It was a ceremony as old as the Church of England itself. But the legal and ceremonial confirmation of Bishop David James in the splendid surroundings of York Minister ushered in a bright, new future for the church in Bradford.

Bishop David, pictured, jokingly spoke of himself as David II, a reference to his predecessor, David Smith, who retired in July.

Dressed in his burgundy-coloured doctorate degree robes, the new bishop emerged from the Consistory Court room at the Minster all smiles after the ancient legal and religious ceremony.

His family, close friends and key church and legal figures had joined him in the 14th century ecclesiastical court room.

Before the legal part of the confirmation, a private service in the Lady Chapel had taken place with the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, who wore his official robes.

Bishop David, 57, said before the service: "I feel excited and ready to go bang, but also very aware of the responsibility that is being put upon me."

After the short service, the key figures processed into the Consistory Court room where York Province's legal matters, clergy court cases and internal inquiries have been conducted since Mediaeval Times.

Judge Thomas Coningsby, QC, acted as "vicar general", the most senior legal representative at the ceremony.

The procedure of Confirmation of Election has not been changed since it was made a requirement by Henry VIII in 1534.

The Bishop held a copy of the New Testament and took Oaths of Allegiance and Canonical Obedience.

Papers were signed and witnessed, then the new bishop gave the blessing.

His wife Gill and four daughters watched the ceremony and gave him delighted hugs afterwards.

The Right Reverend David James, the ninth Bishop of Bradford, can now sign his name as David Bradford.

He joked after the ceremony: "I can sign myself just as David II in Bradford, that's what they are calling me there.

"And it saves the church a bit of money because they don't need to get a new seal of office, with me also being called David!"

The Nottingham Forest supporter added: "The ceremony went very well and so many people came to watch, which was great.

"Now the serious work begins, but I don't feel any different than before. I must still remember to have a laugh at myself."