A fond farewell to Bishop Brain and two new Bishops join CSAN Trustees

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CSAN are bidding the Right Reverend Bishop Terence Brain a very fond farewell as he steps down from his role as Chair of Trustees for Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN).

Appointed Bishop of Salford on 2 September 1997 and installed a month later, Bishop Brain has been a leading figure in the diocese. He was appointed the Liaison Bishop between the Catholic Hierarchy and HM Prison Service in 1995 and his dedication to social action and justice has remained resolute.

Speaking of the work of Caritas Social Action Network, Bishop Brain said “Appointed as Chair of the Social Welfare Committee of the CBCEW in 1993, it has been a privilege to have been part of the development that led in 2000 to the Catholic Agency for Social Concerns (CASC) which was then further developed into Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and in the last two years to have begun the extending of the network links directly with the bishops of the dioceses of England and Wales in order to forge the domestic arm of Caritas England and Wales. The Church in England and Wales is well served by some outstanding men and women in the proclaiming of the social gospel and I have learnt much from their witness”

Speaking of Bishop Terence Brain, Helen O’Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN said:

“Bishop Brain has always held firm to the mission and imperative to offer the ‘corporal works of mercy’ – a practical mission and also one from the heart. With its nearly 40 diverse charities and a growing number of Dioceses, a professionalism and astute reading of the ‘signs of the times’ underpins CSAN’s work. Bishop Terry has always based this work on people – both seeking to meet the needs of those who are vulnerable and poor, and also supporting those in the work – not just in the inevitable round of reports and meetings but also with personal encouragement and understanding. We thank him for his vision, support and guidance.”

Bishop Brain will be succeeded by Bishop Terry Drainey of the Diocese of Middlesbrough. Having worked in Kenya for five years followed by Salford, Valladolid and Durham, Bishop Terry was installed the seventh Bishop of Middlesbrough in 2008.

The Right Reverend Terry Patrick Drainey said of his appointment as Episcopal Chair of CSAN:

“This is an interesting and encouraging time to be asked to play a role in CSAN. This key agency of the Conference of Bishops and its partners both professional and voluntary are taking significant new steps to develop the social action of the Catholic Church in England and Wales nationally and locally.”

Bishop Terry also commented that ‘The Ministry of Service’, the last document Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI published before retiring, says: The service of charity is a constitutive element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being; all the faithful have the right and duty to devote themselves personally to living the new commandment that Christ left us (cf. Jn 15:12), and to offering our contemporaries not only material assistance, but also refreshment and care for their souls. Playing a part in helping members of the church to renew their recognition that the service of charity is ‘an indispensable expression of her very being’ will be both a challenge and a privilege.

Bishop Drainey will be joined by Bishop Tom Williams, auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool. Bishop Williams has served at several parishes in the north-west of England including St Francis of Assisi in Garston, Sacred Heart in Liverpool, Our Lady of Walsingham in Netherton and St. Anthony’s of Liverpool and currently sits as the Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Bishop Tom Williams said of his appointment as Trustee of CSAN:

“In addition to my other responsibilities I have for some years served as Chair of the Healthcare Reference Group of the Bishops’ Conference where I have had a particular concern for the church’s contribution to the physical health of the nation and those who work in the health sector. This new role builds on my previous experience and expands the area of concern to encompass all aspects of the nation’s wellbeing and I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that will come with it”.

CSAN welcomes Bishop Drainey and Bishop Williams to their posts on the CSAN Board of Trustees.