New bishop's appointment announced on YouTube
PUBLISHED: 16:46 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010
THE new Bishop of St Albans made history this week by announcing his appointment via an internet video website. The Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith attended a press conference at St Albans Abbey following Tuesday s news that he will be inaugurated as the tenth Bish
THE new Bishop of St Albans made history this week by announcing his appointment via an internet video website.
The Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith attended a press conference at St Albans Abbey following Tuesday's news that he will be inaugurated as the tenth Bishop of the Diocese in three months.
He first made a presentation through a short YouTube video, becoming the first Church of England bishop to announce his appointment in such a way.
The 51-year-old, who will leave his post in Shropshire to take on the role, said he was excited and daunted about what lay ahead and vowed to make listening his priority.
He said: "To listen of course to those who are already working in the diocese and who know it so much better than I do. But I will also want to listen to those community leaders of faith or of no faith who are as passionate as I am about the communities we serve. I'll also want to listen to those who, for whatever reason, feel their voices are not heard."
He added: "Above all when I come I will want to seek God's guidance. So that together as the people of the dioceses of St Albans we can move together into the future to which he has called us. God is faithful and he will do it."
After the video was shown, Bishop Alan went on to speak about the "extremely difficult times" the world faced, including the conflict in Gaza and the economic crisis.
He said: "Those people that are really worried about their jobs or paying their mortgages on their homes need someone to listen to them and somebody to help. And I believe that if our faith isn't practicable then we have no good news at all."
Bishop Alan admitted that he had never thought that he would be appointed to the St Albans Diocese, "even in a month of Sundays," until he received a letter from Downing Street in November inviting him to take on the role, which had been kept top secret.
But he said he was looking forward to his new job, particularly because of the variety and diversity in cultures that an urban area like St Albans offered.
He finished by saying: "The diocese has a fine reputation with a senior team and parish clergy. I am really looking forward to being part of something so dynamic. I hope there are really exciting times ahead."
Prior to becoming Area Bishop of Shrewsbury in 2001, his roles included Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent and Honorary Canon of Lichfield Cathedral.
He was educated at Birmingham University and the University of Wales before training for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford.
Bishop Alan, who is single, has contributed to a number of books and his interests include environmental issues including the work of the World Development Movement. He is also a member of Amnesty International and enjoys skiing, travelling, gardening and both playing and listening to music in any spare time he has.
The Rt Rev Christopher Herbert, the previous Bishop of St Albans, retired at the end of last year.
To view Bishop Alan's video visit www.stalbans.anglican.org