Bendigo has a new diocesan bishop, with Bishop Matt Brain being welcomed and installed as the 10th Bishop of Bendigo at a service of celebration in St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday, 17 February.
A full procession of visiting and diocesan clergy, canons, deans, bishops and archbishops flowed into St Paul’s Cathedral, with over 300 local and interstate guests present to welcome the new bishop.
Shortly after the service began, three loud knocks were heard as Bishop Matt requested entry into the Cathedral. After some questioning, Vicar General and Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, John Roundhill, formally installed Bishop Matt by placing him in the episcopal seat of the Cathedral, and handing him the diocesan pastoral staff.
The congregation was moved as Bishop Matt walked to the chancel step and removed his shoes and socks prior to giving his first sermon as Bishop of Bendigo, reflecting the need for the Church to be grounded and face its challenges with humility.
“We today are confronted with a humbling reality that for those abused within our churches we have too often been Herod pursuing, Israel wandering from God’s path. This is a reality that we must not try and explain away, resile from or avoid,” he said, referring to Herod’s persecution of the infants in Bethlehem.
“Friends we live in an exciting time to be God’s people, to be God’s church. The demands upon us that bring us low are also a grace for us so that we may be a people of humility, desperate to experience provision through Jesus…and in doing so holding out hope to a world in despairing need.”
Words of welcome were offered by Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters, Primate and Metropolitan Archbishop Philip Freier and gifts were presented to each of Bishop Matt’s five children on behalf of the diocese.