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Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Roman Catholic Bishop presented with Anglican Order of St Cedd

Bishop Thomas McMahon, until recently the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, has been awarded the Anglican Order of St Cedd by Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford.

The award honours the contribution which Bishop Thomas has made to the life of the church and the gospel in Essex and East London. Bishop Thomas is the first Roman Catholic to receive the award.

“Bishop Thomas’ contribution has been transformative for the unity and witness of the church in this region,” said Bishop Stephen.

“Pope Francis has said that ‘instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads. Unity will not come about as a miracle at the very end… but comes about in journeying.’

“Bishop Thomas McMahon has shown us what these new roads look like. He has embodied a ministry of welcome and generosity. He has not waited till all the theologians agree before living out that unity. He has shown us that we may find unity in out journeying. Today we honour his contribution to the life of the church and the gospel in Essex and East London by awarding him the Order St Cedd.

“This is usually given to lay people in Chelmsford Diocese who have made an outstanding contribution to our life and mission. Well, Bishop Thomas is hardly a lay person. But his contribution has been more than outstanding; and has been transformative for the unity and witness of the church in this region."

The restoration of unity among all Christians was one of the principal concerns of the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago this week.

After the service the Bishops launched an exhibition of prisoners' art work marking Prisons Week.

Read Bishop Stephen’s sermon.

Picture

Bishop Thomas is pictured at the launch of an exhibition of prisoners' art work at Chelmsford Cathedral which followed the service.  Also in the picture are Revd James Ridge, the Chaplain to HM Prison Chelmsford (left), Helen Carter, the Governor of the Prison, and Bishop Stephen (far right). The art exhibition is open to view at the Cathedral all day until 23 November. Prisons Week runs from 16-22 November 2014.

More information

  • Bishop Thomas retired as Bishop of Brentwood in April 2014. He was appointed in 1980 and worked with five Bishops of Chelmsford - John Trillo, John Waine, John Perry, John Gladwin and Stephen Cottrell.
  • The Order of St Cedd comprises the Cross of St Cedd and comes with a blue ribbon and a citation thanking the recipient for his or her service. It was first awarded in 2003.
  • The Order of St Cedd is usually given to lay people who have made an outstanding contribution to the life and mission of Chelmsford Diocese or Chelmsford Cathedral​. 
  • St Cedd (c 620-664 AD) was decisive in the conversion of the East Saxons to Christianity. Chelmsford Cathedral is dedicated to St Cedd as well as to St Mary and St Peter.
  • The Dioceses of Brentwood and Chelmsford cover the same geographical area - the county of Essex and the east London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
  • The presentation took place on 16 November 2014 at Chelmsford Cathedral at Evensong.