BY Daniel Harkins | July 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


New bishop for Brentwood Diocese

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, is principal celebrant at the Episcopal ordination of Bishop Alan Williams for the Essex Diocese today

Fr Alan Williams was ordained as the seventh Bishop of Brentwood today at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Helen.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, was the principal celebrant, with more than 150 attending priests joined by Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom; Cardinal Emeritus Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; English bishops and civil dignitaries.

Cardinal Nichols welcomed the new bishop saying he was supported by the love and prayers of all those in attendance. In his homily, the cardinal said the day was ‘an awesome moment’ for Bishop Williams.

“Today I cannot help recalling, dear Alan, a favourite saying of my mother,” he said. “She insisted on it, often on the most difficult days: ‘This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ Well, difficult days will come. But today her advice is easy to keep. We do indeed rejoice. We rejoice in this work of the Holy Spirit who alone can evoke in us the holiness we are called to radiate, the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, the glory on the face of Christ himself, visible in our lives, today and always. Let us lift up our eyes to his face and joyfully proceed with this ordination.”

Following the ordination, Bishop Williams gave the Kiss of Peace to his predecessor Bishop Emeritus Thomas McMahon, who has retired after 34 years in the diocese. He then celebrated the Liturgy of the Eucharist for the first time in his new role before blessing the congregation and meeting well-wishers outside the cathedral.

—Cardinal Nichols’ full homily can be found on the Catholic Church in England and Wales website at


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