By Jim Fair
The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Canon Stephen Wright and Canon David Evans to be the new Auxiliary Bishops to serve the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England.
These appointments come following Bishop Robert Byrne’s appointment to Hexham and Newcastle in March 2019 and Bishop David McGough’s retirement on reaching the age of 75.
Archbishop Bernard Longley will celebrate the Episcopal Ordination of Bishops Elect David and Stephen at St Chad’s Cathedral at 12 noon on Wednesday 10 June.
Following their Episcopal Ordinations, Canon David will continue to have pastoral responsibility for the deaneries in Birmingham and Worcestershire, while Canon Stephen will have pastoral responsibility for the deaneries in Staffordshire, Wolverhampton, and the Black Country.
Archbishop Bernard said: “I am very grateful to Canon David and Canon Stephen for their readiness to serve the Archdiocese as Auxiliary Bishops.
“Our two new bishops will each bring considerable pastoral experience as Parish Priests to their new role.
“I am grateful to Canon David for serving several years ago as Episcopal Vicar for Coventry, Warwickshire, and Oxfordshire and for caring for the Birmingham and Worcestershire parishes since last September, alongside his teaching responsibilities at the Maryvale Institute.
“I also thank Canon Stephen for his pastoral care until very recently as Episcopal Vicar for Religious and for all that he has done to enable us to respond to the IICSA Inquiry.
“I wish to record my thanks to Bishop David McGough for all that he has contributed to the mission of the Archdiocese as Auxiliary Bishop, especially as he celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his Priestly Ordination, and for his personal support to me over the last 10 years.
“In these troubling and uncertain days, it is a blessing for us all to have two new bishops to help unfold the Lord’s plan for our Archdiocese in the years ahead and to care for our clergy and people.”
Bishop-Elect Stephen Wright said: “I was very surprised when Pope Francis appointed me as an Assistant Bishop. I offer an unworthy “yes” to the will of the Lord and His Church, trusting in the Lord’s Grace.
“Please keep me in your prayers. I continue to be blessed in serving the people of this Archdiocese and at this difficult time let us pray we will be wise and generous in caring for the most vulnerable in our society.
“St Chad, pray for us.”
Bishop-Elect David Evans said: “After getting over the surprise of being told that I had been appointed an auxiliary bishop of Birmingham, I am looking forward very much to collaborating with Archbishop Bernard, in all that he is doing to preach the Gospel in the diocese and beyond.
“With St Chad and St Cuthbert to guide me, and with the prayers of priests, deacons, and people, I hope to be a humble, diligent and receptive servant of the Church. I hope that will do.”
Reverend Canon David Ernest Charles Evans
The Reverend Canon David Ernest Charles Evans was born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in the archdiocese of Birmingham, on October 22, 953. He carried out his studies in preparation for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome and was awarded a licentiate in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
On July 29, 1978, he was ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Birmingham.
He subsequently held the following offices: parish vicar at Saint Mary’s, Walsall (1979-1981) and at Saint Aloysius, Oxford (1981-1983); formator and vice-rector at Saint Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham (1983-2001); parish priest at Saint Austin’s, Stafford (2001-2006); episcopal vicar for Coventry, Warwickshire, and Oxfordshire (2006-2007); parish priest of Saint Theresa’s, Chalbury, Oxon (2007-2012).
After a sabbatical study year, since 2014 he has served as parish priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Rednal, and since 2019, episcopal vicar for Birmingham and Worcester.
Reverend Stephen James Lawrence Wright
The Reverend Stephen James Lawrence Wright was born in Stafford, in the archdiocese of Birmingham, on October 9, 1970. After obtaining a degree in law from the University of Leicester (1992) and the legal practice qualification (1993), he completed his studies for preparation for the priesthood, first at Saint Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham, and then at the Venerable English College in Rome, where he was awarded a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
On September 9, 2000, he was ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Birmingham.
He subsequently held the following offices: parish vicar at Corpus Christi, Stechford, Birmingham (2000-2003); parish priest at Saint Joseph’s Banbury (2003-2007); parish priest at Saint Mary and Modwen, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire (2007-2019); episcopal vicar for Religious (2012-2019).
Since 2016 he has served as a member of the Archbishop’s Council and, since 2019, vicar general of the archdiocese of Birmingham.
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