By Svetlana Marshall
REVEREND Father Charles Alexander Davidson was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Guyana yesterday before an overflowing congregation at the St. George’s Cathedral. He replaces Bishop Cornell Jerome Moss who died in March 2015 after taking up the position in 2009.The ordination and consecration ceremony was attended by President David Granger and First Lady Sandra Granger, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland and Archbishop of the West Indies Primate and Metropolitan, the Most Reverend Dr. John W.D. Holder.
The religious ceremony started with a Liturgical Procession and included the Cathedral Chapter, the Bishop-elect, visiting Bishops and members of the House of Bishops of the Province of the West Indies.
As the procession entered the western doors of St. George’s Cathedral, one of the tallest wooden churches in the world, those in attendance stood and melodiously sang the Processional Hymn 384, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!”
After a series of hymns and readings, Rita Hunter, who spoke in the Amerindian dialect – Miriam Cush-English – described the characteristics of a bishop using the First
Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, taken from the third chapter beginning at the first verse.
“The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way – for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.”
Reverend Hugh Chapman – Rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, Florida, USA – delivered the sermon, and it was not long after representatives of the Diocese and Province presented the Bishop-elect to the Archbishop.
CONFORM TO THE DOCTRINE
Just before being consecrated, Bishop Davidson promised to “conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the church in the Province of the West Indies…”
In the charge read by the Archbishop, he was told that as the chief pastor, he must share with the other Bishops a special responsibility to maintain and further the unity of the church while upholding discipline.
As the ordination unfolded, he was anointed and presented with a bible. “Receive this Cross, the sign of Salvation, and may you never be ashamed to confess the Faith of Christ Crucified, Risen, Ascended and Glorified,” the Archbishop said as he placed the Pectoral Cross on Reverend Davidson.
A Bishop’s ring was also placed on his finger. He was subsequently presented with the mitre and the pastoral staff.
The ceremony was also graced with the presence of a number of Bishops from the Caribbean, including The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Windward Islands, Aruba and Belize.