In a service with a distinctive Welsh flavour, including harpists, songs, prayers and Bible readings in Welsh, Stuart Bell was consecrated on Saturday 18 March as bishop to serve within the Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE).
Led by Archbishop Foley Beach representing the Gafcon Primates, and Bishop Andy Lines, the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe, the service marked a significant moment in the history of the Principality.
Stuart will assist Bishop Andy Lines in providing support and encouragement, oversight and accountability for ACE clergy and congregations within Wales. His consecration represents the continuing provision by the global Anglican family of a home for those seeking to remain faithful to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ and uphold historic, orthodox, biblical, confessional Anglicanism.
In his sermon, Archbishop Foley emphasised that the ministry of a bishop is to ensure the message of the church remains the message of Jesus, by teaching the Word of God, defending the faith and proclaiming Jesus boldly and unashamedly.
Asked about Stuart’s consecration, Archbishop Foley said, “It will now give the people of Wales a godly and faithful bishop who upholds the theology and moral teaching of the Bible and our Anglican tradition.”
Stuart himself reflected, “It seems to me that this a twofold testimony. A testimony as orthodox Anglicans in Wales to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ which is our responsibility to faithfully present to all who will receive it; and, sadly, a testimony specifically against the Church in Wales which has stepped away from that Biblical gospel.”
In his greeting to the congregation Stuart publicly re-affirmed three life-time commitments: “Firstly to Jesus Christ as my Lord and myself as his disciple. Secondly to the Scriptures as recorded in the Bible, to believe them, to trust them, to seek to live them, and to preach them faithfully. Thirdly, I re-affirm my commitment to Wales, to commend Christ to Wales and to seek to bring Wales to Christ… until my last breath.”