Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A review of how we have fared in the past year

This is an updated version of a post I made last January. It charts the retirement date (in years only) for the Bishops of England and Wales

Some of them have got quite a few years still ahead of them but some are, how can I put it charitably? -  coming up to the Wincarnis, pipe and slippers years of their life.
They are in the exit lane, the chequered flag is waving for them to make the final pitstop and the shutters are coming down.

There! Time for them to take life easy for a change!
This is the picture as it stands at the present......

Arundel & Brighton - + Kieron Conry due to retire 2026 (sorry, so very sorry)

Birmingham - ++ Bernard Longley - with us until 2030...ho hum!

Cardiff - newly appointed ++ Stack in place, and due to remain there for another 9 years 

Clifton - + Declan Lang - in for the journey, 2025 - How long O Lord, how long?

East Anglia - sadly, + Michael Evans died in 2011 -  this diocese is now 'Sede Vacante' until such time as a replacement is made

Hallam - + John Rawsthorne - well, he should be making a move right now but all seems quiet on the North Western Front

Hexham & Newcastle - + Seamus Cunningham is there until 2017

Lancaster - + Michael Campbell - staying put until 2016

Leeds - + Arthur Roche - with hobbies such as travel, walking and painting he looks as if he will stay the course for the next 13 years.....By 'eck!

Middlesborough - + Terence Drainey...2024....time for some limericks with a name like that!

Northampton - + Peter Doyle - one of ++ Worlock's men, due to be with us until 2019

Nottingham - + Malcolm McMahon......2024....another 12 years, that's a life sentence!
Plymouth - + Christopher Budd....2012 is his year but, again, no sign of a vacancy (or a vacant see)

Portsmouth - + Crispian Hollis...still here my Lord? Your time was up on 31st December 2012. Bishop Crispian has a nice note of welcome on his website, it reads:

"The fact that you are able to be with us at all, just at the touch of a button or the squeeze of a mouse, from anywhere in the world is little short of miraculous".

No more mouse squeezing please, Bishop!

Salford - + Terence Brain....2013....tempus fugit but not fugit enough!

Southwark - ++ Peter Smith.....with us until 2018

Wrexham - + Edwin Regan...he has not gone off but he is now 2 years passed his shelf life. Despite his priests buying him a copy of 'The Road' he hasn't taken the hint - but Wrexham looks like a wasteland as far as the faith is concerned

Now I make it that no less than eight of our Bishops are either overdue for retirement or, are due to go between now and 2013.

That's roughly a massive 39% of the total and should give Pope Benedict the space that he needs in order to effect real change in the country - please God that he chooses wisely and boldly.

Whilst carrying out this simple survey I noticed something a little....odd?
A coincidence of course, but so many of our Bishops look as if they were closely related to each other.

What do you think?

Bishop Doyle of Northampton

Bishop Seamus Cunningham
Bishop Rawsthorne, in his Lambeth grey

Obviously a band of brothers!


  1. Waiting in trepidation for our new Bishop...(.Portsmouth),some say to be announced in next two weeks.

  2. Take a look at Bishop Hollis.....same sort of smile.

  3. Catholic Come Home - I'd rather not!

  4. I used to live around the corner from Bishop Brain! got a photo of him with my eldest! Nice man.

  5. For a long time I have been unable to tell one from another. In official group pix they look like clones. Part of a cunning plan?

  6. They have all been to Specsavers ?

  7. I'd like to know more about +Declan Lang. He's my bishop and I know absolutely nothing about him whatsoever.

  8. Stuart - He is not well known as a lover of incense and fiddlebacks. More than that will have to wait on February 18th!

    Ros - you are a most charitable person. I feel bad now.

    Genty - I was trying to avoid using the word 'clones' but you are so right.

    Patricius - wins the silver teapot. That's it!

  9. What's happening on February 18th Richard?

  10. re. Leeds - you forgot the figure skating (or is it ice dancing, I'm never sure). It's figure skating wot keeps the man in the rainbow beanie fit! ;-) A little too close to liturgical dance for my liking... actually, that might explain a lot.

  11. Stuart - mooted date for a GOBTB meeting.

    Annie E - no thin ice in Leeds? :)

  12. Leeds is not as active as you think. Bishop Roche has actually been suffering from Pneumonia for about two months and has cancelled most engagements. Not expected to be
    fully fit for 2-3 months.
    If +Rawsthorne is due to retire what an opportunity to reduce the number of Dioceses.
    Would the pope consider giving Leeds back the
    Yorkshire bit of Hallam and give the rest back to Nottingham? There are far too many dioceses for the number of Catholics.