Mgr Philip Egan, vicar general of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, has been appointed as Bishop of Portsmouth.
Bishop-elect Egan, a philosopher and theologian, will replace Bishop Crispian Hollis, who is stepping down having reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Bishop-elect Egan, born in Altrincham, Cheshire, was appointed vicar general of Shrewsbury a year ago. A biography can be read here.
He 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.
“I look forward with joy to working with my fellow priests and with all who minister in parishes, schools and other contexts, caring for the people of God. May we all together be in the closest communion of heart and mind with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, and faithful to his call to New Evangelisation.
“The ministry of the bishop, as the chief shepherd, priest and teacher of the flock entrusted to him, involves carrying the Lord’s Cross in a particular way. So as I begin this ministry and look to the years ahead, I sincerely ask you for your prayers, together with those of our brothers and sisters in the other Christian communities and indeed of every person of faith and goodwill.
“May Mary, Queen conceived without original sin, and St Edmund of Abingdon, obtain for us a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that all may come to know, serve and love Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Hollis praised Bishop-elect Egan as an “able administrator” and “an excellent parish priest in the bread-and-butter world of parochial ministry”.
“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,” Bishop Hollis said.
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury also welcomed the appointment. He said: “In Mgr Egan the Portsmouth diocese will find a great teacher of the faith and a bishop deeply committed to the New Evangelisation.
“It is with sadness that I say farewell with the Shrewsbury diocese to Mgr Egan as vicar general but it is with joy that I look forward to welcoming him as the new Bishop of Portsmouth.”