Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 17:02 UK
Shrewsbury's new Catholic bishop succeeds in October
Image of Bishop Mark Davies (image: Catholic Communications Network)
Bishop Mark Davies will take charge in October

The Right Reverend Mark Davies will become the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury in October 2010.

Bishop Davies will succeed the Right Reverend Brian Noble, who is 74 years old and been Bishop of Shrewsbury for 15 years.

The retired Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, is to attend a Mass at Shrewsbury Cathedral on Friday, 1 October to mark the occasion.

Shrewsbury Priest, Father Chris Matthews said: "It's the biggest event to be held at the Cathedral in 50 years."

Pope Benedict XVI

On the same day, Pope Benedict XVI will accept Bishop Noble's resignation and Bishop Davies will become the 11th Bishop of Shrewsbury.

At the Mass, Bishop Davies will be seated in the Cathedra (bishop's official chair) for the first time; Bishop Noble will then hand him the Diocesan Crozier (ceremonial staff), signalling that the pastoral care of the Diocese of Shrewsbury has passed from him to Bishop Davies.

Among the guests will be Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, many of the Bishops of England and Wales and parishioners from across the diocese.

Co-bishop

Bishop Davies (51) has been a co-bishop since his ordination in February 2010, and has been working alongside Bishop Noble ever since.

Image of Bishop Brian Noble and Bishop Mark Davies (image: Catholic Communications Network)
Bishop Noble embraces Bishop Davies at his ordination

Bishop Davies, who spent 26 years as a priest with the Diocese of Salford, said he was "quite unexpectedly" summoned to London shortly before Christmas, and was asked if he would accept the new role.

River Mersey

Writing about that moment, he said he knew he must "cross the River Mersey" from the life he'd known, and offer his life in the service of the Shrewsbury Diocese.

He said: "The opportunity you have to make a contribution and be part of the life of so many parishes and communities - that's the exciting part, the responsibility of course - daunting."

The Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury is a vast area which includes Shropshire, Cheshire, the Wirral and parts of Greater Manchester, Tameside and Trafford.




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