Celebration service for Bishop Kevin Pearson

June 29, 2024

A celebration service for the Rt Rev Kevin Pearson, Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, was held on Saturday 29 June at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow.

Over 300 people filled the cathedral, coming together to honour Bishop Kevin as he prepares to retire later this summer, 44 years after he was ordained to the priesthood and four years after he was translated to Glasgow & Galloway from the Diocese of Argyll & The Isles.

In his sermon, Bishop Kevin spoke of Jesus’s words to us in Luke’s Gospel chapter 12, ‘fear not little flock’, as he gave his own testimony in three words: trust, confidence and hope.

“Trust in God,” said Bishop Kevin. “Confidence in Our Lord Jesus Christ brings hope, real hope in and through the Holy Spirit, the great lesson of this feast of St Peter and St Paul – hope.

“Hope for each one of us. Hope for the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway. Hope for our Province of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

“Hope for each one of us in the lesson of Peter. Peter the impetuous. Peter who denied Jesus but Jesus went on to make something of him. Jesus who understands the impetuosity, Jesus who accepted the denial – Jesus accepted all of that but recognised in all of that what Peter could become. What hope! Hope that we can grow into the people God knows, and perhaps only God knows we can be – there is hope, there is the Holy Spirit in our lives in the very hope itself.

“And hope is not just optimism that all will be well, keep everything crossed. Real hope makes sense of the pain and the suffering, gives meaning and purpose to the journey.”

He concluded: “Fear not, little flock. In God’s love we can trust. We are held.

“God is with us in Jesus. We are confident. Hope is ours – the Holy Spirit is moving among us.”

After the service, there were refreshments and personal tributes to Bishop Kevin from Provost Kelvin Holdsworth, Dean Reuben Preston, Bishop Andrew Swift, and Diocesan Secretary John Mitchell, as well as a response from Bishop Kevin.

Dr Elspeth Atkinson, wife of Bishop Kevin, was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

The full formal service can be watched on YouTube at this link.

(Main image: Bishop Kevin Pearson and his wife Dr Elspeth Atkinson; lower image courtesy of Petko Marinov, Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway)