A present for Fr Kevin?

I wonder whether this would be a suitable present from the Province to Fr Kevin when he takes up his post as Bishop of Argyll and The Isles next year.

Exciting Day for the Scottish Episcopal Church

It is an exciting day for the Scottish Episcopal Church and no mistake – a new bishop has been elected. Fr Kevin Pearson of St Michael and All Saints in Edinburgh has been elected as the new bishop of Argyll and The Isles, a huge diocese which goes from the Mull of Kintyre right up to Stornoway.

This was an interesting election. The first attempts to choose a bishop did not produce a name and the election processes determine that the right of election passes to the College of Bishops if the diocesan process does not produce a result. Accordingly, it has been the responsibility of the other Scottish bishops to devise a process which would lead to an election. They met today in the Diocese at the College of The Isles on Greater Cumbrae and elected Fr Kevin unanimously.

Fr Kevin is someone I’ve known for a long time – since I first asked to be considered for ordination. He has held the post of Provincial Director of Ordinands for a long time and a great many people have been interviewed by him over the years with a view to discerning vocations. I don’t know whether things have changed, but in those days, he took no prisoners when interviewing people and I can still remember the experience vividly. It wasn’t the nicest hour of my life by any means and led me to a pretty negative view of him for a while. [Well, that’s a euphemism. I couldn’t bear the thought of him].

When I was eventually an ordinand I elected to do a placement with him at St Michael and All Saints partly by way of exorcising a demon and trying to find out why other people thought him to be a good thing. It worked. Whilst I was there I encountered someone in whom shone as much wisdom as humour and who has a passion for the Episcopal Church and a pastoral heart to match. By the time I’d finished my placement, someone whom I’d found, well, tricky, was someone of whom I was very fond indeed. I’m delighted for him today and hope that this new role in the church will be an opportunity for so very many more people to get to know the warm, generous side of him that he sometimes managed to disguise (rather successfully) when interviewing.

Its a huge responsibility being a bishop of anywhere and Argyll and The Isles has all kinds of challenges, not least of geography. My congratulations go to Bishop Elect Kevin. Oh, and before you are done, check out a gorgeous pic of him on the Provincial website.

A bit of extra wisdom and glamour for the College of Bishops. What more could we want?