Over 1,200 people came to Winchester Cathedral for the consecration of the new Bishop of Basingstoke today.
Attending the service were 24 bishops, including The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who led the service.
In an “epic” two-hour service attended by over 300 members of the Church of England, Reverend Canon David Williams was ordinated into the new role.
He said: “It was epic. I really enjoyed it.
“To have friends and family from all around the world; 24 bishops; major political leaders; 300 members of my church; and 1,200 people all together in a city I know, in a cathedral I love… it was amazing.”
Basingstoke MP Maria Miller and the MP for North West Hampshire, Sir George Young, were also present.
Having served in the Diocese for 13 years, Rev David Williams was announced as the new bishop of Basingstoke in June.
He has worked closely with communities in his previous role as vicar of Christ Church Winchester – having set up a street pastors project in the city, worked with prisoners in Winchester Prison and made visits to the University of Winchester.
And community work is something he aims to continue in his new role.
“I am very happy to start working for the common good in Basingstoke,” he said.
“The flourishing of communities, the well being of the town – a lot of people can be drawn to do that – the church is only one part of that endeavour but that is one of the things I want to do.
“I think Basingstoke is amazing – it is an entrepreneurial centre and it is economically thriving and I am looking forward to knowing it better.
“I am also very much looking forward to an invitation to a Basingstoke Town football match,” he added.
Rev David Williams’s first service as the Bishop of Basingstoke will take place at St Michael’s Church, Church Square, Basingstoke, on September 28 at 10.30am.