Hundreds welcome ‘wonderful’ new Bishop to Deanery

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Fishermen's Mission. Pictures: Mic

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Fishermen's Mission. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of people turned out to give a warm welcome to the new Bishop of Norwich during a special visit.

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. Lunch and meeting with clergy at Kessingl

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. Lunch and meeting with clergy at Kessingland. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

On his first public visit to Lowestoft, and just 11 days after he was enthroned as the new Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, enjoyed a "memorable" day.

The visit to the Lothingland Deanery started at 11.30am last Wednesday, November 20 in Kessingland, and finished at 8.45pm at the parish church of Lowestoft - Saint Margaret's Church - following a special service of welcome and Desert Island Hymns event.

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft to see the Bascu

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft to see the Bascule Bridge in operation. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Bishop Graham, 49, is the youngest diocesan bishop in the Church of England and he has now become the 72nd Bishop of Norwich, which covers Norfolk and Waveney,

The deanery visit to Lothingland began with a Eucharist in which Bishop Graham spoke on the sacrifice of St Edmund, on St Edmund's day, in St Edmund's church, Kessingland.

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

After speaking with the clergy about the deanery, Bishop Graham travelled to Blundeston Primary School, where he took part in a collective worship and answered a series of questions from the enthusiastic pupils.

Meetings in Lowestoft followed with Tim Jenkins firstly discussing the role of the Fishermen's Mission, before Bishop Graham discussed hopes for the town with Lowestoft Rising change manager Phil Aves and Dave Eagle from Community Action Suffolk.

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

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A visit to the Port of Lowestoft followed as Bishop Graham was shown how the Bascule Bridge works. It was then off to one of the newer woodland burial sites at the Gunton Woodland burial ground.

A short stroll to St Peter's Church in Gunton followed as the Bishop met with members of the clergy before seeing the St Andrew's community fridge project in action, as those who rely on food donations were assisted.

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft to see the Bascu

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft to see the Bascule Bridge in operation. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Rev Damon Rogers, vicar of the church in Roman Road, said: "Bishop Graham wanted to talk to people and listen to them.

"He wants to know what people lives are like and what the issues are."

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft to see the Bascu

A visit by Bishop Graham Usher to the Lothingland Deanery. At the Port of Lowestoft to see the Bascule Bridge in operation. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

The day closed with an interview in St Margaret's Church, that included questions from the congregation, along with seven hymns chosen by Bishop Graham.

Bishop Graham is interviewed by Mark Boggis, senior reporter at The Journal and Eastern Daily Press,

Bishop Graham is interviewed by Mark Boggis, senior reporter at The Journal and Eastern Daily Press, during a Desert Island Hymns event at St Margarets Church in Lowestoft. Picture: Diocese of Norwich - Credit: Archant

Desert Island Hymns

The Rev Michael Asquith, rector of St Margaret's Church, was involved in the Bishop's visit to the Lothingland Deanery.

He said: "It was a great day accompanying Bishop Graham.

"He was able to see and appreciate many of the difficulties we encounter in our lives and the opportunities the Church of England is seizing in working with others for the people of Lowestoft.

"My personal thanks to everybody who helped make this day so memorable - and there are so many - taking time to speak with and be with Bishop Graham who is eager to bring Lowestoft and Waveney closer to Norwich and all that is happening at the centre of our diocese."

Rev Asquith created the Desert Island hymns event, with Archant senior reporter Mark Boggis interviewing Bishop Graham on his life and aspirations for the future in front of a good turnout at St Margaret's Church.

Rev Asquith added: "Mark Boggis did a fantastic job interviewing the Bishop enabling so many to see what a wonderful Bishop we have."

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