Dean's Blog

Change of Command Ceremony

Change of Command CeremonyThursday 24th was a big day: the Change of Command Ceremony at 10am on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise at which Mark Fox, the outgoing Admiral had invited me to lead the prayer of Benediction. Captain Mark Steiner the Fleet Chaplain said the Invocation prayer. There was a sea of Navy top brass from many countries and nearly all the Ambassadors present too.  A few people asked how I felt doing it. Of course I felt hugely honoured to be asked and especially on behalf of the Cathedral community, who received special mention in Mark Fox’s speech, but it was much easier than leading a family all age service.  Mark & Priscilla FoxIt was especially good that wives and families were singled out for the huge sacrifices that they make in support of their men by both outgoing and incoming Admirals and by General Mattis, Commander of US Central Command. Tricia and I were honoured to be present for the presentation of a special award to Priscilla Fox prior to the main ceremony at a small gathering in the Captain’s cabin: richly deserved.Later that day I was privileged in marrying a couple who had gone their separate ways, got divorced and now were getting back together again. Having been married first in a civil ceremony at a Registry office, they remarked how much more meaningful declaring their love and recommitment to one another was in church. They also mentioned how many others they had met in similar circumstances who wished that they were doing the same as them. I was so happy both for them and their two children.