Bishop Mark Davies was ordained as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Shrewsbury at a ceremony held in St Anthony’s Church, Wythenshawe, Manchester on Monday 22nd February 2010, the feast of the Chair of St Peter. Bishop Mark will assist Bishop Brian Noble, the principal celebrant at the Mass until his retirement. The new Bishop is no stranger to the area, having spent over 25 years as a priest in the neighbouring Diocese of Salford, and large numbers of clergy and people attended from across the river Mersey, joining their Shrewsbury neighbours in the impressive ceremony. Assisting the Bishop of Shrewsbury during the Ordination ceremony was the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Revd. Patrick Kelly, and the Bishop of Salford, the Rt Revd. Terence Brain. Bishop Mark served both during his time in Salford, as Secretary and Vicar General respectively.
The new Bishop learned of his appointment shortly before Christmas, and since then has accompanied the Bishops of England & Wales on their recent Ad Limina visit to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope’s letter of appointment was read out during the Mass.
In his homily, the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Revd. Bernard Longley, Metropolitan, spoke of the role of the Bishop and the mystery of Christ’s identity. “Who do you say I am? It is a question asking whoever answers to search deeply within, and to continue searching until he find Peter’s affirmation: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Guests at the ceremony included the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, some 30 Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops, several ecumenical guests including the Anglican Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead, together with the local Member of Parliament, Paul Goggins, other civic dignitaries and parishioners from the parishes of the Shrewsbury Diocese, and from the Salford Parishes where Bishop Mark had previously ministered.
St Anthony’s Parish have been working overtime in ensuring some wonderful hospitality was extended to the 1000 or so visitors who packed into their church, and were then treated to a splendid reception at nearby St Anthony’s Primary School. The parish priest, Revd Michael Murray added, “It was an honour and wonderful occasion for St. Anthony’s and for Wythenshawe to host the Ordination of Bishop Mark. It made a great impression on us all, especially the young people present. Thanks to all those people who worked hard to make such a memorable day.”
Bishop Brian, following the Ordination, expressed delight on behalf of everybody from Shrewsbury Diocese in welcoming his new associate, “Bishop Mark’s Episcopal Ordination today has shown our Diocese of Shrewsbury at its best – good liturgy, prayerful participation, generous hospitality and, most of all, a warm welcome to the one who eventually will become our Bishop. I’m immensely grateful to all who contributed to the day. I offer Bishop Mark our congratulations and the promise of our on-going support and prayer.”
+Brian M. Noble, Bishop of Shrewsbury
Bishop Mark takes up his new duties with immediate effect.
Archbishop Bernard Longley gave the homily at Bishop Davies’ Ordination.
View the gallery of Bishop Davies’ Ordination on our Flickr photostream.