LAHORE – Emanuel Sarfraz - The enthronement ceremony of the ninth Bishop of Lahore, Rt Rev Irfan Jamil, was held at the Cathedral Church of Resurrection on Friday. On this occasion, the retiring Rt Rev Dr Alexander John Malik was honoured with the title of Emeritus Bishop of Lahore for his remarkable Episcopal ministry of 45 years in Pakistan and for serving as Bishop of Lahore for a record 32 years.

Bishops from other cities, heads of Chrisitian institutions and thousands of Christians participated in the enthronement ceremony followed by a grand reception.

Special holy communion and thanksgiving service was held following the enthronement ceremony, which was conducted by Rt Rev Malik. The new Bishop was enthroned by Rt Rev Dr Alexander John Malik, officers of the Lahore Diocesan Council and the clergy. Bishop Malik relinquished his charge as Bishop of Lahore and empowered Rt Rev Jamil to carry on the mission. Bishop of Peshawar Rt Rev Humphrey Peter, Bishop of Faisalabad John Samuel and Bishop of Multan Leo Paul were also present.

Dr Malik was enthroned as the eighth Bishop of Lahore in 1980. Bishop Malik was born on October 1, 1944 at Martinpur, district Sheikhupura, and completed his primary to graduation in Rawalpindi. He obtained Bachelors in Divinity from Serampore University, India, and MA in Islamic Studies from McGill University, Canada. He received doctorate of divinity from Theological University, Gujranwala.

Rt Rev Jamil was born on August 2, 1952. He did his BA from FC College and MA in Political Science from the Punjab University. He studied at London Bible College and got his master’s degree from Trinity Theological College, Singapore. He started his career in Christian service in 1973 with Pakistan Bible Correspondence School, Faisalabad.

Speaking at the reception, Bishop Malik said he would continue to serve the Christian community and play an active role in promoting the community building processes that he started. “I have retired from the management affairs but I would continue to remain an active member of the congregation. I would play my due role in serving the community,” he said after receiving a standing ovation from the audiences.

Bishop Jamil vowed to carry on the mission started by Bishop Malik. “The word responsibility comes from ability and response. I know there may be great challenges for me. But I promise to work as the Bishop of Lahore under fear of God and to the best of my abilities with commitment, dedication and devotion,” he maintained.