The “biking bishop” has been formally appointed by the head of the church at a ceremony in London.

The Rev Richard Jackson, 53, was consecrated as the Bishop of Lewes at a service in Westminster Abbey yesterday by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He previously told how he expected to be known as the ‘biking bishop’ after admitting “something of a midlife crisis” encouraged him to buy a Harley-Davidson.

Flocks of people from the four corners of the diocese, including Mr Jackson’s wife Deborah, their three grown-up children and members of the clergy, made the journey to London to see the ceremony.

Hundreds of people from Sussex packed the pews of the abbey and there was a round of laughter as the archbishop referenced yesterday’s 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes.

The Consecration Service is a highly symbolic occasion as the archbishop invites other bishops present to lay their hands on the candidate to ordain them to their new ministry.

Special readings, hymns, prayers and music rang throughout the abbey to celebrate the significance of the occasion.

Dr Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester, also attended the affair to welcome Mr Jackson as the latest bishop in his diocese.

He said before the service: “Everyone is very excited and looking forward to the service enormously.

“It is super for the Chichester diocese and for all his colleagues as we welcome this new chapter in the life of the diocese.”

Mr Jackson can now be formally referred to as Bishop Richard.

He previously held the position of mission renewal adviser and leader of the church growth team in the Chichester diocese.

He trained for the ministry at Trinity College, Bristol, and served in Lindfield and Rudgwick as well as being rural dean of Horsham.

Bishop Richard will be welcomed to his new position at a special service this Sunday, May 18, at St Mary’s Church, Battle, East Sussex, and on June 22, at 6pm, at St Paul’s Church, Brighton.