Pope Francis has appointed Canon Peter Collins, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, as the fifth Bishop of East Anglia. Bishop Alan Hopes will stay on as the Apostolic Administrator until the Ordination and Installation of Bishop-elect Collins takes place in December 2022.
The news was announced on 11th October from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Norwich. Bishop-elect Collins thanked Archbishops Mark O’Toole and George Stack “for their consistent and enduring support,” during his years in Cardiff Archdiocese. And he thanked the outgoing Bishop of East Anglia, Alan Hopes, for his nine years of service as bishop and for the warmth of his welcome. “As I leave the mountains and valleys of the West for the expansive plains of the East, I realise that my horizons will change and that I have much to learn,” he said.
He looked forward to meeting the Catholics of the diocese and to fostering ecumenical links. He would also be greeting members of other faith communities in East Anglia. He prayed to Our Lady of Walsingham, St. Felix, St. Etheldreda, St. Edmund and all the saints and martyrs of East Anglia for support before being warmly clapped by the congregation in the cathedral.
Peter Collins was born in 1958 in South Wales, and was accepted for seminary formation in 1978. Following six years at the Royal English College at Valladolid, Spain, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cardiff on the 14 July 1984. He has served in the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David, Cardiff and in Bridgend, Chepstow and Caldicot and Fairwater. Alongside his parish responsibilities, Bishop-elect Collins has served in a multiplicity of diocesan roles: 12 years as Chair of the Education Commission; 10 years as Director of the Diaconate; 28 years in various safeguarding roles. He has also served as an area Dean, a member of the College of Consultors, a member of the Archbishop’s Council and as a Trustee.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said:
“I welcome warmly the appointment of Bishop-elect Peter Collins. The new bishop brings with him a wealth of experience both in Cardiff and in Valladolid. I am sure he will be warmly welcomed not only in his new diocese, but also in the Province of Westminster and in our Bishops’ Conference. I look forward to working with him.
“At this same point, I wish to thank Bishop Alan Hopes for his tireless and dedicated leadership of his diocese – especially during these last years. He will hand over his crozier to his successor with both confidence and relief! May God bless our new Bishop Peter Collins and Bishop Alan Hopes in the years ahead.”
The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Collins will take place at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist, Norwich on 14th December 2022 at 11.30am.
The Columbans are looking forward to visiting the diocese of East Anglia in 2023 to preach the Annual Mission appeal and promote mission awareness. Besides East Anglia members of the Mision Awareness and Appeals team will be visiting the diocese of Plymouth and Leeds.
Helen Dufficy is the Columban Mission Appeals Coordinator for the Columbans in Britain and is responsible for organising parish visits this year. To arrange a booking, please email her: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Mission Office on 01564 772096.