“WITH joyful anticipation” is how the new Bishop of Barking is looking forward to her new role.

At a special ceremony on Sunday at Chelmsford Cathedral, the Right Reverend Lynne Cullens said she was looking forward to being welcomed to the Diocese of Chelmsford.

She will serve people across Essex and the East London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest.

Bishop Lynne added: “I’m grateful to share the occasion with so many of those who have been important to me in my life and ministry to date, as well as with those who will be into the future.

Epping Forest Guardian: The Right Reverend Lynne Cullens pictured after the welcome service at Chelmsford Cathedral. Photo: Paul Starr

“I’m very much looking forward to this new phase of my ministry and to meeting with - and learning from - the people, communities and partners who make up the Barking area. It will be a privilege to serve God alongside you.”

Bishop Lynne succeeds the Right Reverend Peter Hill, who retired last year.

The service was attended by church leaders and church communities from across Chelmsford Diocese, including the Barking area as well as civic leaders and the new bishop’s former colleagues from the Chester Diocese.

Bishop Lynne was presented with her pastoral staff, which was gifted to her by her former diocese. The Bishops of Colchester and Bradwell, the Right Reverend Roger Morris and the Right Reverend John Perumbalath presented her with her cope and mitre. Mark Watson, assistant principal of the London Design and Engineering University Technical College in Stratford, presented Bishop Lynne with her pectoral cross, which was designed by students at the college.

The service was also attended by pupils from St John’s Church of England Secondary School in Epping, which Bishop Lynne visited in November 2021.

Bishop Lynne was consecrated as a bishop at St Paul’s Cathedral last month during a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

She served as the Rector of Stockport and Brinnington from July 2019. She is also a trustee and the Chair of the National Estate Churches Network.

The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, The Dean of Chelmsford, said: “It was fantastic to be present at Bishop Lynne’s consecration at St Paul’s Cathedral. As a fellow Mancunian I am also very happy to have another northerner on the Bishop’s Leadership Team.”

Bishop Lynne begins her public ministry on March 21.