Rod Thomas, the former chairman of Reform and vicar of St Matthew’s Church in Plymouth, was consecrated as Bishop of Maidstone on Wednesday 23rd September 2015. In a packed Canterbury Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, consecrated three new bishops: Rob Wickham (Bishop of Edmonton), Graham Tomlin (Bishop of Kensington), and Rod Thomas (Bishop of Maidstone). The Bishops of Exeter and Blackburn presented Rod for consecration. The preacher was the Rev’d Dr Paul Weston of Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He spoke of Jesus’ call to Matthew to follow him in Matthew 9:9-13. Matthew’s encounter with Christ would immediately have revealed to him how far short of God’s standards he fell – and therefore how much he needed Jesus’ healing. Paul Weston went on to say that following involves being sent: leaving things behind and going to others with the invitation to come to meet Jesus. This, he suggested was a model for the episcopal ministry.
As the three new bishops left the building, there was spontaneous applause and cheering.