Pope Benedict XVI announces new Archbishop of Southwark

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The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Most Reverend Peter Smith, until now Archbishop of Cardiff, as the new Archbishop of Southwark

Archbishop Smith was named the tenth Bishop of Southwark on 30 April 2010. He succeeds the Most Reverend Kevin McDonald (2003-2009).

Archbishop Smith was born on 21 October 1943, ordained priest on 15 July 1972, ordained Bishop of East Anglia on 27 May 1995, transferred to Cardiff on 26 October 2001.

After receiving news of his appointment, Archbishop Smith said:

“After eight very happy years in the Archdiocese of Cardiff, I am very sad to be leaving Wales.

“Over these years I have enjoyed working with the priests, deacons, religious and laity of the Archdiocese in Wales and Herefordshire and thank them for their help and co-operation in so many areas of Diocesan life and work. I am especially grateful for their support in bringing about the re-organisation of pastoral provision for the Catholic community, and fostering the mission of the Church in so many ways. My experience of the Archdiocese is that the spirit of St. David is still very much alive and summed up in his dying words: ‘Be joyful; keep the faith.’

“I should also like to thank the leaders of the other Christian Churches communities, and the leaders of other faiths in Wales. We have enjoyed a fruitful dialogue and relationship to the benefit of our particular communities and wider society. I have found the civic authorities, in particular the Welsh Assembly Government and Local Authorities, have been unfailingly courteous and helpful, as has the local media. I am deeply grateful for that too.

“I shall never forget the warmth and generosity of the people of Wales, not only the Catholic community but so many others, and their great sense of humour and cheerfulness.

“However, my sadness at leaving is tempered by the prospect of returning to my roots in South London and going home to the Archdiocese in which I was born and for which I was ordained a priest in 1972. I am very much looking forward to that and to serving the people, religious, deacons and priests of the Archdiocese of Southwark as their Bishop. It is good to be returning home, although I feel there is part of me which will always have a ‘second home’ in Wales.”

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said: “I am delighted at the appointment of Archbishop Peter Smith as Archbishop of Southwark, while at the same time sympathising with the priests, religious and people of Cardiff. Archbishop Peter is an outstanding and experienced leader. He will be warmly welcomed back to his home diocese, just as he will be sorely missed in Cardiff. I can assure him of the prayers and good wishes of us all.”

Bishop John Hine, who will continue as Diocesan Administrator in Southwark until the installation of Archbishop Peter Smith on 10 June, said:

“The priests and people of Southwark are absolutely delighted about the news of the appointment of Archbishop Peter Smith to our Diocese. He is, of course, well known to so many of us and we can hardly believe our good fortune that he will back here leading us at this very significant phase of our Diocesan story.”

Archbishop Smith will be installed as Archbishop of Southwark at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on 10 June 2010.

More information


St George’s Cathedral, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark

Archdiocese of Southwark


Two official photographs of Archbishop Peter Smith can be downloaded here:


Click here for Archbishop Peter Smith’s biography.


A letter from Archbishop Peter Smith to the Priests, Deacons and Religious Communities of the Archdiocese of Cardiff

Letter to priests, deacons, religious communities and laity of the Archdiocese of Cardiff (pdf)

The Archdiocese of Southwark

The Archdiocese of Southwark comprises the London Boroughs South of the Thames, the county of Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority.




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James Danell

10 Jan 1871 – 14 Jun 1881


Robert Aston Coffin, C.SS.R.

25 May 1882 – 6 Apr 1885


John Baptist Butt

26 Jun 1885 – 12 Apr 1897


Francis Alphonsus Bourne

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Appointed, Archbishop of Westminster

Peter Emmanuel Amigo

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Cyril Conrad Cowderoy

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Michael George Bowen

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Kevin John Patrick McDonald

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