The newly inaugurated Bishop of Birmingham urged worshippers to be confident about being Christians during his first sermon on Sunday.
The Rt Rev David Urquhart, who was installed as the ninth Bishop of Birmingham in a historic ceremony in St Philips Cathedral on Friday, took the 11am service ahead of a busy week meeting his new parishioners.
He told the congregation to have confidence in basic Christian values which told them how to live as human beings, and to be proud to be followers of Jesus.
"The sermon was part of getting ready to celebrate Christmas with confidence, even if they don't have much money," said Bishop David. He said he hoped to go to watch Aston Villa play Middlesbrough this week and as the Archbishop of Canterbury's link with China, he was also due to brief him about his recent visit to the country.
He is also holding services this week especially for the people of parishes who were not able to attend his inauguration ceremony.
Friday's ceremony was so well attended a special video link-up was set up in the nearby Old Joint Stock pub for those who could not get into the packed church. The broadcast was thought to be a first in the history of the Church of England.
During the ceremony he was presented with a specially designed cope – a garment like a cape which is worn over a cassock – to celebrate his new start in Birmingham. Its illustrations bring together elements of Bishop Urquhart’s life from his childhood in Scotland, represented by a bagpiper, his fondness for motorcycles and an image of a cross from Holy Trinity Coventry, where he was vicar before becoming Bishop of Birkenhead in 2000.
The logos of Birmingham’s major football teams, Birmingham City and Aston Villa are featured in the design alongside an image of a game of rugby.
Also included in the design are words taken from Isaiah Chapter 58 verse 12: "You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in." The verse is repeated in Mandarin, Lugandan and Hebrew and reflects his commitment to regeneration and community cohesion.
He said there were about 70 languages spoken in the region, adding: "I have selected four languages, which are significant to me, which I hope will remind me that we are part of a global church and a global community.
"The verse I have chosen is about dwelling places and cities. I believe that city regions have a special role in our 21st Century society as places where cultures, faiths and individuals connect.
"As a Christian Bishop I want to help make those connections not only for people who go to church but for all of the 1,386,997 who live in the diocese. I hope to help make this region a place where all can dwell safely, living with generosity and without fear of their neighbour."
Special services led by the Bishop of Birmingham will take place at 7.30pm at St Philips Cathedral in Birmingham today, tomorrow and on Thursday and Friday.