In accordance with Canon Law Bishop Tom Williams submitted his resignation to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, following his 75th birthday.
At 12.00 noon, Rome time today, Saturday 25 March, it was published by the Holy See that the Holy Father Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Tom Williams from the office of Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool upon reaching the age of 75 years. Bishop Williams will now be known as Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus.
Commenting on this milestone for Bishop Tom, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon said, ‘20 years ago to the day, the then Canon Tom Williams of St Anthony of Egypt, Scotland Road was called by Pope St John Paul II to be an auxiliary bishop. Two decades on, we give thanks for so much accomplished and for God’s blessing on the years ahead.
‘Today is an opportunity for the entire archdiocese to thank God for the long, dedicated ministry of one of its own as deacon, priest, and bishop. Bishop Tom, very much a son of the city of Liverpool, and granted the Freedom of the City recently, is well known and loved by many and has made valuable contributions to the civil and ecclesial life of the city and region. Today marks a point in his ministry when, freed from the administrative burdens of being a vicar general and civil trustee, he can focus more on what he enjoys so much; that is the pastoral ministry of being a priest and bishop. I look forward to his continued help as the Auxiliary Emeritus.’
Bishop Tom’s pastoral ministry spans more than 50 years since his ordination in the Metropolitan Cathedral on 27 May 1972. He has served in the parishes of St Francis of Assisi, Garston; Sacred Heart, Liverpool; Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Liverpool and St Anthony, Scotland Road. It was while serving at St Anthony’s that he became Chair of Project Jennifer – a local initiative to re-generate the north end of Liverpool which resulted in a £160M new-build housing and retail park which opened in 2017 and is still progressing. He also worked, with Monsignor Michael McKenna, to establish the clergy healthcare scheme in the archdiocese and gave long service over many years to the archdiocesan finance committee and the archdiocesan George Andrew Fund. Bishop Tom said, ‘I give thanks for the many blessings of my ministry as Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool. The happiest days of my life have been spent in Chaplaincy work in hospitals, schools and prisons and I now look forward to focussing on and continuing that pastoral ministry as Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus.’