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Standing ovation as solicitor receives papal knighthood

An Inverness solicitor has been honoured with a papal award for his services to the Church.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen conferred Bryan Longmore with the Knighthood of St Gregory, one of the highest accolades a layperson can receive from the Church.

The celebration, which took place on Sunday December 29 2019 at St Mary’s Church, Inverness, saw the lifelong parishioner honoured for all he has done for the parish throughout his life.

Mr Longmore has also served the Highland Deanery and the Aberdeen Diocese as a legal consultant many years.

Mr Longmore was joined by several friends and family as he received the knighthood.



Bishop Gilbert said: “It was a privilege to confer the Knighthood of St Gregory on Bryan Longmore. I did so on behalf of Pope Francis.

“Bryan’s distinguished public service and long years of multi-faceted assistance of the Catholic Church in Inverness and beyond amply deserved such recognition.”

Parish priest Fr James Bell added: “In recognition of a lifetime of devoted Catholic Faith and Christian practice, and exemplary public service, Bryan Longmore is a most fitting recipient of a Papal Knighthood to the Order of St Gregory the Great.”


Home parish

Mr Longmore describes St Mary’s as his ‘home,’ stating it was where he married his late wife Leonella, where both his sons were baptised and where he and his family always attended to worship God.

He added it was where his wife’s funeral took place and that St Mary’s was a place of ‘great comfort’ to him in the weeks and months that followed her death.

Thanking both Fr Bell and Bishop Gilbert, Mr Longmore added the ‘honour’ was one he would ‘accept and share with the whole congregation of St Mary’s.’

Mr Longmore and Leonella married at St Mary’s in September 1958. Mrs Longmore was a teacher, a local historian and author. She died on February 4 2018, aged 82.



Following their marriage, the couple moved to Toronto, Canada, where Mrs Longmore worked in the Italian Consulate General, and the couple later returned to Europe in 1960, first to Italy then back to Inverness where they settled and started a family. They have two sons, Marco and Bruno. Bruno is a senior civil servant, and Marco is a headteacher.

The congregation rose to their feet in a standing ovation for Mr Longmore as he received his papal knighthood, before going on to enjoy a reception in the church hall.

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