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Bishop Hollis is diagnosed with bowel cancer

Bishop Hollis had a CT scan last month

Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth has announced in a letter to his clergy that he has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The 74-year-old bishop, who is soon to retire, had been diagnosed with the disease after a CT scan in mid-June at the Queen Alexandria Hospital, Portsmouth.

Bishop Hollis said the scan had revealed a cancer “which is probably malignant”. A biopsy and MRI scan will be carried out in early August, he said.

The bishop will most likely have to undergo major surgery to help treat the disease, which would take place later this September.

He has said that before then he would still hope to join the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes from August 21 to 27.

Previously struggling with other health problems during the year, the bishop said he has already been spending much of his time in hospital.

Bishop Crispian said in his letter: “I would be very grateful for your support and prayers, together with prayers of all in the diocese.”

Crispian Hollis, born in Bristol, followed the footsteps of his grandfather, an Anglican bishop, and was appointed as auxiliary bishop of the Oxfordshire area in 1987. Two years later he was assigned to Portsmouth.

Bishop Hollis has served as Bishop of Portsmouth for 22 years. The road outside St John’s Cathedral was renamed Bishop Crispian Way earlier this year to mark his nearing retirement.

His letter to clergy

Dear Brothers,

You will all know that I have been struggling a bit this year with health problems and I seem to have been spending a great deal of time in surgery waiting rooms and the QA hospital.

To cut a long story short, I was given a CT scan at the QA in the middle of June and I have now received the results, which are not very good.

The scan has revealed cancer of the bowel, which is probably malignant, though that has yet to be definitively confirmed by biopsy on Monday August 1st and an MRI scan on August 2nd.

Whatever the results of the tests may be, it is likely that I will have to face major surgery sometime in September. Between now and then, I will be spending my time between Portsmouth and Somerset though I hope to join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes from August 21st till August 27th.

I will, of course, keep you as informed as I can about what is happening, but, in the meantime, I would be very grateful for your support and prayers, together with the prayers of all in the diocese.

With my love and blessings to you all,

Bishop Crispian