New Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth to be ordained in the city

Philip Egan, the new Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth
Philip Egan, the new Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth

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A NEW Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth has been appointed.

Monsignor Philip Egan, vicar general of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, is to be ordained at St John’s Catholic Cathedral in September.

He will become the eighth Bishop of Portsmouth, taking over from Bishop Crispian Hollis who is retiring after 23 years.

Speaking of his successor’s appointment, he said: ‘I warmly welcome the appointment of Mgr Philip Egan to be my successor in the Portsmouth diocese and becoming its eighth bishop. Mgr Philip brings a wide experience of the life of the Church to this new post.’

He added: ‘He will be made very welcome by the clergy and people of the diocese and everyone is looking forward to working with him in the proclaiming and living of the Gospel’.

Born in Altrincham, Cheshire, Mgr Egan is a philosopher and theologian. He takes up the appointment at a time when nearly £13m from the Living Our Faith Appeal is available to implement the church’s Pastoral Plan and take the diocese forward.

Commenting on his appointment, Mgr Egan said: ‘It is with trepidation and yet with profound trust in the loving mercy of the Sacred Heart of Christ, that I accept the Holy Father’s appointment as the new Bishop of Portsmouth, in succession to dear Bishop Crispian.’

Mgr Egan will be ordained at St John’s Cathedral, Edinburgh Road, Landport, at 2.30pm on September 24.

Bishop Crispian announced his plans to retire after his 75th birthday in March.

He was installed as the seventh Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth in 1989.

Bishop Crispian has also held positions in Oxford and Bristol, as well as working a religious adviser for the BBC.

He revealed in a letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Portsmouth last July that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. He has since had treatment.