THE NEW Bishop of Basingstoke was consecrated during a service held by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Winchester Cathedral this morning.

Around 1,200 people, including Basingstoke MP Maria Miller and North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young, attended the service held by The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As previously reported by The Gazette, Reverend Canon David Williams, who is currently the vicar of Christ Church Winchester, was announced as the new Bishop of Basingstoke in June.

David has served in the Diocese for the past 13 years and together with his wife Helen, he has played a leading role in the growth of the church and working closely with the local community, including the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester Prison and the University of Winchester.

The new Bishop of Basingstoke’s role will be to work with the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, to champion church communities.

He will also embark on a wide-ranging tour to visit churches and community groups across Basingstoke and north Hampshire.

Rev David Williams said: “I have a deep appreciation of the depth of worship and ministry of the churches in this diocese.

“There are 196 churches across north Hampshire, actively serving their local communities. As I begin my new ministry I look forward to hearing their hopes, dreams and challenges and supporting them in their important work.

“Faith in Jesus Christ is at the heart of our local churches, with a deeply personal dimension as well as a commitment to a public expression of that faith. As Bishop I hope to support people in expressing both aspects of their faith.”

His first big service as the Bishop of Basingstoke will take place at St Michael’s Church, in Church Square, Basingstoke on September 28.