It didn't take the Bishop of Birmingham long to realise the importance of diplomacy in his new role, particularly when it comes to the partisan nature of the city's footballing allegiances.
David Urquhart, a keen sports fan who captained Rugby School at rugby and was a mountaineer in his youth, has already been to watch the Blues at St Andrew's.
But he insists nothing should be read into this, even if he was once vicar - at a church called St Andrew's.
"Oh, no. Goodness me, I certainly am not going to have a favourite football club," stressed Bishop Urquhart, apparently shocked that anyone should suggest such a thing.
He intends to watch Aston Villa play Middlesbrough at Villa Park next Saturday – if he can get a ticket.
There would seem to be little problem about getting a ticket, although it has to be said that the bishop is still far from comfortable with being something of a celebrity.
"I was amazed to be sent a large brown-paper package the other day. On opening it I discovered it was from Warwickshire County Cricket Club telling me I had been appointed a vice-president. It took me about five seconds to accept," he said.
Before his inauguration at St Philip's cathedral on Friday, Bishop Urquhart took the opportunity to walk around the city centre accompanied by two pipers, representing his Scottish roots.
During the ceremony, he switched on the new website for the Diocese of Birmingham. The inauguration service was broadcast live on the web, which is believed to be a first for the Church of England.
He has always been something of a moderniser, having attracted criticism when canon at Holy Trinity Church in Coventry for selling ancient church pews in order to open up performance space. On millennium eve, he ran a disco in the church for local youngsters.
But he concedes that one of his priorities in Birmingham involves dealing with a deep-rooted and very old problem – the dissatisfaction and marginalisation of youth, particularly among the ethnic communities.
His arrival coincided with another outbreak of gang warfare on the streets of Lozells, something which he is determined to address.
"I intend to get out into the local community where there is stress and, perhaps, even violence.
"To bring hope to communities like Lozells, where street pastors are already working with the gangs and making a real difference. Great efforts are being made to bring an end to violence and create neighbourhoods where all can flourish."
Over the next six months, Bishop Urquhart intends to visit the 200-plus vicarages in the diocese, in order to get to know the clergy.
He said: "The Church is committed to living and working in local communities. To me, the parish principle is a strong contribution which means that the Church has to be where people are whatever their circumstances.
"Dealing with the specific issues of gang violence requires a comprehensive approach which links with the overall vision for regenerating a city the size and complexity of Birmingham.
"Each person needs to have a fulfilling occupation whether it's paid employment, community work or voluntary work. The key to effective participation in society is learning, whether academically or practically, to develop skills and character.
"I believe it is worth committing ourselves to say that every person who lives in Birmingham has the opportunity to succeed in life."
Bishop Urquhart brings with him a passion for urban regeneration and is keen to play a role in helping to plan the next stage of city centre renewal.
For his inauguration he wore a special "biographical" coat, with adornments representing the various stages of his career. Pinned to the coat was an extract from the book of the prophet Isaiah: "Repairer of broken walls, restorer of streets with dwellings."
The reaction of friends when they knew he was coming to Birmingham, from Birkenhead, was depressingly predictable, he recalls.
"But I am looking forward to the reaction of my visitors at the inauguration as they come out of New Street station and step into this fantastic shopping centre and the Bullring."
He has already picked up on a strange Birmingham convention – the fact that people who have never been here instinctively believe it to be a dreadful place, but once here do not want to leave.
"I hope I will be one of them," he said.