Pope appoints new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Birmingham

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The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Canon Stephen Wright and Canon David Evans to be the new Auxiliary Bishops to work with Archbishop Bernard Longley and serve the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

These appointments come following Bishop Robert Byrne’s appointment to Hexham and Newcastle in March 2019 and Bishop David McGough’s retirement on reaching the age of 75.

Archbishop Longley will celebrate the Episcopal Ordinations of Bishops Elect David and Stephen at St Chad’s Cathedral at 12 noon on Wednesday 10 June.

Following their Episcopal Ordinations, Canon David will continue to have pastoral responsibility for the deaneries in Birmingham and Worcestershire, while Canon Stephen will have pastoral responsibility for the deaneries in Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

Archbishop Longley said:

“I am very grateful to Canon David and Canon Stephen for their readiness to serve the Archdiocese as Auxiliary Bishops.

“Our two new bishops will each bring considerable pastoral experience as Parish Priests to their new role.

“I am grateful to Canon David for serving several years ago as Episcopal Vicar for Coventry, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire and for caring for the Birmingham and Worcestershire parishes since last September, alongside his teaching responsibilities at the Maryvale Institute.

“I also thank Canon Stephen for his pastoral care until very recently as Episcopal Vicar for Religious and for all that he has done to enable us to respond to the IICSA Inquiry.

“I wish to record my thanks to Bishop David McGough for all that he has contributed to the mission of the Archdiocese as Auxiliary Bishop, especially as he celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his Priestly Ordination, and for his personal support to me over the last 10 years.

“In these troubling and uncertain days it is a blessing for us all to have two new bishops to help unfold the Lord’s plan for our Archdiocese in the years ahead and to care for our clergy and people.”

Bishop Elect Stephen Wright said:

“I was very surprised when Pope Francis appointed me as an Assistant Bishop. I offer an unworthy ‘yes’ to the will of the Lord and His Church, trusting in the Lord’s Grace.

“Please keep me in your prayers. I continue to be blessed in serving the people of this Archdiocese and at this difficult time let us pray we will be wise and generous in caring for the most vulnerable in our society.

“St Chad, pray for us.”

Bishop Elect David Evans said:

“After getting over the surprise of being told that I had been appointed an auxiliary bishop of Birmingham, I am looking forward very much to collaborating with Archbishop Bernard, in all that he is doing to preach the Gospel in the diocese and beyond.

“With St Chad and St Cuthbert to guide me, and with the prayers of priests, deacons and people, I hope to be a humble, diligent and receptive servant of the Church. I hope that will do.”