The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, the sixth largest Episcopal diocese in the United States, will consecrate its twelfth bishop, William “Chip” Stokes, this Saturday, November 2 at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton.
The head of the national church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will attend the service that is expected to draw more than 1,500 visitors from around the country.
Stokes, 56, was elected May 4 to succeed Bishop George Councell, who retired after a decade serving the diocese. Stokes previously served as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, Florida before he was called to serve as the head of the New Jersey diocese, which was founded in 1785.
“The people of the diocese understand well the very real challenges that face the church today,” Stokes said of the 154 congregations he will lead. “My experience of the clergy and lay people of the diocese is that they are faithful, hopeful and up to any challenges as we allow the spirit to lead us ‘right onward.’ I look forward to getting to know them and to journeying with them hand in hand as we all respond to God’s call to us to love and serve one another, the communities in which we are placed and the wider church and world.”
Trinity Cathedral is located at 801 West State Street in Trenton. The service begins at 11 a.m. Unreserved seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. No tickets are required, but attendees need to register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/l2wtvsp or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the service, a block party celebration will be held outside the cathedral. The reception will feature food from around the world and entertainment from the Praises in Steel drum orchestra of Queens.
Further information about the consecration is available at www.njconsecration.org.