Liverpool Cathedral was the setting on Sunday for the installation of Pete Wilcox as the new Dean of Liverpool Cathedral.
He left his post as Canon Chancellor at Lichfield Cathedral in July having moved to the city in 2006.
His quick wit and passion for sport endeared him to the cathedral’s youth group, while many in the cathedral and city community will remember him for his education and outreach work, including the development of the cathedral’s displays of the Lichfield Angel and St Chad Gospels as well as bringing the Staffordshire Hoard to Lichfield.
In his sermon on Saturday, he spoke of his vision for the Cathedral “Although I can wax lyrical about my vision of God and his grace, his kingdom and the gospel, and even about cathedrals, plural (because these are all things which transcend time and place), I just don’t know enough yet about here and now to articulate a vision for this cathedral.
“The vision of what it is God is calling us to be and to do together will emerge over the coming months and years” and speculated on divine intervention for his installation: thanking the people of Liverpool for the welcome he and his family received, he went on to give thanks that the postponement of Everton’s game against his beloved Newcastle United til Monday night had spared him a difficult choice for Saturday afternoon!
Bishops, clergy and officers of both Lichfield and Liverpool cathedrals and dioceses took part in the service with both cathedral choirs joining together to lead the sung worship.
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill was both sorry and glad to see the new Dean installed in Liverpool: “Pete has made his own contribution to the life of the cathedral and city in his time in Lichfield and we are sorry to see him leave. But God has called Pete on to a new and exciting ministry in the great and challenging city of Liverpool.”
That ministry began before the formal installation in what has been a painful week for Liverpudlians, as the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones noted: “Pete was in the Cathedral last Wednesday when the Hillsborough Independent Panel presented their report to the families. He saw how our two Cathedrals stand at and minister to the heart of the City. I pray that God will bless many people through his ministry.”