New Bishop consecrated in Argyll and The Isles

Bishop Keith Riglin with the College on Saturday in Oban.

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The Scottish Episcopal Church celebrated the consecration of The Rt Rev Dr Keith Riglin as the new Bishop of Argyll & The Isles on Saturday, at a special service in Oban.

The College of Bishops gathered at The Cathedral Church of St John the Divine to ordain the Bishop elect, who was selected earlier this year to fill the episcopal vacancy.

Covid restrictions limited the numbers able to attend the Cathedral to the College of Bishops, Diocesan clergy, and a small number of Bishop Keith’s invited friends and family, but the event was streamed live to an online audience, which included guests from France, Ghana, Australia and the United States.

The service was led by the Most Reverend Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, who was joined by other members of the College in the act of consecration – laying of hands on the new Bishop, with prayer. Bishop Keith was entrusted with the Diocesan Crozier (Bishop’s staff), and presented with other symbols of the Office of a Bishop – a ring, cross and mitre.

The Primus said: ‘In these restricted times it has been impossible to gather the Diocese and Province together in Oban, but by the power of digital communication we were are all gathered together in prayer and in worship.

‘I am delighted to welcome Bishop Keith into the College of Bishops. As Bishop of Argyll and The Isles he will bring with him the cares and concerns as well as the joys of this beautiful diocese.

‘Bishop Keith has already demonstrated his love for the churches spread along the western edge of Scotland and I believe that for him and his family that love will only grow.’

In January this year, a historic first online episcopal election saw Bishop Keith selected from a short-list of three candidates to fill the vacancy brought about by the translation of the Rt Rev Kevin Pearson to the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway last year. His consecration means that the College of Bishops now has a full complement of seven Bishops for the first time since 2016.

Previously, Bishop Keith was Vice Dean and Chaplain at King’s College London, where he was also a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. He served as Assistant Priest at St Anne’s Church, Soho and as an Authorised Presbyter at Wesley’s Chapel, London.

Prior to his appointment at King’s in 2012, he served briefly in the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles, where he has had Permission to Officiate since 2012. In March 2020 he was installed as an honorary Canon of St John’s Cathedral in Oban.

He has two daughters, both graduates of UCL, and lives with his wife Canon Jennifer Smith, a Methodist presbyter and superintendent minister of Wesley’s Chapel, London. He enjoys cinema and contemporary dance, is a passionate fan of the music of the late Beatles member George Harrison, and has been a life-long fan of Doctor Who since watching the first ever episode in 1963, at the age of five.