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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 03:34 GMT
Gay bishop takes up post
Gene Robinson (L) is invested in New Hampshire
Gene Robinson became the ninth Bishop of New Hampshire
The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop, has been confirmed in his new post in the American state of New Hampshire.

Some 700 people packed in the church of St Paul's in Concord whooped and clapped after their new bishop was handed his ceremonial crosier.

Bishop Robinson warned that "big risks" lay ahead but said the Church was embarking "on a great journey".

His consecration in November threatened to split the worldwide Anglican Church.

'Risky business'

Sunday's ceremony saw none of the protests which accompanied that event, when demonstrators objected to a practising homosexual taking such a prominent post in a Christian diocese.

God is always calling us out of our comfort zones
Bishop Gene Robinson
"Journeys of faith, you know, are a risky business," Bishop Robinson said in his sermon.

"God is always calling us out of our comfort zones."

In accordance with tradition, the ceremony began with the bishop knocking three times on the church's door before being admitted.

Bishop Douglas Theuner, who officially retired on Sunday, handed his replacement the crosier, a ceremonial staff symbolising his office in the Diocese of New Hampshire.

The new bishop, a divorcee, has lived with his male partner for 15 years and has two daughters from his previous marriage.


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