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Archbishops mourn veteran English Catholic journalist Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings with Archbishop Vincent Nichols

Peter Jennings, the press secretary to the Archbishop of Birmingham for many years, has died following a battle with leukemia.

Mr Jennings, a prolific author and former European correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor, was appointed press secretary to the Archdiocese of Birmingham in 2000. He wrote the official record of Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain in 2010 and had worked on the Cause of Blessed John Henry Newman since the 1970s. He was also a Knight of Merit with Star of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said: “I am very saddened by the death of Peter Jennings and offer my prayers and condolences to Stella, his wife, and their family.

“Peter will be sorely missed. Over many, many years he sought to serve the Church well in the challenging world of the media. His great love for the Church was always his key motivation and his determination never faltered.

“I thank God for his steadfast work, which included the official records of the visits of both Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom, fine and lasting tributes to his considerable abilities. May the Lord welcome him with great love and mercy.”

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham said: “On Tuesday September 10 I was greatly saddened to hear from his family of the death of Peter Jennings, press secretary to the Archdiocese of Birmingham and to myself. Peter had fought bravely against illness over recent months and had continued to dedicate himself to his work until the last few days.

“Peter Jennings served as press secretary to Archbishop Vincent Nichols and myself during the last 10 years with great dedication and loyalty and he will be very much missed. I pray for his eternal happiness and I assure Peter’s wife and family of my prayers for them at this time.”

Kevin Grant, a Catholic journalist and a close friend, described Mr Jennings as a “mettlesome, battlesome man”.

“He had a huge faith,” he said.

Click here to read our profile interview with Peter Jennings from 2009