Anglican Communion secretary general attends first consecration of an Anglican bishop in Bahrain

Posted May 28, 2024

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, attended the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Sean Semple, who becomes the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf.

The consecration service was held at St. Christopher’s Cathedral in Manama on May 24, and it was the first consecration of an Anglican bishop to take place in Bahrain.

The new bishop has served in the Anglican Communion in various parts of the world as a deacon and priest but was consecrated in Bahrain in order to exercise the particular ministry of a bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf.

Due to the unique geography and history of the diocese, there are two cathedrals — one in Cyprus and one in Bahrain. It was Semple’s decision that the consecration service take place at the Cathedral of St. Christopher, in recognition of the importance of the Gulf nations in the life of the diocese and to celebrate the Kingdom of Bahrain’s vision of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Established in 1976, the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf is one of the three dioceses that make up the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, whose archbishop is currently the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum.

Speaking about the consecration in advance, Semple said, “I have chosen to be consecrated and begin my ministry at St. Christopher’s Cathedral, Manama, knowing of the respect for faith and the desire for peaceful coexistence that is enshrined in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I come with great awe at the weighty responsibility that will be bestowed upon me, but know that the gentleness and warmth of the Bahraini people will strengthen me and remind me of God’s grace without which I can do nothing.”

Poggo said, “It was a joy to join with Anglican brothers and sisters for the consecration of Bishop Sean Semple. We pray for him as he prepares for this ministry and give thanks for the important work that the Anglican Church is doing in this region.”

Naoum presided at the consecration service. The two principal co-consecrating bishops were the Rt. Rev. Robert Innes, bishop in Europe, and the Rt. Rev. Richard Jackson, bishop of Hereford in the Church of England, where Semple had served as a parish priest.

“The Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf has been deeply honored and encouraged by the bishops’ participation in the service,” Semple said. “Their presence indicates something of the significance in which our diocese is held in the wider Anglican Communion and further enhances these relationships.” He was also particularly grateful for the family and friends who came to support him.

The Rev. Richard Fermer, dean of St. Christopher’s said, “We are very excited, because it is the first time that someone will be consecrated an Anglican bishop in Bahrain.”

Following the consecration, the new bishop was welcomed by Fermer and Bahraini dignitaries and led to the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, to be installed as bishop of the diocese.

A local news outlet described the event as “…one more milestone in Bahrain’s renowned achievements as a celebrated global center of religious tolerance, friendship and diversity.”