Archbishop Longley

Archbishop Bernard Longley was born in Manchester on 5 April, 1955 and was ordained Bishop and appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Westminster, on 24th January 2003.  Archbishop Longley was Head of the Diocesan Pastoral Board and had pastoral responsibilities for the Deaneries of Camden, Hackney, Islington, Marylebone, Tower Hamlets, and Westminster.Archbishop Bernard Longley studied at Xaverian College and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and New College, Oxford.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton on 12th December 1981 at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, and was Assistant Priest at St Joseph’s, Epsom, and Chaplain to Psychiatric Hospitals. From 1987 to 1996 he was on the staff at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, teaching dogmatic theology.

In 1991, he was appointed Surrey Chairman of the Arundel and Brighton Diocesan Commission for Christian Unity and in 1996 became National Ecumenical Officer at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.In 1999 he was appointed Moderator of the Steering Committee of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and also Assistant General Secretary of Catholic Bishops’ Conference with responsibilities for Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs.Archbishop Longley authored the Catholic Commentary on the Agreed Joint Statement by the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission – “Growing towards Unity and Mission” (2007).The Archbishop was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2009 and was installed as the ninth Archbishop of Birmingham on Tuesday 8th December 2009.

In 2010 Archbishop Longley was appointed by Pope Benedict as a member of the newly erected Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.In 2011 Pope Benedict appointed the Archbishop as the co-Chairman of ARCIC, with oversight of the third phase of Anglican-Catholic dialogue.

From the Archdiocese of Birmingham web site

Archbishop Bernard Longley's visit

Archbishop Bernard Longley visited our parish on Sunday 13th July to celebrate the 11.00am Mass.

Archbishop Longley is a charming and delightful man. He knows this part of his diocese well because he was an undergraduate at New College Oxford where he read Music and was a Choral Scholar in that famous choir.  He is originally from Manchester where he received his education before Oxford.

This was an important day for our parish family.  After the Mass we had a Vin d’Honneur on the Lawn. Delicious foods were prepared for this occasion.  We are grateful to Brenda Leo for organising this and to those who have helped.

When the bishop of a diocese visits a parish it brings many graces.  He is the successor of the apostles and he guarantees by our communion with him, our communion with the whole Church, which is in communion with the successor of Peter.  Because the bishop is himself in an apostolic line of predecessors stretching back to the apostles, he thus ensures our communion with them and with the Church in every age.  This is why Catholics have great respect and affection for their bishops.

Pictures by Angelina Witcombe