Bishop Christopher Budd celebrates his Silver Jubilee as bishop of the Diocese of Plymouth

Bishop Christopher Budd celebrated his Silver Jubilee as bishop of the Diocese of Plymouth on January 15.

Bishop Budd came to Plymouth Diocese as bishop on January 15 1986 and this month celebrates his 25th year as Bishop of Plymouth. The diocese covers the counties of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset and the Isles of Scilly.

He celebrated his Silver Jubilee with a Mass of Thanksgiving on January 18 at 2.30pm in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Boniface, Plymouth. Afterwards there was a celebration in a vast marquee in the Bishop’s Garden.

Around 800 people were present in a packed cathedral. Among them were more than 30 bishops, together with representatives of Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. Pope Benedict, whose visit to these shores in September made such an impression, has sent his Apostolic Blessing to Bishop Budd for the occasion. Among the congregation were 120 priests and deacons, along with leaders of other churches.

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon represented the Queen and representatives of civil society included the Lord Mayor of Plymouth and the Deputy Lord Lieutenants of Cornwall and Dorset.

They processed into the cathedral at the beginning of Mass, followed by papal knights, the clergy and the bishops.

Reflecting on his ministry Bishop Budd said: “The celebration of a bishop’s ministry should not principally focus on the person of the bishop. The proper focus is God’s gift of episcopacy to the diocese; the particular bishop is always secondary to that. There are [some] thoughts I would like to share on this occasion: the Lord is calling our diocesan Church to be faithful to Him at a time of great social and cultural change.

“There are many issues that need wise solutions and we need to be ready to make our contribution towards them. We do this in a spirit of service, not as if we have all the answers. The source of our ability to minister is the wisdom of Christ made available in his community.”