building, led by bagpiper Ben Adelman, whose musical accompaniment brought home the Celtic origins of the Cathedral’s philosophy for mission and ministry and a strong connection to Anglicanism’s Celtic roots. The service itself took place on the Feast of St. Columba.
Bishop Bill processed and, at various points around the grounds, blessed and prayed over each part. After the processional, Bishop Bill also blessed the baptismal font, lectern, altar, and other sacred vessels in the Chancel. The Rt. Rev. Todd Hunter, Bishop of the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others, spoke on the mission of the Church as she engages the surrounding culture, and how the Cathedral as home and training center for all of our churches can fuel that passion for bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to New England.
The Rev. Justin Howard, rector of Imago Dei, was elevated to Canon of Church Planting during the service and joined the Council of Canons. After the sermon, greetings were brought from around the world. Abp Stanley Ntagali of Uganda brought his personal greetings and encouragement; Abp Jackson Ole Sapit brought his support through representation by Kenyan bishop, The Rt Rev Joseph Muchai; Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Roman Catholic Boston Archdiocese sent his greetings and congratulations through Dr Vito Nicastro and Fr Scott of Holy Family parish, Amesbury; and Archbishop Foley Beach brought a warm encouragement through The Ven. Dr. Jack Lumanog and in the form of a personal letter.
In that letter, Archbishop Beach wrote: “My prayer for you is that you will be blessed with a fresh impartation of the Holy Spirit during your time of celebration this weekend. May All Saints Cathedral serve as a beacon and fountainhead of impartation and anointing to all diocesan congregations and new church plants as you seek to reach New England with the transforming love of Jesus Christ!”
After the service, guests were treated to a catered lunch on the Cathedral grounds for a time of fellowship and greeting.
We are thankful to God for what He has done in our common life together and are excited for our future as a center of Anglican life for our diocese here in Amesbury and across New England. Please keep All Saints Cathedral in your prayers as they move forward in their mission and ministry.