THE “REGULARITY” of a person’s consecration as a bishop has long been a subject of discussion, debate and trial in the Church. Circumstances surrounding that of Chad as Bishop of York led to Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, having to advise him that his consecration had been irregular, as the validity of the indigenous consecrating bishops was doubted. Chad replied:

If you believe that my consecration as bishop was irregular, I willingly resign the office; for I have never thought myself worthy of it. Although unworthy I accepted it solely under obedience

Archbishop Theodore later rectified the irregularity and Chad established his seat as Bishop of Lichfield. Centuries later one muses that it was almost certainly Chad’s humility that so powerfully fuelled his abiding effectiveness.