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Diocese of Chelmsford
Diocese of Chelmsford
World News

Bishop found out about crucial Coronation role in 'roundabout way'

by Donna Birrell


The bishop who will be carrying the King’s chalice during the Coronation says she found out she was taking part in the event ‘in a roundabout kind of way.’

Rt Rev Guli Francis-Dehqani, who is the Bishop of Chelmsford said a fellow bishop had attended a rehearsal and seen her name on the Order of Service before she herself had received an invitation. She told Sky News :

“Some months ago, the archbishop asked me just in passing what I was doing on 6 May, so that was just a small hint that there might be something coming, although I absolutely didn't take anything for granted.

"Then a fellow bishop - a colleague who is also playing a role in the service - attended a rehearsal that I wasn't able to be at, and saw my name on the order of service before I had actually received the invitation myself.

"So he told me that it was likely coming - so a slightly roundabout way, but nonetheless a real joy."

Bishop Guli will be one of three female bishops taking part in the service – as well as carrying the chalice she will administer wine to the King and the Queen Consort during Holy Communion. 

This is the first time female bishops have been able to participate in a Coronation because women bishops were only announced in the Church of England nine years ago.

Bishop Guli said :

"It's obviously a huge honour and a privilege and a great surprise to me, but something I'm looking forward to tremendously and feel really honoured to be a part of. It is an extraordinary experience to have the opportunity to go through and to then be able to share it with my family and tell my children about it and so on. It becomes part of our family history as well as part of the broader history of the life of this nation and indeed of the Church of England."


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