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Bishop flies 8000 miles to confirm three people in the Falklands Islands

22 February 2019

CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL, STANLEY

Bishop Thornton confirms the candidates (from left): Antonia Harcus, Stirling Harcus, and Denise Blake

Bishop Thornton confirms the candidates (from left): Antonia Harcus, Stirling Harcus, and Denise Blake

A BISHOP flew more than 8000 miles to confirm three people in Britain’s most southerly cathedral.

The Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, flew to the Falklands Islands last week for the service at Christ Church Cathedral, Stanley, to confirm Denise Blake and Antonia and Stirling Harcus.

The Falkland Islands are not part of another Province in the Anglican Communion, but are constituted as an extra-provincial area under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Bishop at Lambeth is also the Bishop for the Falkland Islands.

It was Bishop Thornton’s second visit to the Falklands. He flew there last April for another confirmation. He said: “I plan to go down once a year; so they will see a bishop more than many parishes in this country, I suspect.”

The Falklands are currently in interregnum, after their previous Rector, the Revd Nicholas Mercer, returned to the UK for a new position at Bolton Abbey. The Revd Ian Faulds is interim Priest-in-Charge after retiring as Canon Precentor at St German’s Cathedral in the Isle of Man. His wife, Clare, has taken up the post of locum senior magistrate on the Islands.

Though it was the furthest he has travelled for a confirmation, Bishop Thornton has experience of carrying out confirmations on remote islands. Previously Bishop of Truro, he travelled to Bryher on the Isles of Scilly for a confirmation, in which all guests travelled by boat or walked to get there.

While in the Falklands, the Bishop also spent time with the small community on Stanley, and visited military personnel stationed on the Islands.

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