News from the Catholic Bishops' Conference

Bishop Stephen Wright has been installed the 15th Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle at a Solemn Mass of Installation in St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Mass was celebrated in honour of Our Blessed Mary Immaculate, a patron of the diocese who looks down from one of the cathedral’s stained glass windows.

Bishop Wright was welcomed by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese.

The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía was in attendance, as was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference and many Catholic bishops from the dioceses of England and Wales.

Bishop Wright was presented with the traditional symbols of a bishop’s ministry: the pastoral staff, the crozier, the ring – in this case St Cuthbert’s ring – and the pectoral cross.

In a very poignant exchange, Bishop Wright received another gift – the powerful symbol of prayer ribbons representing the God-given dignity of victims and survivors of abuse. These ribbons were then tied to the Bishop’s chair and the congregation heard a short testimony from Maggie – a survivor of abuse.

The Bishop was also greeted by the Chapter of Canons, representatives of the Council of Priests and pastoral councils, and some of the priests, deacons and lay people of the diocese, as well as ecumenical and interreligious guests as well as other dignitaries.

Until his installation, Bishop Wright had served as an auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The Mass of Installation took place at 1pm in St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle on Wednesday, 19 July 2023.

A Prayer for Bishop Stephen Wright:

Lord, rock of our hearts,
from a sea swept island
you sent Aidan and Cuthbert
to sow your Word fruitfully
throughout our Northern Land and
you inspired Bede to understand and speak your truth
reflected in our lives and in our history.

Grant your servant, Stephen,
whom you have called to follow them,
a rich share in this heritage –
to speak your Word courageously
to teach wisely
and to lead with love.

Monsignor Kevin Nichols 1929-2006

Photograph courtesy of CBCEW