New, specially-commissioned bishops’ robes will be used for the first time at the enthronements of Bishop Nick next week.
They’ve been made by textile designer Polly Meyell (right). She says, “I was asked to design robes that would reflect the vibrancy and diversity within the diocese. So there are great contrasts throughout the design - the vertical and horizontal structures reflect the contrast between urban and rural areas, and the embroidery also represents terrific beauty and real deprivation, breath-taking open spaces and intense inner cities, multicultural areas and mono-cultural communities."
Sam Corley, Canon Precentor at Bradford Cathedral, adds, “The fusion of these contrasts forms a cross and visualises a particular task of mission and ministry within the new diocese: to view the urban through the lens of the rural, and the rural through the lens of the urban.
“Each of the area bishops’ robes has the same design, reflecting the shared nature of this common calling. The extension of the motif on the robes worn by the Diocesan Bishop reflects the commitment of the diocese to the wider church and its engagement with the life of the nation.
“Contrasting colours symbolise the need for religious communities to communicate with confidence, to listen to the world and to be bold enough to expose themselves to the critique of each other without being afraid of questioning or challenge. As Bishop Nick says, ‘this is not a sign of weakness, but of confidence and strength’ and represents what he describes as ‘a confident humility’.”